Education in India is literally at crossroads. As I watch the stakeholders I am both petrified as well as enthused.
One set of stakeholders, the ones holding the keys to the direction that education can take are the ones who are also squabbling on fixing the syllabus to be taught. Our political class, the cream of the thinkers and intelligentsia who are part of the textbook committees and the key education boards are all pushing and pulling on what needs to be taught, how students need to be taught and so on.
The other set of stakeholders who are more inspiring and enthuse me, are the teachers. Despite all the flux in their field, they are continuing their work with a smile on their lips. Thousands of them who took up teaching as their first love are being joined by hundreds of others who have discovered the innate passion in them for teaching and are switching careers. I too am one among them who has switched from being an IT engineer to a teacher.
While a lot of debates are raging in the field of education and the majority of those debates are necessary, I also do find quite a few unnecessary ones that hog the limelight when common sense clearly should settle the debate in the first place. Take for example, the debate on “One country, one textbook scheme” It is no brainer that being a country of 29 states, unity at the school level when the young minds are being infused with ideas will go a long way in preserving the fabric of the nation. How can we have the state governments deciding the content of their individual states? Even if I accept the argument that uniform syllabi will sideline important contributions from local state leaders and figures, my counter argument is to make them part of the language textbooks.
One Country – One Syllabi is the way for all future citizens to share a sense of purpose.