The Great Indian Education Revolution: 4 reforms that are urgently needed in the school education in India


2 min read

School education India has been a topic of debate amongst policymakers and scholars for years. Where many neuroscientific studies have been putting emphasis on the fact that each child is unique, and learn through different methods and at a different pace, schools continue to follow a standard, one-size-fits-all approach even today. Apart from introducing some basic technologies in the classroom, what we are teaching to children hasn’t much changed through the centuries, even though the world has evolved dramatically around us. With radical diversification happening in the world, at a surged pace, schooling continues to be restricted to the old school method (pun intended).

Going by the recent studies and papers, here are 4 areas which schools need to start focusing on right off so as to create more competent, aware, and well-rounded individuals.

Shift focus away from marks

The examination process in India is highly flawed and promotes rote-learning more than an understanding of the concepts. Rather than focusing on how much marks a student scored based on what they remember at the end of the term, students should be assessed throughout the term, basis their grasp of the subject, so that teachers can identify the gaps and work with each student accordingly.

A country that identifies and takes pride in being a diverse nation, fails to account the very idea when it comes to nurturing the minds and the future of the country, rather has adopted a common ground - which isn’t just by any approach.

Practical learning - beyond the book curriculum

There is an urgent to revise the style of mainstream teaching in schools, all across the country. Textbook learning is apathetic in its process, and education needs to go beyond it. What classrooms need are real-time examples that the students relate to and are themselves concerned about. It’s extremely crucial for educators today to teach the students about the world, and impart life skills along with the curriculum so they are adept to handle situations efficiently later in their lives and career.

There’s also important to encourage extracurricular activities that reiterate values like collaboration, respect, focus and discipline, which are essential for children to grow as better human beings.

Diversification of subjects

While professional opportunities are multiplying by the day, every day you come across unheard work profiles which didn’t even exist till a few years ago. Yet, the subject options available in schools today still cater only to the basics of traditional job requirements. With digital being the mainstream today, we need to prepare students for what will be naturally expected of them once they join the workforce. The system needs to open up accordingly and alter the current set of subjects and courses to keep up with the digital world. Also, from early on students need to made aware of the different fields they can delve into, and prepare them for it at the nascent stage. Apart from this, every school should compulsorily have career council cells that can tie to time guide students on the right path.

Mental Health and Sex Education

“India is facing a serious mental health crisis, with an estimated 56 million people suffering from depression and 38 million from anxiety disorders.” - World Health Organisation.

“India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world, with 2.1 million people living with HIV.” - UNAIDS, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

The matters of mental and sexual health continue to be taboo in our society even after being identified as the two of the biggest threats to health and well-being in the country. The stigma and shame prevent schools from bringing up the subjects in the classroom, leading to a lack of awareness in students. Today, let alone students, even adults do not know what amounts to mental and sexual harassment, and live in trauma without taking any step against their perpetrators. Students are not made aware of their rights, they aren’t educated on what’s right and what’s wrong without the unsolicited moral policing, which results in degraded mental health and increase in the number of venereal disease cases. Classrooms need open discussions on these issues to strip off the stigma around them. Hence, schools should look at educating and normalizing these matters in order for students to comprehend these with an open mind and act responsibly later.

What do you think should change in the school education system? Do share your views here.

Himanshu Bhalla