EDUCATION SYSTEM IN INDIA- HIGH SCHOOL
In India, high school is a grade of education which includes Standards VII to X. Standards XI to XII called as Higher Secondary School or Senior Secondary School or Junior college. Some states refer to Standards IX and X as High School, while XI and XII are termed as Intermediate. Other states refer to VI, VII, VIII, IX and X (grades 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) as Secondary school and XI and XII (grades 11 and 12) as Senior Secondary School. Usually, students from ages 14 to 18 study in this section. These schools may be affiliated to national boards like Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) or National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) or various state boards. There were only 20 universities and 500 colleges in the Indian subcontinent (including Bangladesh and Pakistan) in 1947, the year of Indian independence. Now there are about 376 universities and 17,700 colleges in India only, many with world class physical infrastructure. Many private research institutes are also coming up on a regular basis. The only Nobel prize for India (Indian citizen at the time of the award) in science for C. V. Raman (1930, University of Calcutta) also came in that era. We also had many world class scientists during that time (e.g Satyen Bose, J. C. Bose, Homi Bhaba etc). Now India is the second fastest growing in the world and third largest economy in Asia with huge budget in so-called education and research. But we do not have any world class scientist (who has a slightest chance to get Nobel Prize in science) in India or abroad (as per a survey published in a reputed Bengali magazine, “Desh”, sometime ago).
We see huge uproar when previous government wanted to “introduce accountability” in some elite institutes like IIM or IITs but we never see a fraction of that excitement among educated middle class people or our political masters to reform primary and secondary education although our primary and secondary education system, the backbone of our country, is in a pathetic shape. Our middle class people, who can not afford to send their kids abroad but dream to have a better, more powerful and comfortable life for their kids do not allow any meaningful reform of primary and secondary education since independence.
Our current education system selectively discards talented students with inquisitiveness, ability to ask questions and dream to do something challenging, something better for the society. Now we only produce private tuition and coaching enabled, mugging-up grade technicians who are great to do routine jobs (as in IT or BT) or imitating others (mainly true for Indian R&D sector in any branch of science and in any industry), but not capable of doing original research, despite of having many world class physical infrastructure, huge budget and some so-called “elite” institutes. My recent experience with many graduate students form some high profile Indian institutes/universities indicate that the trend to emphasize on database type knowledge, quiz type information and fascination with techniques (not science as such) are still highly prevalent. No wonder India is among the least innovative nations in the world. Quality of Indian science education and research is going down at an alarming rate since independence, despite of huge increase in funding (1, 2, 3 and Balaram, P. (2002). Science in India: Signs of Stagnation. Current Science 82, 193-194.). We need to invest much more and have an intensive and proper supervision of primary and high school education than wrongly focusing on higher education and research at the top level, at this time. Recently passed Right to education bill is a step towards the right direction. But here again we need to remember that many such great policies hardly achieve anything in reality and only limited within government files and the money ends up in the pockets of few selected people. Whatever money we...
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