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There can be no two opinions about the need to augment the potential for innovation of Indians working in every sphere. Those pointing out its root cause to be lying in our education system perhaps ignore that the seed of innovation needs to be sowed in the primary and secondary-level education. This does not happen in the existing system. On one hand, there is a policy of not failing students and promoting them till Standard VIII even if they perform below par. Students thus promoted cannot even write three-digit numbers, leave alone adding or subtracting them.
Raja Shirguppe, who surveyed villages in western Maharashtra in 2009, visited a school not far away from a district headquarter. He asked one of the shepherd boys studying in Standard IV about his taluka and district. When he replied correctly, Shirguppe asked him as to where India is. "Beyond Kolhapur," came the answer. The boys had never heard of Mahatma Gandhi and did not know what was meant by the golden jubilee of Maharashtra state. It was not the student's fault but of the teacher's who had not done his job well. It is the state government's responsibility to appoint eligible teachers with good and regular pay, decent accommodation and health facilities. That being not the case, transfers to villages are considered a punishment for teachers. In spite of being aware of this, ministers have ignored this segment of society for years. This is Bharat. Let us now move on to India where students study in English-medium schools and whom every one places on a higher pedestal. As English is not their mother tongue, much of their energy is wasted in understanding the subject and then mugging up answers and rewriting at home what their teachers wrote on the blackboard or dictated to them. When they reach Standard X, they are advised by their teachers not to write even a single word from outside the textbook in the Board examination, lest a paper examiner fails to understand and gives them poor marks. Some schools may boast of the projects given to students Alas. In a majority of cases, the projects are done by parents because the children simply have no energy to do them. Innovation starts with out-of-the-box thinking . Teachers need to be trained to inspire students not only to think, but to think differently. When these students reach the graduate or post-graduate levels, search engines on the Internet further reduce their thinking and the capacity to apply their minds to their subjects.
Courtesy: The Economic Times
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