Probably I support the reform for cancellation of board exams in X only
• Because my concern is on the emotional dynamics of students
• Because the purpose of basic education program is lost in the race for higher marks.
• And majorly because of the meaningless examination system that we have in our country.
Demand & Supply
I am not pessimistic to say that the entire system is hopeless. If we have gained the image as ‘a pool of skilled people in IT’, it is only because our system accommodated for it. I appreciate our proactive system that enhanced the image of Indian suitability for employment in US. But the problem also started from that image. Every student and parent wanted that image. The demand for that image has been answered with a supply.
The Great Indian Hype for %
The hype for percentages and the scramble for seats in professional or degree colleges is only because we have few quality institutions and too many aspirants. The institutions too, resort to some selection criteria as they cannot accommodate everybody.
In case of degree colleges higher percentages in intermediate or Grade 12 is the criteria but in case of engineering colleges the race is endless. While preparing for 12th boards they have to prepare for entrance exams too that would follow soon after the boards. BITSAT EAMCET IIIT FIITJEE AI IIIT ......the list has many more!
Thus started the game of backward integration
Higher percentages in qualifying exams
Followed by institutions that offered coaching for these entrance exams.
It is like a mafia that has been encouraged unknowingly by govt and public alike. Neither the education ministry nor the educated public saw the imminent downfall of education in this plague like disease. People demanded for percentages and the coaching centres supplied!
Dollar Doors and Dollar Dreams
If in Europe, Industrial revolution helped many common people to prosper, in India, IT revolution helped the lower middle class and middle class to prosper through skill based qualifications in IT.
The IT boom blinded people with dollar dreams so much that they have lost their far sight. Demand and supply syndrome is to be remembered here.
US demanded US supplied and Indians applied!
US universities opened seats for outsiders because it helped their economy. They have set up quality universities with competent faculty but the admission from local American students into universities was not proportionate to their expectations.
So they threw open the universities for foreign students with amendments in their VISA procedures. Foreign students paying huge amounts and studying there is good revenue resource for US.
Vis-a-Vis in India we have few IITs and RECs and fewer engineering colleges that can offer quality education. Too many students and too few seats! The mushrooming engineering colleges may have been a quantity answer but not a quality answer. Growing numbers of young population began to aspire only for engineering courses, preferably in IT as it promised a rosy altar.
Anybody and everybody who can afford it can get a seat in US universities as they (US) want more numbers to join there for their own revenue. Merit is not a great criteria and I wonder if anyone has noticed that they have even relaxed the rule of 5 years of formal graduation course to 4 years as in India we have only 4 yr engineering course. How accommodative!
A student who toils day and night to get into engineering college and a student who has grossly lesser academic record than him...both are on the same flight to US.
“For all you may know, the student who studied the world along with his course is better placed than a student who studied only his course and seen nothing else”.
The parents did not mind pledging their entire life savings for getting their child into coaching for entrance into engineering, followed by engineering and then followed by MS in US. Because the loans can be re-paid once they begin to earn in dollars!
Coincidentally the IT boom in US needed skilled labour in large numbers. Indians largely fitted the bill because of English advantage (thanks to Macaulay) and the ability to sit for long hours and replicate the codes (thanks to long hours spent in schools and colleges and also exams that question rote). So all those Indians who paid for their education in US through hefty loans were able to get jobs in US and earn in dollars.
US firms hired them because hiring local talent is expensive plus there are not that many locals coming into university levels.
They have a demand that could not be supplied locally! Moreover the local supply would charge more than an Indian supply!
The US demanded and the US supplied.
35% corporate tax charged in US made the MNCs run to other countries for setting up their shop. Countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand etc offered subsidies, infrastructure and cheap labour. Manufacturing costs have gone down and profits have gone up.
As Indians are English speaking labourers and reasonably educated, Business Processing Outfits for those MNCs manufacturing in the far east and selling in Europe or America, we supply the customer service online ! Good, another prospect of quick employment without much ado!
They created the demand and we provided the supply.
No longer the Big Brother!
Lehmann issue or the subprime issue...recession hit US and the supply began to slow down. Supply of jobs is low, supply of dollar currency is low - but not the supply of seats in universities nor the demand for seats from Indians!
They are ready to give us seats and qualifications, but jobs...I doubt. Moreover the outcry of local lobbies in US against the outsourcing of jobs is working against us. Obama is yet to think of any measures that would uplift their weak economic position.
It will take some more years before US assumes the big brother role - if it is not already taken by China or India.
What will happen to all those aspirants getting trained to open the dollar doors who are in coaching centres, colleges, or universities whose investment is for return in dollars?
Where will they get employment? US, China or India? I doubt if the old silk route to China will be re-opened! China has enough of its own clan to contain foreigners. India? May be! US...a looong time!
Guess we need to open the doors of our dreams in different directions now. The road well travelled is too worn out...maybe we should take the road less travelled!