India is revered for its education system and its highly qualified Human Resource, but the actual question is are the students actually educated and learned as marketed, or have they been trained to memorize everything without understanding the subject in question. Many institutions would disagree to the question of memorizing; a basic reason for this would be because they would lose face as education has become a competition where institutes can compete against each other so as to come out ahead, a reason for this is because today education has become more like a form of business and is no longer regarded as a means to a bright future.
Reasons for why the Indian education system can be seen as more of memorising and less understanding are:
- Less practical work:
Although students receive a lot of assignments and homework these cannot be seen as practical work, or a practical application of their studies as the assignments do not contribute much marks for the students overall grade, if the assignment only contributes for 2/4th of the students overall grade and the other 2/4th can be made up from attendance as well as maintenance of notes or extracurricular, the students are less likely to take the homework or assignment as something serious and would then just complete the assignment for the sake of not getting punished and no more. The assignments hence do not impart learning, but is regarded as a means to avoid punishment or receive a bad review from their respective teacher or lecturer.
The thing about homework within an Indian educational institution is also advertised by some teaching staff as a means to finishing their portions quickly for practical subjects like mathematics, accounts, economics etc. It is because of this the students do not treat homework as practice or a way to understand better but just as another chore given by the institution
- Textbooks, handouts, notes……
Some teachers and lecturers take less efforts to impart knowledge to students and hence just casually refer textbooks to students, if not they then provide Xerox copies of handouts, or a series of notes for the students to write and memories for later. It is usually because the teachers or lecturers show no interest in the subject, hence arriving to class lazily and take the least effort in teaching the students and spend more time in providing references for the students. How are students expected to show interest and learn? Students just view this behaviour and assume that the subject in question is of little importance and hence tend to not understand and study it but more or less memorize all the referee notes.
- Extra credit learning courses
Indian institutions do not really provide for some actual extra credit learning courses, instead things such as “fests” are introduced as they are viewed as more experiential and more related to an actual work environment. Agreeably fests are good and they do give students good experience but this does not necessarily promotes learning. Students do learn things from fests and experience a far more vast range of things, they may build character and boost confidence but at the end of the day character and confidence do not really prove you are a learned person.
Courses such as cooking, photography, fine arts or visual arts, etc. should be provided as optional-additional credit courses, reasons being if the student is given the choice and feels like he/she has the choice to choose try are more likely to work harder for the subject, furthermore these courses are simple and a good way to relax for some students when the work load or stress from studies become to hard. Furthermore these are actual courses that require proper learning and are possible good ways to break the memorising habit the students have been thought to develop.
Damien N. Sangma