Tuesday, September 08, 2009

When will Indial Universities become as progressive as the world's best?

Many loved it, many hated it, many are apprehensive. The progressive change in the education system of India, making the 10th class board exam optional for CBSE students, has had all sorts of reactions from the people. The decision itself is difficult to judge, only time can tell us what good it can bring, but the intention and the will behind it is commendable. Trying to bring a change in the education system of the country is a good move from the government. It reflects flexibility on the part of a system which has often been criticized for being too rigid to accommodate new principles and ideas. The government which enjoys a good majority has shown that it is not afraid to take decisions which may challenge the norms and age old authoritative ideals (remember the government's support to the HC's ruling on Section 377?).
While the government is supporting progressive ideas across all sectors there are many sections of the Indian society that oppose these changes. Something as fundamental as the education system cannot be changed by changing the rules and regulations alone, it has to be incorporated into the social structure of the country as well. As long as money, job and a 'settled' life are the only motivations for a student in India there can be no ruling which can provide a change in the education system of this country. The force has to come from within the society and not from the bunch of people sitting in high offices behind tall pillars.
I say that the society has to drive the education system (and other 'systems' of importance) because it is impossible for a 'system' to change the society or even to provide a stable inspiration to drive that change. A progressive system can only sustain itself in a progressive society! I came across an interesting course offered by NUS (Singapore), 'Communications and New Media'. Consider the fact that 'New Media' has come to the mainstream very recently and most of the civilized world is yet to realize the real potential of this phenomenon and it has already found place in the course list of the university, has experienced professors guiding the students and has companies who are takers of the students graduating with that degree. This kind of progressive system can only exist in a progressive society, India, sadly, is far from it!

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