It is said that change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is imperative to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them.
In the past three decades, there have been some remarkable changes in the Indian education system. While many of these changes have been progressive, some have not.
Years go, there were only two streams of higher education – the arts and the sciences. Everyone who completed school had to enter either of these streams, as becoming a graduate was the only stepping stone to future employment. Before independence, higher education was limited to the elite. Hence, after freedom our country’s founding fathers rightly believed that providing the benefits of higher education for the maximum number of people was the only way to a resurgent economy. This led to the creation of large number of universities and colleges all over the country, so that huge masses would be educated. This intensity of higher education has continued till date.
All the social and pure sciences in the 60s and 70s were choc a block a number of students opting to study a particular subject only for the sheer love and curiosity for it. A degree in any stream was almost equally valued in the job market. However, things rapidly started changing in the 60s with industrialization and heavy investments in the health sector. A number of students began to opt for engineering and medical streams as a result of the increasing demands in these markets. In the 80s, the opening up of the economy led to an increasing popularity of the commerce stream.
Toady apart from the traditional courses, a number of professional courses too have become available to students. These courses have become extremely popular among students, assuring them of immediate placements. The instruction of such courses is a good step towards providing employment to students. Unfortunately the pure arts and sciences stream have been neglected in this process. A progressive society is one that offers a strong blend of professional and research oriented courses.
Educational institutions have become highly competitive in today’s times. Institutions are fiercely competing with each other to attract the best brains and are endeavoring to upgrade their infrastructure and provide modern facilities to students and teachers.
Today’s youth believes in being economically independent at a young age Hence, a number of students increasingly try to earn while they learn. The priority of some students today is to earn rather than focus on their education. It would therefore not inappropriate to say that the maxim has shifted from ‘earn as you learn’ to ‘learn while you earn’. This belied hassled students to work in call centers in the night and attend college in the day.
Apart from the education system, the attitude of students too has changed radically. Students nowadays, display great confidence a strong desire to succeed and are technologically savvy. This change in attitude has forced some changes in teaching patterns as well. Since information is at fingerprints of students, it becomes difficult to ensure their attendance in classroom. A teacher has now to go beyond the syllabus to provide that extra bit of information to retain full attendance. The chalk and duster method is now complemented with the use of computers in order to produce highly interactive and interesting aids to supplement teaching and learning. Presentations and projects have made learning practical and realistic. Concept theories can be made concrete and applicable through the use of technology.