Indian Education System

Indian Education System has become one of our most important concerns as of now. The most striking reason for India being a laggard is its outdated education system.

In this article, I will discuss the structure & price of Indian Education. Later, I will discuss the top 10 problems with the Indian Education System and Is there a way to fix them?

Top ten problems with Indian Education System 

  1. Structure & Syllabus
  2. Same Thing for Everyone
  3. Rat Race/Competition
  4. Teaching is not a Profession anymore
  5. Reservation System
  6. Getting a job is an ultimate goal
  7. Peer Pressure
  8. Rote Learning/Producing Robots to work in a factory
  9. Education Given is Irrelevant to Job-Market
  10. Over-Commercialization of Indian Education System

Before discussing the problems with the Indian Education System, I would like you to brief a little on Structure & the price of Indian Education. Although, you may directly jump to that section by clicking on the above link.

A brief on Indian Education System

India is home to approximately 1.3 billion people, out of which 315 million are students. India has as many as 1.4 million schools and more than 230 million enrollments. According to Dr. Education, India has 819 universities and more than 35,000 affiliated colleges, enrolling more than 20 million students per year. India leads every country in the world in terms of the number of students & colleges but stills Indian Education system doesn’t make it to the top 34 education system in the world.

Structure of the Indian education system

Indian Education System is divided into 2 different sections. 

  1. School Education
    • Pre Primary Education – Pre Nursery, Nursery, LKG, UKG
    • Primary Education – 1 to 8 Grade 
    • Secondary Education – 9 & 10 Grade
    • Higher Secondary Education – 11 & 12 Grade
  2. Univesity Education
    • Graduation [BE, BTech, BA, BSc, BBA]
    • Post Graduation [ MBA, MTech, MSc]
    • Ph.D. [Doctoate]

India Education System tree

Indian Education System Tree

In India Sports, Photography, Acting, Music etc. are considered as hobbies, not a profession. And i.e. why they’re not included in the education system tree. Moreover, the education tree is so long that the average age of getting a job in India is between 20-22.

How much do we spend on Education?

Much of the family expense is spent on the education of their children. Here, is the chart showing the amount required to raise a child.

Money Required to raise a Child
Source: Economic Times

An average Indian family spends an amount of 25.19 lacs for on their children education. This accounts for almost 46% of the total spending required to raise a child. And after all that money and hard work, students end up being unemployed or underemployed especially in the field of engineering.

Top 10 problems with Indian Education System

1. Structure & Syllabus

India is following the same course structure & syllabus since the time of Independence. The Indian learning methodology insists on starting from the basics. It worked very well for decades, even centuries and hence has taken a stronghold on the education system. This drove the makers of the syllabuses to give too much importance to the basics to notice that the old technologies are not really “basics” instead they are waste.

Outdated Syllabus

Here is an example from School Education

In order to make 10th standard easy (allegedly) the decision makers have created a huge difference between the level of 10th and 11th standard. In 10th there is just theoretical and very basic stuff and then in 11th, they are like ‘What the hell is that? This much maths?’  Clearly 10th standard can’t develop the logic and problem-solving skills of students and suddenly in 11th and 12th, they are bombarded with convoluted topics.

Here is an example from University Education

I’m a mechanical engineer & few topics in my engineering syllabus were Advanced IC Engine, Carburetors etc. The harsh truth is, none of the cars from the 21st century uses a carburetor & what so advance about IC engines. Engineering is all about inventing & innovating not about learning the outdated technologies.

2. Same Thing for Everyone

Don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb tree said, Albert Einstein. Every student in India is judged by their performance on a single sheet of paper. Same subjects, same syllabus and the same test for every student irrespective of their interest make Indian Education System worse.

Same Thing for Everyone

3. Rat Race/Competition

Studying is not passion in India. It’s a race. A race for marks, race for getting into good colleges, race for getting a job. Our education system basically promotes rat race among our children. They have to read and mug-up the entire textbook without any understanding of it. So a student who scores 90 out of 100 and comes first actually remains a rat. In fact, parents also play an important in promoting rat race.

Rat Race

4. Teaching is not a Profession anymore

Unfortunately, the honored profession of teaching is no more honored. Very few teachers of today are teachers by choice or by desire. The rest are all there because they could not find another job or they did not have a choice. The passion to learn so they can teach their students does not exist in the teachers anymore.

Teaching is not a Profession anymore!

In fact, Teachers hardly exist anymore. The biggest reason behind this is that there is no test/exam for the selection of teachers in India whereas Finland [best education system] selects only top ten applicants for teaching jobs.

