Education affects every aspect of our existence, including social, psychological, philosophical, and economic. It is a way to train people’s mind and enhance their skills to accustom to the changing world.
As we all are acquainted with the fact that education is one of the crucial factors on which a nation’s growth and progress is dependent. Therefore, many developing countries’ primary concern is to achieve growth and development holistically by prioritizing the education sector. This can only be accomplished if the seeds of education are planted at the proper time and in an appropriate manner. As a result, we can look up to the ways; the developed countries have prioritized the education and the health sector.
If we look at the policies of some of the developed countries, we can see that the countries which have placed a stronger emphasis on education have been performing well in other sectors too. So definitely, education is the key to success for every nation.
We live in a highly competitive world, and this is due to the fact that we are more globally connected than ever before. As a result, an automatic comparison is set in every field. In this article, I will compare and contrast the educational systems of several countries with that of India. After going through lots of research available, I came to the conclusion that the Indian educational system has a lot more to learn.
Before we can evaluate our educational policies, we must first comprehend the primary goal of education. The major goal of education is to help people become more empathetic, compassionate, intellectual, and responsible members of society. Education is the ultimate key for upward social mobility. An increase in this mobility will definitely lead to the progress of society. Once the status quo changes, disparities will undoubtedly reduce in society.
When it comes to the world’s best education systems, countries like Singapore, Japan, China, Korea, and Finland have performed exceptionally well on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). While India’s result was disappointing, it taught us an important lesson: we must work hard to improve our performance on competency-based assessments, as reported by PISA-INDIA. Here, I have tried not to compare India to western countries for two reasons completely: first, the economic differences, and second, our cultural customs are entirely different. As a result, replicating anything from Western countries would be a significant risk. But I chose Finland as an example because there are a few things that we can learn from there.
With the New National Education Policy 2020, we have sought to compensate for the loss we have endured in the past years but putting this policy into complete practice remains a problem for various reasons. I’ll discuss some of those challenges here.
Countries like Singapore, Finland, and Korea allocate a big section of their budget for educational development, whereas we only devote about 6% of our overall budget. Isn’t too less for a densely populated country like India?
NEP 2020 includes vocational training programs at the school level, which is nearly impossible with such a budget as it requires proper infrastructure and well-trained professionals. The government needs to rethink budget allocation as for a nation with a massive youth population needs a good percentage amount for education.
In many rural areas, the country is still struggling to construct basic school structures, and new vocational training centers will require well-equipped infrastructure. India has always been praised for producing outstanding results with limited resources, but I believe we cannot compromise on education. Furthermore, when policies are followed by private or large schools, more like industries, all add-on facilities will undoubtedly be provided at a very high cost, whereas public school children will be left out, widening the gap between rich and poor and it will be a hindrance to upward social mobility. On the other hand, countries such as Finland have established an egalitarian educational system throughout the country to avoid this disparity. We cannot refute the fact that India, as a diverse country, cannot have such a system at the national level, but we can certainly attempt it at a lesser scale to see what happens.
The second issue is with the teacher’s training program. Countries like Finland and Singapore have set the bar for other countries because they have highly qualified teachers. The reason for this is, in these countries, teaching is not considered a backup option because it is a hard-earned, prestigious job, whereas, in India, it is deemed as a backup option, exhibiting the non-seriousness with which the job is taken. As a result, entrusting the most important work to unskilled hands means jeopardizing the nation’s future. Since independence, we have undoubtedly enhanced our teacher training programs. However, there is currently no formal regulation of the degrees that teachers receive or the universities that supply them. In many parts of India, the student still pursuing graduation are teaching as part-time teachers, which will definitely deteriorate the standard. We need more well-trained instructors who are equally passionate about their jobs as a solution to this problem. And, in order to obtain the best results, a teachers’ association should be formed so that they, too, can come up with challenges and solutions they encounter in their daily lives and strategies to avoid being exploited by the private institutions. Government should encourage foreign exchange programs for teachers to learn the techniques and methods to enhance their teaching skills. According to the study conducted by the Australian News Channel in 2015, Singapore schools engage topic expert instructors as early as grade three, and this will undoubtedly improve the outcome because the foundation will be stronger.
Finally, the teacher-to-student ratio is a major concern. Additionally, public school teachers are overburdened, which reduces their efficiency as a teacher. Teachers are diverted from their actual teaching tasks by distributing meals, school uniforms, preparing bank account details, processing school accounts, and so on. So to make teaching more effective, the government can create additional openings and create new departments for such duties. There will be an increase in the employment rate too. We can look up to Japan model were to reduce teachers pressure, they had provided extra services to students. The Japanese government has also tried making a holistic approach to education by making schools and communities work together.