By Dr Sarjana Bhatia
After a 34 year-long wait, we finally welcome the most important and much-needed educational reforms. Isn’t it astonishing that we very often gauge our intelligence and caliber by our grades in the board exams? Whopping cutoffs of 99% for the universities is no joke. In spite of the brilliant results in board exams, it is noticeable that many students fail to cope with the high standards of college curricula. Our country is suffering from a high rate of unemployment and deserving students are forced to settle for much less. With nearly an average of about 90% students passing this year in the exams, India has roughly about 37% of the illiteracy rate in the world. Shouldn’t these statistics be ringing alarm bells in our heads? In the era when we are talking about India being the future super power and with the current government’s vision of ‘Make in India’, ’Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and the emphasis on startups, innovation, research and development programmes, our present education system is inappropriate and has required much needed reforms.
A good education system is the foundation on which great nations have been built. A sound education is the key that provides persons with the ability to comprehend the need of the hour and use their discretion to work towards the development of the country. The majority of the population falls under the unskilled labour category and the pandemic has made it very evident how aggrieved the migrant laborers are in India. Introduction of short-term technical diploma courses to turn them into skilled professionals would be a welcome step. It would not only enhance their cognitive power but also provide them with some sense of confidence and better job opportunities. It is high time we realise now that marks are not the ultimate parameter to determine how good we are and how successful we can be. Practical application of our knowledge into our daily life would be the right way of utilising it. A paradigm shift from a theoretical method of bookish knowledge to more of practical and application-based programmes is what would help the masses to a greater extent. Since the COVID-19 crisis has made us realise how much our health sector needs immediate attention, a reform in the long drawn and much challenging years of life that the doctors spend to become fully equipped to serve the people needs refurbishing, too. As rightly mentioned by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I’m glad that we are finally ready to bring about some change in one of the major sectors in the country.