Friday, March 23, 2007

Au Contraire

India has advanced in educating its population of more than a billion people. It has been realized now that education is both essential and instrumental for economic well-being of individuals and entire nations. But are we going in right direction ?

Education starts at childhood, from primary education.
Primary education in
India is subject to two extreme conflicting conditions.

On one hand, millions of young children in lower income groups, especially rural and girl children, comprising nearly 35-40% of entrants never complete primary school. Even among those who do, are left with little or no real learning.

The main reasons being poorly qualified teachers, very high student-teacher ratios, inadequate teaching materials, inadequate infrastructure and sometimes obsolete teaching methods. It is not uncommon for students completing five years of primary schooling in village schools to lack even basic reading and writing skills.

And on the other hand, children vying to get admission in urban premium schools are subjected to extreme competitive pressures from parents and teachers to acquire basic academic skills and memorize huge amounts of information in order to get into these schools. Huge amount of money is spent on each individual.

On one hand we have stars who are raring to shine academically, can take the country to new heights, new horizons but the conditions rein their quest of knowledge and zeal to do something.
And on the other hand we have children from urban background, not all of them bright, their interests lie somewhere else but being pushed to the system.

In both the cases, the children are being pressed against their wishes. Not only small kids at their starting age but the young ones & the teenagers are also pushed against their wishes.

Their interests have no importance, they are asked to study, choose a field which has very little value to them & then get some nice lucrative job.

In my opinion, the ultimate loser is the nation.

In every walk of our life we can find children of both categories. It is pain to see someone very bright working at a dhaba, petrol pump or even as a servant in one of the affluent houses where the son of the house is more interested in playing x-box 360, reading playboy or acting in front of the mirror.

The parents ask (read force) their children to take the subjects of their own choice where THEY think lies the future of the child. Every year lakhs of students sit for competitive exams such as IIT, medical when half of them know in their heart that they won’t be making it. They together spend lakhs in coaching classes whose businesses flourish. And for the lucky ones who make it to one of the institutes, the govt. invests innumerable amount of money on their studies.

Not all of these professionals are interested in their this forced careers then why spend so much effort, time & money ? Why doesn’t the society, the parents leave them to chose what they want to.

I’ll take example of IT sector. Almost all the big companies hire only engineers as their employees. It starts from campus recruitments. But do you think all these engineers are really interested in coding or bug fixing ? NO. Some of them, yes. They come from different branches of engineering and definitely have other aspirations about their careers.
The result ? After working for initial 2-3 years or even less they leave the job to satisfy their own urge. Though now that they have completed their studies, they can not change their field drastically but within the field they try to live their interests. All the investments goes down the drain.

On the other hand, there are some brilliant non engineers who are made for these jobs, who love to be in this sector and will stick to the company also, if taken care of. They are either not taken, or paid very less compared to engineer graduates by these companies.

What do you call this ?

Now, some of the companies have realized this grave mistake and trying to correct it in a small fashion but it’ll also take time.

Just like before investing in stocks we (be it the govt. or the parents) check whether it’ll fetch us fortune or not, why can’t the investments (time, effort, money, resources etc.) be done more wisely in a manner where it will bear the maximum fruit and benefit the future ?

Current song- Aicha, Aicha, Passing Me By – English version

18 comments:

A said...

Yes, My company has recently implemented a process called Power Hiring...which does not consider only the educational qualification of a candidate. This of course is easier to implement in the IT sector. Not very sure in the other fields.

Cuckoo said...

A,
First I welcome you on my blog.

Yes, at least in IT sector companies have started realizing the potential of non engineers. Since IT sector has been the most sought after sector in last decade, the problem was quite prominent here.

Thanks for your visit. Keep coming.

Ranjeet Adkar said...

Hi Cuckoo,

You have nailedthe problem of educatino that India faces right on the head!

Unfortunately, the problem is that there is no hope!

Even if everyone completes the primary and secondary education in the fields of their own interest, where are so many jobs?

The government has to spend our taxes suitably to ensure enough number of jobs for everyone.

The only sector which is lucrative today is IT and not many people work here to enjoy the job - it is clearly a compromise between what you want to do and what you need to do to survive.

In the developed nations, this problem does not arise because demand of jobs always surpasses the supply.

The root cause - Population!
No immediate remedy possible!

Sad state of affairs indeed!

Sigma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sigma said...

Another thought provoking post from dear Cuckoo ....
I would like to add one more factor that contribute to the poor quality of education - the low salaries of teachers compared to other professions, specially in the engineering fields.

And you are tagged again!!
"http://sigma_sm.blogspot.com/2007/03/para-5123.html"

Mumbai Guy said...

#1 reason for people from rural areas not making up higher on education ladder is surrounding atmosphere. I mean the physical state of affairs in which they live. There is no support, no motivation and no guidance to tell them that education is most important thing in todays life.

I believe if there is enough motivation, one can progress ahead inspite of lesser facilities.

I know of students who try to go to school and when they come home, they see fellow kids in thier locality playing or working around. In such cases, even if one aspires to goto school, he is not encouraged. Not by others, not by self.

Not contradicting your thoughts, just my input.

Foolish said...

Awesome blog:)
would you like to link exchange with me let me know by mail crazyfoolish@gmail.com url is http://amazing-illusions.blogspot.com and tittle is illusions

Cuckoo said...

