Recent so called reforms in the Indian education system by the HRD Minister Mr Kapil Sibal does bring out the highlight about the Indian education. Indian Education, perhaps the most competitive in the world and which some times takes the competitions to the ridiculous levels :).
There has be two recent significant changes advised and which are yet to be implemented. First, making the 10th Class examination as optional for the CBSE students. Second increasing the cut-off from 60% to 80% in 12th Class for students appearing for IIT-JEE.
To me the second one makes sense, the first does not. I understand that many people in India are not in favor of this level of competition among students in the school. Many students have succumbed to this pressure. But do we have to blame the system for this, do we not blame the parents who sometimes put way too much pressure on their children to get that "Prestigious" 95% (For some even this is not enough :D ) in the 10th and 12th?
According to me where ever we have reached today, in this age of globalization is because of this "Ridiculous" competition from the day we have set foot in the school. I don't say its good, but we need to take a rational decision on this. We need to think whether by making class 10th examinations as optional are we doing any harm to that competitive edge we have? I dont think anywhere in the world the schools are so academically competitive as they are in India.
I do agree that we need reforms in the Indian education system but not by making examinations optional. We teach History in school which has been fabricated today to such an extent for the successive governments that it has become a great work of fiction. Man if we had politicians who loved the work of JRR Tolkien, then we would have chapters in History with Bilbo Baggin and Frodo Baggins as the "Great Liberators" of humanity. What exactly is the point in reading such history which is not true? I think we need to modernize the entire school curriculum, give more importance to Math, Science and Social (We are already pretty good with English ;) ).
Most important here would to make Math more interesting, make it more innovative. The future is Math and science today even though other subjects are equally important. Improvise education system by giving more importance to Sports (why the hell do we not have enough Olympic Medals??). Mr Minister please wake up!!! smell the coffee.
Though I do agree with increasing the cut-off from 60% to 80% in Class 12th for the IIT-JEE. But then again this is taking into account only Physics, Math and Chemistry. It would be really stupid to include Biology and Languages as the selection criteria to get an admission into IITs.
Then again come to think of it in the real time, I doubt any IITian has below 85-90% in their 12th PCM :). But then again the problem would be how do take care of the drastic difference among various education boards in assigning marks?? Thats one tough problem to crack for the government and IIT Board. But I think increasing cut-off automatically adds another filter for getting admission into IITs which is good.
TOI wrote their point of view as "However, we can’t agree with him that the qualifying marks in the board exams should be hiked to such a level. The minister has himself in the past argued for de-stressing students. Putting an additional hurdle in the paths of those trying to enter IITs — getting a minimum of 80% in the boards apart from clearing JEE "
which is pretty stupid and expected from them. When they say qualifying marks for getting into IIT should not be to such a High Level. Either they do not understand how difficult it is to get into such institutes or they dont know today 80% is not that high a level in India :).
Putting more hurdles for getting into IIT is good, its just a better filtering mechanism, And do what ever you want cannot reduce the stress levels of the students vying for Top and Prestigious Colleges or Schools. Its just natural!!!