Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro, guest edited today's Economic Times. While he ended up writing an insipid editorial, he has done a commendable job in another sphere: getting quite a few of our intellectuals to contribute their thoughts on education in India. Before I list here some of the noteworthy pieces, I must link first to the report card on India's education system.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta: Educate them to be accountable:
There are two major revolutions underway in education. First, the demand for education is not simply a policy objective; it is precipitously asserting itself at all levels of society.
C.N.R. Rao: Education: There's a need to raise the bar:
Universities should only cater to higher education, in particular, post-graduate programmes and research, and should not have innumerable affiliated colleges.
U.R. Ananthamurthy: India of the rich & Bharat of the poor:
Common schools for the rich & poor will ensure a sense of equality.
Krishna Kumar (Director, NCERT): The twain shall meet:
People who say that government schools don’t function are perhaps aware that they are making a sweeping judgement on a vast and varied system.
Shyam Benegal: Let's not forget the oral test.
Non-literate forms of learning get badly neglected as literacy begins.
Rahul Dravid: Provide avenues for different opportunities.
I was lucky to go study in institutions that gave equal emphasis to studies, co-curricular activities and sports. I think good schools and colleges must focus on the all round development of an individual.
Today we have a very competitive environment and hence what really matters is the marks one scores. It puts lot of pressure on students to score a high percentage and makes them give up every other activity they would otherwise like to pursue. This leads to one-dimensional growth which is not an ideal situation. Schools must provide avenues for students to explore different opportunities.
In addition, there's a Perspectives section on the topic of Do we need neighbourhood schools, with contributions from Sam Pitroda (Chairman, National Knowledge Commission), Anil Sadgopal (Former Dean, Delhi University) and Kanti Bajpai (Principal, The Doon School).