One Important Reform can Change Indian Education System
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For decades Indian education system is suffering for various reasons. However, one factor which has caused maximum damage is the influence of English at all levels. Even toddlers are forced to not only learn English but they have to converse in English, in schools and also at home. This trend continues in schools, colleges and then in the universities and institutions of specialized education. With passage of time the number of such institutions has been increasing and the guardians have to pay hefty sums of money for admission and to get their wards educated in those institutions. Families from affluent sections of society do not face problem in meeting the expenses. Actually they encourage such institutions to maintain their privileged positions generations after generations in the society.
But middle & lower middle class families have to cut on various necessary expenses to meet the demands of such institutions. But in the race to climb the 'Ladder' they do that. As far as the poor are concerned, they never dream to send their wards in those institutions. Result is that a wide gap has been created in education facilities available to the poor of the country and others. Children from poor families are sent to only those schools, colleges etc. where there are practically no facilities. They have to sit on ground or on broken benches. Please see the photo. Also, the teachers are not paid what they should. As a result only those who have no other opportunity join those institutions as teachers. Net result is that, leaving exceptions aside, students from the poor families never rise to occupy higher positions in the society. Also, because of the low standard of education, students of those institutions suffer from inferiority complex right from beginning and that syndrome remains for ever.
This gap can be filled in one stroke. If English is completely removed from the Indian education system, all those so called premium institutions will lose their edge and these 'Business-houses' will have no takers. In this regard I would like to refer to the recent event "Gyan Sangam", held in New Delhi. Two-day national workshop was held by the RSS-backed initiative called Prajna Pravah. Main speaker was the RSS chief Shri Mohan Bhagwat. Over 721 academicians and experts including 51 Vice Chancellors of various central and state universities attended the workshop. Idea behind the event was to brainstorm over how to make Indian education more oriented towards 'Bharatiya perspectives' and to exclude the dominance of westernized education. That seems to be impossible till English remains the medium of instruction in the country.
To replace English as medium of instruction at all levels the ideal choice will be Sanskrit. No region will have objection in that regard as historically Sanskrit has been the prevalent and accepted language of entire India. Only under the influence of foreign rulers Sanskrit was replaced by other languages.
One big benefit will be that education of the same type will become affordable to all. Another benefit will be that the Indian lifestyle and traditional culture etc. which are losing fast to the western influences will become relevant once more. The crumbing family structures may become strong, the imitated western way of life resulting in artificiality will become irrelevant and there will be no fascination left for that kind of blind imitation of Western culture.
This change will also stop 'Brain Drain'. Because of extraordinary dominance of English, students passing out from premium institutions in India, who get education at the expense of poor tax payers money, leave the country on the first occasion. They serve the interests of other nations and totally ignore India. In fact most of them desert their families too. Once, if English is removed from education system, there will be no takers for the so called 'Bright" Indians in other countries. There are examples of so many countries in the world where best minds work for their own society. They do not migrate just to earn more money, finally turning into 'cheap labour'.
Hon'ble Prime Minister and the Minister for Human Resource Development need to consider this change and implement it with immediate effect. To have easy transformation, the new policy may be implemented in three or four stages starting at the lowest level and moving upwards. That will allow sufficient time for development of infrastructure like teachers, text books, reference books etc. in Sanskrit. But everything should be done in time bound manner. Otherwise the vested interests will sabotage the initiative.
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