College education system was started to give students a direction to plan their careers. Responsible in providing the skills and knowledge required to pursue the concerned career, it is regarded as a crucial phase in the development of an individual.
The Indian college education system is the third largest in the world with courses and syllabi offered as unique, profound and well-renowned. However, there has been a raging debate over the years that this system has been marred by a snail pace of reforms and is not at par with its peers across the globe.
So, what are the shortcomings and where are we lacking?
Firstly, Indian colleges have faced, and continue to face flak when it comes to infrastructure and staff requirements. There is a certain dearth of well-equipped infrastructure and upskilled faculty because of the lack of funds. While some change was seen in the run up to the Commonwealth games, with development funds being released for college’s expected to host events, there was nothing which was ‘developed’ as such. These same colleges are now left with half constructed lift shafts and scarred playing fields.
Secondly, colleges in the west constantly press on practical modules and power point presentations, which is almost non-existent in our system. The resulting system makes western students well rooted in natural sciences like physics, chemistry, zoology, etc. Our college education is more about cramming the notes provided by the professors and referring the prescribed books. In the long run, theoretical knowledge does not serve much relevance and one requires practical experiences to start and propel themselves in any career.
Thirdly, many courses are an extension or infact, a repetition of what the students had studied in the eleventh and twelfth standard. Such courses do not provide any fresh or additional knowledge to the student and the pupil looks at the whole curriculum as a waste.
Fourth, our education system follows semester or annual exam system, while, in the western countries, colleges hold regular quizzes, field assignments, debates and surveys, which keep the students on the toes and tests them on their aptitude and ability, time and again. Such a system keeps the students engaged and makes learning more interesting, while, in India, a student is supposed to study at the end of the semester and give exams on the basis of the mugged-up notes.
Last but not the least, engineering and medical careers rule the roost in the preferred choices of career, side-lining research opportunities in general sciences. Our education system doesn’t reflect a student’s inner feelings, aspirations and ambitions. Low scorers are relegated in the market and society largely depends on mere certificates displaying high marks and good grades, irrespective of how the knowledge has been attained. It leaves hardly any scope for explorations and research in the science field.
Many of our colleges, especially the ones which are government funded, desperately need a better infrastructure, well-qualified faculty, practice and research based curriculum and activities that provide a platform of opportunities to the students so that they can discover themselves in the work field.
So, should we cancel college education in India? Well, this is a much debatable question but, it definitely requires certain alterations and amendments.