Skip to main content

Closed dogmatic approach must be replaced with new open education system which imparts knowledge

By Sheshi Babu
"Education is the simply the soul of society as it passes from one generation to another"
G. K. Chesterton

T. S. Eliot started his 'Wasteland' saying "April is the cruelest month..." ( 1. The burial of the dead). But, for the students from KG to PG, the 'cruelest month' starts in March itself. They have to not only prepare for the exams, but also be prepared to rewrite exam in the event of paper leak. This has become a common feature in India where even All India examinations which recruit employees for jobs have been leaked and the officials are left with impunity.
The whole exercise of examination, thus, becomes a commercial business market for making money. Even after exams are held, the student waits with scepticism as system of evaluation is not transparent and trust worthy. While those who write well have often been failed, some who do not write well receive higher grades. There is little transparency and those who opt for taking re- evaluation have to pay heavy fee for their paper re-correction.

Examination and intelligence

The present system is heavily dependent on exam results. One exam has the potential of measuring success. The chances of bright future depend on ' merit' measured by marks obtained. Thus, one has to be ' lucky' to get good marks. This is a lopsided evaluation of a student because his/ her performance on the particular day depends upon many factors, both internal and external. The person taking exam may suffer from il-health or depressed due to uncomfortable family conditions. Also, lack of transport may affect the performance. Sometimes, the question papers have wrong queries or out-of -syllabus questions. These make evaluation complicated.

Cut- off from reality

As Mao said, (On Education - conversation with Napalese Delegation of Educationists - 1964) " Our education is fraught with problems, the most prominent is dogmatism" and further said, "... The school years are too long, courses too many and various methods of teaching unsatisfactory. The children learn textbooks and concepts which remain ( merely) textbooks and concepts: they know nothing else..." The method of teaching is by injection and not through imagination.
Indian problem is no different than Chinese educational system. Right from pre- primary schools, the main concentration is on all India exams - whether engineering or medicine. There is rote learning and mugging up in every class. The studies of science subjects are far from practical application. Humanities are cut off from reality. Students are taught theory. They do not study people and their problems. This theoretical knowledge does not help in solving realistic problems.

Alternative system

Education must be able to drive students towards solving the problems of masses. The present system is suitable to cater to the service of few elite industrialists. While science, engineering and management graduates are running to take employment with big firms, there are no takers for the subjects like arts, literature or history. The overwhelming competition to study in prestigious colleges is leading to tension among students and a few corporate colleges are 'cashing -in' on student weak points. Papers are being leaked out and sold at huge prices.
This examination system must be reviewed. A holistic system which does not consider one day exam as a means of choosing higher studies must be developed. As Mao said, " ....the class struggle is your most important subject, and it is a compulsory subject" (Talks with Mao Yuan Hsin, July 5, 1964). Thus, political education is crucial for a student to work for masses.
Exams must be educative. They should test practical questions than theoretical ones. An evaluation of a student must consider grasp of concrete problems and creativity rather than grades and marks. Everyone should be allowed to study what he/ she likes with scientifically designed syllabus.
The young generation should be able to serve people rather than a few bourgeoisie elite and industrial tycoons. Earning money has become the sole objective of education and exams have become a means of earning wealth. Students knowledge is being evaluated by the 'correctness' and 'perfectness' in exams and not the ability to serve poor or proletariat and problems related to day- to-day life.
Present closed dogmatic approach must be dispensed with and a new open education system which imparts knowledge, assists in creativity and makes students feel relaxed and elated should be introduced.

Comments

TRENDING

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Australia least prepared to fight Hindu 'extremism', admits diaspora NGO group

Tiranga rally in Sydney: Cause of stir among diaspora By Our Representative  The Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence (AAAHAV) has said that Australia is “least prepared” to counter the allegedly “rising threat of Hindu far right extremism”. Calling upon politicians, federal and state governments to “urgently recognise the threat far-right Hindu extremism”, it asks “to take concrete steps to address this threat.”

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.