Education- Some Issues Require Sibal’s Attention

Sibal has become the darling of media. As many surveys show, the countrymen expects him to succeed to reform the education sector that has remained prisoner under some very biased ministers for almost a decade or more. Here are some points that as individual, I would like him to include in his agenda for education sector:

Can Sibal get the education system rid of tuition and coaching that is spreading as monster in the country? Today almost 90% of the students of all levels take tuition and the trade, with many poorly qualified providers is flourishing unchecked in every corner of the country. And this tuition is only for passing or excelling in the examinations without much learning, the basic purpose of education. If the teaching is right, why should there be need of it?

Can at the school stage Sibal get rid of the load of backpack carried by the school going children creating even sometimes long term physical ailments? Why can’t the school have lockers?

Can Sibal see that any project work to be done at home will not be such that it becomes a project work for the parents or one will have to get it outsourced to professionals doing it?

Can Sibal and his government working for $10 laptop develop a device that can store the text books and serve also as exercise books for the students? For the next class, the students will have to get the text books of the new class loaded at some cost, but the hardware remains same.

Can Sibal assure of having more labs, creativity centres, presentation halls, playgrounds, studios, gardens and music rooms in every school? Will the model schools have them? India may need a million of them. Why the school should be permitted in residential areas with constraints of sufficient land?

Can Sibal get a basic course on agriculture at the secondary level as most of the drop outs from the rural area going to agriculture hardly get any formal knowledge of agriculture science and farming practices?

Can Sibal ensure that all students passing out class X are skilled in one basic trade, be it of mason, carpenter, electrician, barber, or cook?

Can Sibal get IITs and other government professional institutes to have sufficient capacities in its hostels to have single occupancy room? How can he justify a small room being shared by three persons?

Can the thesis for graduate, postgraduate and Ph.D be made less voluminous, original and compulsorily put on a web? Can he eliminate the professors taking undue advantages from the Ph.D candidates?

Can aptitude for teaching and research be made one of the main criteria for selection of candidates for M.Tech course in professional education?

Can Sibal advocate and arrange for a good enough differential in remunerations for the entry level for persons with M.Tech and Ph.D in comparison of those with just B.Tech qualification in the industry?

Can IITs and other institutes of excellence admit persons from industry with experience if they wish to get admitted instead of the regular way of admission through entrance tests?

Can Sibal improve the affectivity and efficiency of teaching? There is certainly some basic flaw in teaching that can’t make student speak, write, or understand English after learning it as a subject from class I to class XII or even up to BA standard. Similarly, ineffective teaching is keeping the students poor in the learning other subjects too, be it Hindi, science, or math.

India must aim to reform its education significantly at the grassroots, and those in authority to do that must first get ready to change their mindsets.

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