Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Unravelling the mysteries of the education system!

Education! what is it? There is a need to first of all understand that education is more than just becoming literate. Many of the graduates i meet these days can probably communicate decently and read to a decent level, but the big question is can they comprehend the ideas and thoughts? Do they have the ability to read between the lines? I would like to see graduates who have technical skills that the market today demand or atleast have the self confidence to know that given the time and resources they can learn and adapt.

What goes into making such a product? This begins from the very first day at school. If you look at the curriculum upto the 10th standard, any subject is nothing more than english. If you are able to comprehend the English of a mathematical or a science question, the answer cant escape you provided that a certain level of common sense has been drilled into you. Language can be taught, there are proven methods for it. Common sense they say is not so common. I like to disagree. There are proven scientific tools of developing a childs mind to reason out well. These scientific tools topped with proper support from Teachers and parents can do wonders in boosting the confidence of the growing children. My personal experience is that self confidence can do wonders to a child's development. What I am discussing here are mere mortals, who can be decently productive in nation building. I fully agree that Geniuses who change the world come with natural gifts from heaven. I am talking about the mass, the many, the ordinary who can be make a difference in their own small ways.

As much thought that i like to given, with or with out policy support from the government, teachers are central to the development of a child. This leads to the understanding that there is a need for motivated teachers. Where do this motivated teachers come from? Social scientists more or less agree that a bare minimum financial incentive is vital for such motivation. The teachers in our country are given the highest entry level into the civil service, they are given some teaching allowance. I think this should suffice as the 'bare minimum' motivational financial requirement. The bare minimum motivational requirements being provided, why are the teachers still not performing? I think there is a lack of 'interested' teachers. Teaching like most professions are a function of the interest in the profession. Everyone of us have heard of exemplary teachers who despite the lack of resources have motivated the best of leaders. We need more of these people in our teaching system

All this being said, I think there is a need to set up a performance evaluation system for the teachers. This performance evaluation system should measure the effectiveness of teaching with feedback from students. Teachers who perform well should be rewarded handsomely with third country travels and recognition in national new papers. Teachers who perform extremely bad should be warned and similar repetition should lead to the termination of their service.

This is not a silver bullet answer to the many problems that our education system is facing, but one of the many possible means to revamp our education system.

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