5. Reservation System

This point comes into action after the completion of your higher secondary education. This is the time when you come to know it’s not only about getting good marks. Someone with 50% of your marks might get a better college or job. Reservation system acts as a Silent Killer of India.

Reservation System

It began in 1982 when the constitution decided that 15% and 7.5% of the government jobs quota be reserved for SC and ST (Scheduled castes and ethnic groups) respectively, and this number will be reviewed after five years. In the 1990s, the Indian prime minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh declared a 50% reservation for admissions and jobs in all government bodies. And the rest is history.

6. Getting a job is an ultimate goal

The ultimate goal of education in India is to get a job not to learn or innovate. Choosing for their passion as a profession or becoming an entrepreneur is a myth. This lack of ambition does not allow our country to excel in any field. This attitude of our children making them slaves of a few multinational companies. Somebody, please tell them if they are not working for own their dreams then they will end up working for someone else dream.

JOB is the Ultimate Goal

However, the sad truth is that India is a country where students with new ideas & dreams are not invited or supported by their friends & families.

7. Peer Pressure

In a recent survey, two-thirds (66%) students reported that their parents pressurize them for better academic performance. The Psychologists suggest that students suffer from anxiety and traumatic disorder relating to fear of examination. The fear factor is the reason why students suffer from anxiety, depression, and the following consequences.

Also, the fear not only comes from the school but also from parents, who go to extreme levels to push their children into getting better grades. Report suggests: –

8. Rote Learning/Producing Robots to work in a factory

Indian Education System is all about rote learning, students are emphasized to remember contents of the book or documentation rather than developing their logic, thinking, and intuition. Memorization has become the key to top the exams. Even several coaching centers believe in teaching the tricks to solve entrance test questions rather than concept.

Rote Leaning

Fact: You can’t keep everything in your mind for eternity because you will forget things that are not used for a while. Even computer hard drives start to lose data after a while.

9. Education Given is Irrelevant to Job-Market

This is perhaps the most apparent failure of our education system that after completing graduation in any discipline students are not able to get jobs. It is simply because skills that are required in a job market are not present in a fresh graduate. As per a recent survey, one out of five graduates ever had vocational training & only 10% of manufacturers in India offer in-service training to their employees compared with over 90% in China.

What real-world skills do you have

10. Over-Commercialization of Indian Education System

India is home to many universities which have been founded with the sole objective of making easy money. Othe nation universities have the sole objective of making them eligible to contribute to national and social progress & can be sure that simultaneously they can take care of themselves too. The real profit comes only when the students learn and start contributing to their nation, not when they are learning.

Why is Indian Education not worth? [Source – Wikipedia]

I would like you to enlight you with some shocking stats which shows that India Education System must be redesigned.

  1. Only 1 ‘Noble Prize’ in the science field whereas Germany got 54, US got 110 & UK got 46.
  2. As per WIPO statistics, during 2014, India registered 33.2 patents per million population in comparison to 4,205.8 by the Republic of Korea, 2,566.8 by Japan, 1,782.6 by the US and 680.3 in China.
  3. Global Innovation Index 60/130.
  4. Globalization Index 107/184.
  5. Education Index 145/191.
  6. Human Development Index 131/188.
  7. In the education sector, India ranks 92, which is way behind the ranks of other developing countries such as Philippines (76), Malaysia (51), Sri Lanka (59) and many more.
  8. Only 16 Indian Universities makes it to the list of Top 1000 universities in the world.

What do leaders say about the Indian Education system?

  1. India’s education system needs to be far better than it is today says, Bill Gates.
  2. Indian education teaches to study, study, work hard, get your MBA & someday you will have a Mercedes but where is the creativity? says Steve Wozniak (Apple Co-founder).
  3. Education in India lacks creativity says Sundar Pichai.

How to fix the Indian Education System?

I believe the government / “people who script the syllabus” has resigned to the fate of the education system and are hoping that it would limp on in the current state.  As long as the government is the monopoly in education, the problem will persist. The only solution might be the privatization in the Human Resource Development department in India. Till then all we can hope for:-  

  • Students aiming to become teachers when they grow up.
  • Graduates who are not only intelligent and brilliant but also willing to take responsibility and work towards the betterment of the system. 
  • Redefining our industrial base.
  • Stop being service providers as a country and start becoming producers.
  • Stop complaining and start acting.

I hope you enjoyed it.

What’s your take on this? What could be the best possible solution for the one biggest problem of India

Comment Below!

2 thoughts to “What’s wrong with Indian Education System? (10 problems explained)

  • Jos Johnson

    I have always thought why Indians are successful in US but not in India. Here is the reason. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sayeed Afzal

      Hey Jos,
      Share something about Education System in your country.


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