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Challenges faced by the education system in India

Education is considered pivotal as it provides us with knowledge, understanding and skills required to build a successful life. A good education helps shape our personality, fosters confidence and develops abilities that set precedence to a good future. Although we understand the importance of education as a society; there are still several inherent issues that plague the Indian education system.

Below are the top challenges faced by the Indian education system:

Shortage of adequate skilled teachers

It is not unusual to find one teacher tasked to teach 3 to 4 subjects in both primary and secondary school. The lack of expertise and training in the subject matter, coupled with many hours spent teaching students of different grades, lack of adequate teacher facilities leads to unintentional shoddy teaching that do not promote retention. Teaching material is usually handed over from previous years and teaching methodologies do not keep students engaged.

Current teaching and classroom lessons not suited for children

The formative years of schooling are building blocks of a child’s life as it lays foundation for lifelong learning. The Indian classroom for children rarely provides an environment that creates opportunities for them to learn what they are interested in or build a personality unique only to them. Classrooms for young students are riled with punishments for disobedience and instill fear as a mechanism to achieve results, rather than adopting a more personalized approach to teaching and inculcating values. Hence at a young age many children develop an unhealthy attitude towards education and have to be forced by parents to go to school.

Expensive Education

While we expect quality education from all schools, there is a stark reality between private and government aided schools. Private schools that propose to offer top notch education, come at a hefty price, that majority of parents find difficult to pay. According to India’s NSS reports (2014), the cost of general education rose nearly three times from 2007-08 to 2014.

Poor classroom setting

The ratio of children to teacher is very high. Many schools also face the lack of basic amenities. Today’s classrooms do not provide children the tools for holistic development.

Out-dated educational curriculum and poor quality pedagogy

The Indian education curriculum focuses on generic education rather than specializations based on student’s interests, abilities and future skills. The lack of supervised quality checks and assurance has led to an out-dated curriculum that students find difficult to apply in the real world. The pedagogy still focuses on rote learning, without understanding of core concepts. It neither provides development of key skills nor does it tap into a child’s potential and strengths. There persists an unhealthy pressure to achieve good marks that can impact a child’s wellbeing and develop an inferiority complex.

Education is universally considered important and essential; hence it is key to be aware of the limitations of the system to make correct informed choices.

As Nelson Mandela quoted, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’.

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