Indian Education System – an insider’s view

Indian students are generally forced to choose between one of the two fields – engineering or medical. “3 Idiots” is an Indian movie which has depicted this fact beautifully. One of the dialogues in that movie goes like this – “My father wants to know the sex of the unborn child as he wants to know whether there will be an engineer in the house or a doctor. If it’s a boy, he will be an engineer and if it’s a girl, she will be a doctor”. Although it might sound funny to people who are not used to statements like these, believe me, when I say that it’s one of the most commonly-held sentiments in an average Indian family.

The general view of the masses is that only an engineer/doctor can bring prosperity to the house. People (especially boys) who want to pursue a life in arts/humanities are typically termed “losers” and in order to succeed, they not only have to compete against their peers but the society (social stigma) as well. Considering the fact that India is the second most populous country in the world, one does not need the brains of an Einstein to figure out the immense cut-throat competition that a child has to go through to survive the first twenty years of his/her conscious existence.

However, there is a positive side to this as well. The individual who comes out of this highly pressurized system is ready to face any challenge that is thrown at him/her. Irrespective of the stream that he/she has followed, once he/she emerges successfully out of this “system”, he/she becomes an asset to the company/firm that he/she joins. He/She can hold his/her own against the toughest of opponents and the hardest of situations. It would not be wrong to say that he/she is the “coal” that has metamorphosed under immense pressure and strain to become what the world cherishes – a “diamond”. Thus, although this kind of an “education” system might be unbalanced and painful for those in it, in the long run, it does benefit the individual, in particular and the society at large.

5 thoughts on “Indian Education System – an insider’s view

  1. Great post. It is always fascinating to hear about education and cultural expectations in other countries. It makes me think… are there other ways to get the positive consequences without losing so many in the process?

    • Thanks for your comment Adam.

      I consider it to be one of the toughest challenges that the modern educators will face – trying to maximize the positives while keeping the negatives to a minimum. I believe the secret lies in educating the masses from the grass-root level onwards, because (especially for a country like India) its the society and the family who have a big impact on a child’s view of life. What do you think ?

    • Thank you for your comments, Koyal Rastogi.

      I believe the story is not very different in the management sector. Apart from the difference that the students pursuing management degree are graduates and the pressure for doing a management course comes mainly from peers (and not from family), the outcome is very similar.

      Nowadays 7/10 engineers who graduate want to go for a management degree. For some its their goal in life, so they have a higher success rate; for most others, it is the lure of money. I have seen a lot of people who are not cut out for a “management life” pursue it relentlessly because most of his colleagues were doing so. Its more of a “craze” and the idea of being “recognized” and “accepted” that drives most of the budding managers. I don’t say pursuing a life in management is bad, but I do feel that its not made for everybody and the sooner the individual realizes it, the better for him/her.

  2. India is a country and land of colors, chaos, coexistence, traditions. India is truly a part of cultural society.
    India is on the way to progress, but Indian education system need some concentration from upper authority. Otherwise India is beauty.
    Thanks for this post.

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