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Do we need reforms in education?

Indian education system has become outdated today. Experts say that even though the country has a large quantity of workforce, it lacks the skill to fulfill the needs of the industry. Rapid advancement and technological progress has brought a sea change in the way today’s world functions. What seemed better yesterday becomes outdated today. This is happening because everyday some new innovation is happening and technological experts keep on adding new features for improving an existing product and service.

India’s education system has often been criticized for being more theory oriented which fails to provide any practical exposure to a student. The student studies what is being taught in the text books, clears the examination with good marks and feels that his job is done. With a degree in hand, he tries to search for a job but fails to understand the ground realities. These days’ companies are looking for candidates with specific skill sets which can fulfill their long term requirements.

HR experts say that even though they receive plenty of resumes for a job opening, very few get shortlisted as most of the candidates lack the relevant skill sets required for the job. So it’s a problem of employability and not the lack of jobs. Even after having several openings in the technological and IT sector only 10 per cent candidates were found to be employable. To make matters worse, candidates lack soft skills and etiquette communication and correspondence skills, a mandatory requirement for these jobs.

So has the education system become too outdated with the changing times? Has the sector, failed to keep pace in tandem with the booming technological sector. The answer is yes. Experts say that educational system has always been under the control of politicians and been a victim of red tapism and bureaucracy. What can you expect from a sector, where there is too much political interference which hampers its growth? When it comes to education, merit takes a backseat and money and power are the frontrunners.

Meritorious candidates don’t pursue teaching as a career as the sector pays minimal salaries as compared to other sectors. Hence they end up taking a job with some blue chip or prefer an overseas assignment. This practice hampers the educational system which creates an acute shortage of trained manpower for the education sector. Moreover, there are several vacancies in the colleges and educational institutions. The government too is not keen on filling up these vacancies since they hire professors on contract basis which only act as a makeshift arrangement.

Secondly the entry of private sector in the educational system too has created several problems. Education has become commercialized as private institutes charge lumpsum fees thereby creating troubles for the common man who are unable to bear this burden. Most of them lack adequate faculty members for teaching professional subjects. Their main objective is to mint money out of the students.

So is there a way out. Can the education system be reformed to meet the needs of the industry? The need of the hour is to reform the educational system and make it relevant with the changing times. A regulator with an independent charge must be appointed to oversee the operations of this sector. There must not be any political interference in running the day to day operations of the sector. The government must only frame policies and work in the interest of students at large.

The educational sector must work in tandem with the industry. A committee must be appointed to work along with the industry and to study the changes happening there. Syllabus must be prepared by consulting the industry and it must updated regularly according to the needs of the industry. Emphasis must be laid on giving practical-oriented education to the students. Theoretical knowledge must be supported by industrial visits, project work and assignments etc. After the completion of their studies, students must get some practical exposure of the industry which will help them to face the challenges of the future. This will help the students in the structured thinking as a result of this; they will become problem solvers and decision makers.

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