Learner’s Park: Current education system in India is focused on theoretical knowledge, says Tapan Kumar Nayak of Jaipuria School of Business

The current education system in India is heavily focused on theoretical knowledge, and thereby lacks in employability and practical skills.

The quality of education depends heavily on the quality of teachers.
The quality of education depends heavily on the quality of teachers.

Tapan Kumar Nayak, dean academics and professor of Economics at Jaipuria School of Business, shares his views on opportunities and challenges of the education system in India with FE Education Online.

What is the best thing about today’s education system?

One of the best things about the Indian education system today is its focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. There is a growing emphasis on teaching these subjects across the educational institutions, helping students to prepare for the 21st-century workforce and careers in emerging industries such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and renewable energy.

Further, the Indian education system is witnessing an increasing availability of online learning platforms and digital resources. Institutions across the country have started using online learning tools and platforms to supplement traditional classroom instruction, making education more accessible and flexible for students. Besides, the Indian education system has a rich cultural heritage and a diverse range of languages and traditions. This is reflected in the curriculum, which includes subjects such as history, literature, and the arts, and celebrates India’s rich cultural diversity. Emphasis on cultural education helps students develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of India’s rich cultural heritage and prepares them to be responsible and engaged citizens of the country.

What is the one thing you would like to change in the system?

There are several areas where the Indian education system can be improved:

Emphasis on practical & employability skills: The current education system in India is heavily focused on theoretical knowledge, and thereby lacks in employability & practical skills. To prepare students for the real world, it is important to integrate more skill-oriented practical applications into the curriculum.

Teacher’s training: The quality of education depends heavily on the quality of teachers. Therefore, there is a need for better teacher training programs to equip teachers with modern teaching techniques and skills to engage students.

Reduction in rote learning: The Indian education system places a lot of emphasis on rote learning, which encourages students to memorize information without understanding the concepts behind it. There is a need to promote conceptual understanding of subjects.

Accessibility and equity in education: Despite the Indian government’s efforts to promote education for all, there is still a significant gap in access to education. Poor gross enrolment ratio is seen particularly in rural areas. There is a need for more investment in infrastructure and resources to ensure that all students have access to education with enhanced quality.

What is the role of digital in the evolution of the education system?

The digital revolution has had a significant impact on the Indian education system, particularly during the covid-19 pandemic and even after the pandemic. Here are some ways in which digital technology has influenced the evolution of the Indian education system:

Increased access to education: Digital technology has made education more accessible to people across the country. Online learning platforms have enabled students to access educational resources and take courses from anywhere in the country and the globe.

Personalized learning: it has also enabled personalized learning experiences, where students can learn at their own pace and according to their own interests. Online learning platforms can adapt to the individual needs of students, providing them with customized learning experiences.

Collaborative learning: Digital technology has enabled collaborative learning experiences, where students can collaborate with each other and their teachers in real-time, regardless of their physical location.

Interactive learning: Digital technology has made learning more interactive and engaging. Educational apps, videos, and simulations can make learning more fun and immersive, leading to better retention of information.

Efficiency and cost-effectiveness: Digital technology has made education more efficient and cost-effective. Online courses can be delivered to large numbers of students simultaneously, reducing the cost of education and making it more accessible to people from all socio-economic backgrounds.

What has been the disadvantage of digital in education?

Digital empowerment has a double-edged sword effect. There have been several disadvantages of digital technology in the Indian education system. Here are some of the most significant ones:

Digital Divide: One of the biggest challenges in India is the digital divide between urban and rural areas. While students in urban areas have access to high-speed internet and technology, those in rural areas may not have access to basic facilities like electricity, let alone computers and the internet.

Lack of Infrastructure: Even in urban areas, many schools lack the necessary infrastructure to support digital learning. This includes a lack of computers, projectors, and high-speed internet connectivity etc.

Teacher Training: Many teachers in India have not been adequately trained to use digital technology in the classroom. This can make it difficult for them to effectively incorporate technology into their lessons and to support their students in using digital tools.

Quality of Digital Content: While there is plenty of digital content available online, much of it may not be of high quality or may not be tailored as required. This can make it difficult for teacher and students to find relevant and engaging digital resources

What is the career advice would like to give to students

The major challenge which has been faced by the digital natives is the flood of information from different sources and they are quite unable to grasp at first hand and convert the information into understanding. Therefore, a collaborative effort is needed to guide and mentor the current generation to be more focused and choose the right knowledge to sustain in the VUCA world. Some specific suggestions are as follows:

Gain practical experience: In addition to formal education, gaining practical experience through internships or part-time jobs can help you build valuable skills and make you more competitive in the job market.

Build your professional network: Building a strong professional network can help you access job opportunities and gain valuable insights into your chosen field. Attend industry events, connect with professionals on LinkedIn, and consider joining professional associations.

Develop your soft skills: Soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving are highly valued by employers. Focus on developing these skills through extracurricular activities, volunteering, or leadership roles.

Be open to new opportunities: Your career path may not always be linear. Be open to exploring new opportunities and taking on new challenges that may arise throughout your career.

Specialize in an area of interest: Management education offers a variety of specializations. It’s important to choose a specialization that aligns with your interests and career goals. This will help you develop in-depth knowledge and expertise in a particular area.

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First published on: 01-04-2023 at 11:00 IST
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