Growing up, I have witnessed a few things which have made me question the quality of education in this country; especially Primary and Secondary education.
In short, schools in India generally suck. They are more profit-making machines rather than a place to impart quality education to students. Moreover, the quality of teachers, especially in the Primary and Secondary education scene is very low.
I have studied in almost 9 schools from Class I to Class XII. I can say without doubt that most teachers did not teach for the joy of teaching, but rather to earn money. There’s no harm in that, apart from the fact that they are still expected to be good at their jobs; which mostly they are not.
One subject which I have seen teachers mostly suck at, is English. Apart from 2 teachers in my entire school life, none of the English teachers I have come across were good at their jobs. I have found myself arguing with my English teachers many times when I have felt that what they were saying is wrong. After a while, I realized that arguing is no use, as the teachers here, far from being open minded and appreciating feedback actually had huge egoes, which I hurt when I corrected them.
Unlike subjects like Science and Maths, if you learn languages incorrectly at a young age, you are unlikely to improve later on; you’ll be stuck with it for life. If there’s one teacher who doesn’t know proper English teaching a class of 50, he/she will produce 50 people who don’t know proper English later on in life.
This problem is not isolated to English/Hindi and other language subjects. Most teachers don’t know what they are doing and write things on the blackboard directly from the textbook or old notes and expect their students not to question what they are writing.
Also, I have recently seen students being told to take off their shoes outside the computer room, as their shoes might have “viruses” which would infect the computers. Also, a textbook as recent as 2010 still listed Pluto as a planet.
Why is the state of Education here so bad, when considering that the schooling here is much more expensive than the developed countries? The answer is “Jugaad”.
Indians have a long standing habit of relying on “Jugaad”, which is simply a way to get something done using means other than those which are proper. Mostly this would involve a monetary transaction, or pulling strings with someone high up in the system.
I have seen people I know graduate from full time B.Ed courses without attending a single class. These same people get jobs at nice schools using the same “Jugaad” technique; when it is clear that no self-respecting interviewer would have even interviewed them for more than 5 minutes. Also, these people don’t know basic English.
All this is very frustrating and makes me very angry; especially because I don’t know what I can do about it.