Ranjeet,
Yes, this all starts from one basic root cause. There are thousands of candidates for one job and it is not surprising if the companies are selecting the best qualified out of that bunch.
Well, these over qualified or uninterested people continuously look at other avenues and when they get it, they move on. Others qualified professionals stick to these jobs for two basic reasons… not getting what they want to do (a compromise to survive) and second reason is they really love this job.

And when this happens, they are actually hampering the chances of other suitable candidates but they are not be blamed because they simply don't have any other place to go !

All boils down to one thing whether you like it or not...… survival of the fittest (most qualified).

Sigma,
Thank you. My thoughts are always provoking me. ;)
No, the whole infrastructure has to be changed.. right from funds allocation, fund not reaching its destination to other things.

Tagged ?? Oh no, not again !! Have mercy on me. I already have 3-4 pending tags which are quite time consuming & I have decided to take them up later this year.

Ok, I’ll do this also but not anymore for the time being please.

Mumbai guy,
First, I welcome you to my blog.

#1 reason for people from rural areas not making up higher on education ladder is surrounding atmosphere.. That’s what I have written about ! Even if they want to do something in their life, they can’t.
On the other hand the kids who are not interested are forced to this system.

Btw, you have not contradicted anything here.

Thanks for your visit. Would like to see more of you here.

Cuckoo said...

Foolish,
What an interesting name you have !! Also your mail-id ! ROFL Oooops..

Welcome to my blog. Thanks for liking it. And thanks for the offer to link me.

Well, earlier I had linked some bloggers but now I don't link anyone to my blog.. the reason... my readership is increasing day by day whether I like it or not and it'll be really FOOLISH & CRAZY of me to link back all of them here. But I regularly check their blogs for updates & I think that is more than enough.

If you want, you can link me like many others have done without any obligations but sorry to say I won't be linking you back.

If you have really liked this blog, I'll see more of you here. :)

SiD said...

well... You are correct...
Actually being a poor country the main motive is to earn..so inspite our liking for a particular subject/field we are not encouraged to pursue it because it doesnt earn you money...well you can also say - why r we poor - no education... so it s a kind of vicious circle..
and the thing abt IT - u r very right both ways that they have made a 'mistake' if you can call it and they are trying to improve it... happening in my company too...

Pyare Mohan said...

nice post...

Firstly, the problem of education from the government is being sorted out. Primary education in Governmet schools are now free. I am not sure but even secondary education is free. Yes, the quality of education is a questionable issue.

The problem with our country is that we think we get value only if we pay through our noses. Also, we are the only country that burdens the children to study hard. Make them mug information. Imagine kids going for interviews for their kindergarten admissions.

Also, the children in our country are well-educated, but under informed. they are so unsure about what they want to do in life. Counselling for careers should probably begin three years befor the S.S.C exams. That will give enough time and awareness for choosing the right stream...

Many more views to write, but i will do that in a post...

Abhijeet said...

well here is how the cycle goes...indian middle class has certain fixed opinions on how to live ur life...step 1: slog hard from kindergarden till end of engineering/medicine/commerce (there are no other options according us)...get a job...work for 2-3 yrs...get married...buy that dream house...have kids and force the same ideals on them...very few ppl dare to be entrepreneurs...very few try to challenge their creativity...the end result- every1 is stuck in the rat race and those who win are still rats.i hope i made sense :)

Cuckoo said...

SiD,
Well, I wanted to write much more than what I have written but post would have become very large.

Yeah, it is a vicious circle. Everything boils down to survival in this huge country because of the competition we have... Demand & Supply. ..job security.. we have to take whatever we can get.

u r very right both ways that they have made a 'mistake' if you can call it and they are trying to improve it... Well, I think companies have realized that the same job can be done by 'lesser' qualified people for a lesser amount. So, in a way they are gaining from this move. But then what will happen to the over qualified people, I fail to convey at this moment.

Cuckoo said...

PM,
Primary education in Government schools are now free… I don’t agree to it. Not 100% free. As far as I know parents still have to shell out around Rs 360/- per annum on various things and that is a big amount for a daily wage earner.

And on quality of education ? Wait for my post.. if I have time & mood I’ll write about a reality that I came to know sometime back.

Imagine kids going for interviews for their kindergarten admissions…That’s what I wrote about !

Yeah, I also wanted to write everything but then post would have become very large. I’ll do it in smaller posts. Waiting for your post as well !

Abhijeet,
Welcome again.
Yes, you are right. It is happening because of lack of enough jobs in our country (credit goes to our population). So, whoever is better qualified in terms of degrees (not in terms of skills) gets the job whereas the job should have gone to some other more skilled person.

Hence, parents are forcing the children to take up those subjects which would fetch them a job. Simple. :)

Alok said...

padhai likhai has never been my department, so can't say for sure.
baki to, jo aapne likha hai thik he hona chaiye :)

Cuckoo said...

Alok,
Aap padhai likhai nahi karte to kya karte hain NMIMS mein ? And I can see your comment at 3:30 AM. Late night partying ? ;)

jo aapne likha hai thik he hona chaiye.. Don't be so confident about me. Right or wrong don't know but these are MY views. That's all I can say.

SM said...

Hey Cuckoo,you have very well written this.I have always considered this problem because of the lack of parents directions and their guidance.They need to be more involved in their kids career,even if the kid is studying in a "do-rupayaa" school.

Keshi said...

Great post. U think alot and very smart too.

Problem lies in the attitude of people. No matter how much education a system provides, the economy doesn't benefit unless the attitude of ppl changes. Maybe they need to teach that in schools?

Keshi.