“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.

— John Cage.

It is the educational system of a nation that drives forward its perpetual growth. In a mixed economy like ours,spending on education means a lot. The national Sample Survey Office (NSSO) reported that the average annual private expenditure for general education (primary level to postgraduate and above) between 2008 and 2014, has shot up by a staggering 175% to Rs.6,788 per student. This is, arguably, to become the top of the class, of the school, or in the society.

Yet every now and then, our academic education fails to deliver its true worth in personal development. Also, the system of education that we now has is unable to induce a will amongst the students to step up for an innovative venture. The window of opportunity that our system now provides doesn’t give any room for creating something new. The will to experiment or to try it differently is absent in the students.The thing is, it instills enough knowledge in the ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do’ basis, but it doesn’t utter a word about “do something new”.

Now just to make sure that we are on the same page, let me state this before we talk:Innovation is simply taking an idea or an invention and applying it for a purpose.

Yes we all know….

Now please don’t take me in the wrong sense here. It is a well established fact that the literacy rate in India has risen substantially over the last few decades. And our system of education has given out talented professionals of such high standards in almost every fields. The brand of Indian education has a positive effect in one’s professional career. Our (questionable) form of schooling is still second to none in preparing the students for a competitive future where they excel. It has been successful in preparing the students with enough skills such as competence,leadership,value of hard work, theoretical knowledge etc…..which all are some of the essential skills the school education should provide. But the case is different when it comes to some other properties; like the wonder in creating something new.. There, we witness the failure of our system; or at least, partially.

  • Our schools are mostly bound on a curriculum based system which is seriously obsolete. They were designed to prepare us for the mediocre jobs, like clerks and office staffs as they were the need of the time- decades ago. We’ve never cared to upgrade it so that it helps pursue one’s dreams.
  • The idea of questioning and an attempt of doing something differently is turned down with an iron fist. This is the case throughout the country. In fact, questioning conventional ways is treated as a crime!!!. A student who does that is immediately labelled as disobedient and is “taught the right way”.
  • The thing about the typical Indian society is, we always turn our backs towards risk. This mentality of aversion of risk is so deep rooted in every Indian minds that the process of education, for us, is simply something that helps to get a decent job, get settled and have a respected position in the society.
  • The people who are supposed to support such innovative attempts are probably there in that position through influence. They mostly doesn’t have any idea about such innovative attempts. This discourages the people with such transforming ideas and they turn their attention to alternatives careers such as consultants for MNCs, which effectively is brain drain.
  • New private capital funding firms are yet in their infancy. So they usually are critical about such attempts and don’t extend their support easily.

We should look into it…

India is not realizing its potential for innovation. A diverse society like India, which packs a large number of people with limitless brain power at our disposal; can create more jobs opportunities, provide better living conditions and create a healthy and competitive national economy by bringing up new innovative projects and supporting them.

Then again, we are improving and various government and private educational organizations are on the verge of finding a solution for this crisis. Raising and standardizing the quality of education across the country nowadays brings new hopes…..

To be continued…….