History tells that the Indian education system was robust and focused on educating young minds as well as training them to acquire all the essential skills for successfully surviving the world under any condition. The education was imparted in ‘Ashrams’ and was mainly focused on practical experiences.
The system changed with the invasion of the Britishers and ashrams turned into modern-day classrooms, which continue to exist with not many changes since then. This new system of learning was introduced by the Britishers as a way to prepare students to aid them in certain duties as per the then existing circumstances.
This new education system was aimed at only training the students to follow instructions and did not focus on applying creativity or thinking analytically. Students weren’t allowed to question and so they just ended up learning whatever is being taught without actively participating in the process which is also known as rote learning. Rote learning involves memorizing information based on repetition. Under the process, the brain stores the data without the need to understand it. Recalling is quicker the more a student repeats the info. It isn’t considered an effective for of learnig since a student doesn’t learn to solve or analyse problems.
Considering the present scenario, students need to be problem solvers, critical thinkers, and strong individuals, capable of taking decisions. They must have the necessary skills to survive and grow. The education system isn’t able to catch up with the world which is changing at a fast pace. This has increased competition and so students are having a tough time surviving this new world.
“Indian education system needs to change completely” – Dr. A. P. J. Kalam
When the focus is only on rote learning, the following things might happen:
- Students may hate learning
- Students may lose interest as it is repetitive
- They might be encouraged to be a follower
- They might become passive learners
- Does not develop essential skills in students
- Students cannot trust their capabilities
- Does not challenge their thinking ability and cognitive functioning
- Focused on the memorization and not understanding the concept and building the foundation
The need of the hour is to make the application of the concepts learned a reality instead of just memorizing the concepts. Practical knowledge and skills will help a student get ahead in life. Aiding in the same are NGOs such as MAA Foundation by the Bilakhia Group. Through various initiatives such as career counselling, science on wheels,parvarish conscious parenting, KEN etc., this arm of the Bilakhia Family is promoting better education to all. Through its project- Vikas, it also instills life skills that incorporates activity based learning to help students prepare for real-life scenrios. Step-Up is another innovative activity-based learning approach that allows each student to learn at his/her own pace.
The system needs to be changed, considering the drawbacks. The earlier we act, the better and bigger can be the impact.