Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is our education system really good ?

One hears a lot about how our education system is one of the best in the world and that we have the most number of young educated people. Well it may be true that we have a lot of educated people but the question is did they get the right education to be able to do their job competently. From my own experience I feel that the education that I got only gave me the opportunity to get a job through a campus placement and in all the years in the industry I have not really used anything that I learnt in college, I was either trained in it after I joined my first job or had to learn the stuff on the job on my own.

There are a lot of young people that I meet each day who have fancy degrees such as B. Tech's, BE's, MCA's and MBA's who are desperate for a job, any job. The question we have to ask ourselves is why aren't they getting jobs? Why are there so many training institutes teaching people what they should have learnt through the education system? Why is there a shortage in the industry for freshers who can do the job they should have been educated about? Why do organizations have to spend large sums of money in retraining professionals after they are hired? I think the answer to all these questions lie in the system that we have that is just not keeping up with the pace of technology.

The lecturers that we have in our college except for a few of them are just not keeping up with technology. Neither is the syllabus that they teach. That is why after they pass out from the colleges almost everyone has to be trained to do their job. The Indian education system lays a good foundation where the basics are ingrained into each and everyone's head. There is talk of an experiential learning system - but I still believe in the by-rote learning system for I believe that the basics need to be ingrained at an early age. But I think our higher education should work more closely with industry to adapt to what the industry needs and then channelise the students into various streams so that they are fully employable when they pass out. This will make the institute more popular because everyone will be clamouring for students from there since they will be all set to start off being productive very quickly and the students gain since they can live in the comfort that they are employable and are not doing the course just for the sake of the degree.

Why do all the organizations clamour for students from the IIT's, NIT's and a few other premier institutes. I do not think the answer lies in the fact that students from these institutes are trained and so will be more productive. I think the fact is that getting into these institutes is through a competitive exam and most of the high rankers get through into them. So hiring someone from these institutes gives you an impression that they will pick up things fast and do the job as compared to people from other institutes. I think this is a warped way of thinking since I think freshers from these institutes are overpriced.

So my advise to all the other institutes is talk to the industry and get your syllabus in tune with what the industry wants and send your lecturers for training courses that will equip them with the tools that they need and I am sure you will become as popular as the IITs and the NITs. The other way is to ask the industry to depute experienced professionals to work closely with the college. I know a lot of professionals that would like to teach for a short period of time while still being employed. I have read a few articles about this happening but I wish it was more widespread. The key is whether the institutes are ready for this. I am sure the organizations are. So its time for a symbiotic relationship to develop between the industry and the higher education system.

No comments:

You do what you are

In the 2001 movie Along came a spider, there is an interesting quote by Morgan Freeman where he says "You do what you are" and the...