The Holistic Approach is the Need of the Hour, as the Indian Education System nears Stagnation!

Holistic Approach | Indian Education System | 05th November 2022 | Virtual Wire



Imbued with stringent academic parameters, our education system has increasingly placed us on the pedestal of complete disarray.

Failing to comply with the vision of the present century, which demands purpose-driven and committed individuals, has cast aspersions on the educational integrity of our youth. With students, now earning stellar grades in schools or even national-level examinations, to accomplish narrow dreams of getting into premier institutions, the very foundation of an “all-rounded”, the approach is gradually eroding for the worse. Perhaps this failure to secure the educational needs of all citizens, also generates a profound sense of unreasonable inequality, flustering hopes of the rather neglected yet vibrant minds, who thereby seek refuge abroad.

Present context and the growing issue of brain drain


Taking into consideration, the very pretext of the Ukrainian crisis, a lopsided image has been conveyed to the people. With the government in the driver’s seat, rescuing stranded Indians, people seem to be confronted with several critical questions, questions which have baffled us for years, but we have been too feeble to realize them. Firstly, “Is our country incompetent to realise the unique potentialities harnessed by individuals, who may otherwise fail to live up to academic requirements ?”, and secondly, “ Does this accentuate the problem of “brain drain”? Well, to my mind, the horizon appears to be quite clouded.

Indeed a very quantitative legacy or what we call “marks”, has been ingrained into academic endeavours. Subsequently, the pursuit of excellence has taken a back seat. Often a metaphorical reflection of the same as portrayed by the beaming character of “Ranchoddas Chanchad” from “3 Idiots”, epitomises the aforementioned statements, and how such instances subtly point out the blemished academic prospects of our country. Brain drain is a process whereby our lively and dynamic youth, wooed by the brighter prospects on foreign shores, tend to shun all sorts of ties with their parent country. This has been highly pertinent to India’s disadvantage, and seemingly a by-product of these everlasting flaws. The practice of accepting the wider shades of an individual has been in existence across different parts of the world. However, the same has failed to trickle down into the Indian educational context.

Lack of alternative skillsets and various strands of social issues


As I mentioned at the very outset, the fact that in view of increasing dependence on rather “quantitative calibre”, a void has been left in the ability to be more proactive and forthcoming. Conjuring up new skill sets to succeed in one’s own career prospects, as is the case abroad, has developed into a significant challenge for the youth of India. Apart from those swayed by brain drain, a fair share of students lacking these skill sets fail to make an edge in their future endeavours. It is imperative to understand this very term of “skillset”, and how it significantly differs from our notions of extra and co-curricular activities. Now, there are two aspects to this. Firstly, by skillsets, we mean a range of activities performed outside the curricular walls, for the enhancement of the productive efficiency of an individual in the longer run, which could also complement his/her professional/academic commitments. Extra or co-curricular on the other hand, refer to the advancement of the same but more on a generalised level, and on a more specific instance, fail to complement the long-term aspirations of an individual. However, they do foster the objective of a “ complete and holistic individual”.

Secondly, unique skills may/may not pertain to one’s own course or profession, but appear to be convergent and facilitate the smooth understanding of the nuances of the trade. Moreover, extracurriculars may fill the void of an individual’s holistic profile, but fail to steer the individual to a path of academic constancy. This very aspect has given rise to issues of unemployment, which has given us sleepless nights. Several professional institutions, in view of the changing professional environment, demand alternative skills to prepare individuals for the challenges of the present century. Consequently, the problem of unemployment has increased, as several lacks such unique shades to their academic prospects. Rote learning and bookish knowledge have proved to be perilous in the modern era. Consequently, we have an influx of online networks such as Coursera and Udemy coming up, that convey the nuances of the trade.

The present trend of Privatization and eroding of the reputation of tradition


As a by-product of the “ New Educational Policy, 2020”, we witness a plethora of private institutions modelled on the educational requirements abroad, coming up in huge numbers. Ashoka University, OP Jindal Global University, Shiv Nadar University, and Symbiosis are some of the eminent ones, to name a few. Notwithstanding, the quality of education these institutions bring to the table, the financial quotient has always been a challenge for several. Moreover, even if the cost of education is taken care of through scholarships, others associated with residence/hostels and miscellaneous costs add on to the burden.

Despite these pitfalls, there has been a systematic lowering in the existing reputation of our popular universities. Delhi University, earlier known for its skyrocketing cutoffs in the twelfth standard, has had to adopt the entrance-based method of “CUCET” for various courses even at the UG level. However, the present trend of moving towards the entrance-based system promotes a negative coaching culture as seen in cases of JEE and NEET, thereby completely neglecting the high school profile. Therefore, the need of the hour for our age-old universities is to change and broaden the way they go about evaluating an individual, to cope with the present challenges, in order for the system to refashion itself on the anvil of the modern era.

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