Thursday, Oct 06, 2022

This Quora user’s answer to ‘What’s the worst thing about Indian schools?’ is a must read

'Parents: Student suicides are a reality. A disturbing one sure, but a reality nonetheless.'

indian schools, indian school system, indian education disadvatanges, what is the worst thing about indian schools question viral, indian schools loopholes question viral, indian schools question viral, should parents send their students to indian schools, indian express, indian express news A Quora user has done a point-by-point deconstuction of the loopholes in the education system.(Source: File Photo)

Education systems everywhere are more or less designed keeping in mind the all-round development of children. But often, discrepancies in the infrastructure raise their heads. There are students whose dreams are sometimes throttled, there are often situations of imbalance between studies and extra-curricular activities and so on. But what exactly could be the worst of the lot in Indian schools? While you think about it, this question raised on Quora, garnered quite a few answers. Of which, Quora user Deepak Mehta’s answer is going viral.

It seems, Mehta – who, according to his Quora bio, works at CRISIL, a global analytical company – has done a point-by-point deconstruction of the loopholes in the education system. Be it about the fact that students are allowed to make a choice of their subjects only after tenth class, the “incentive structure” for teachers and the truth that a lot of students, crumbling under expectations and pressure, end up committing suicides — Mehta has raised quite a few heads with his answer and has garnered 530 Upvotes on his answer. People have responded to Mehta’s answer by adding a point or two to his “otherise great observation”.

“In most schools, there is absolutely no system of counseling. Depression among adolescents and teens isn’t a western import as a lot of people would like to believe. It is very real and it can be devastating,” wrote one user.

“In today’s post, “Everything wrong with Indian schools 101.”

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What is being taught: Everything. Without any thought about its relevance to the job industry. An outdated curriculum. And an inflexible one. “Read this”. “And this too”. “No, you don’t get to choose your subjects, not at least till the last 2 years of your schooling”.

How it is being taught: “Take notes, kids”. “Copy everything that is there on the board”. “Reproduce it verbatim in the examinations to get full credit”. 90% of the ‘teaching’ happens in closed classrooms where all students face the teacher who delivers hour-long monologues.

The dangerous obsession with scores, grades, and benchmarks: There’s the class topper. And then 2 more kids in the top 3. That is what you should strive for. To be the ‘best’ among 50 other kids. To outscore your classmates. To mindlessly memorize facts and figures and solve questions in the books because the same would appear, verbatim, in the examinations. (Because teachers don’t want to go the extra mile to come up with questions that truly test if someone has really understood a particular concept).

The student-teacher dynamic. Or the lack of one: The teacher dictates. The students listen. Questioning the teacher’s methods is wrong. After all, they know better. “Don’t ask stupid questions.” Learn to keep quiet. Follow the herd.


All work and no play makes Jack an ideal student: You will only get one ‘sports’ class every week. And that too can be grabbed by your Chemistry teacher because playing is a waste of time. Plus, we don’t have the money to buy decent sports gear.

“Of the students, for the students, by the administration”: The lack of student representation in decision making is appalling. Even the student body comprising of the various representatives (overall, sports, cultural, academics) is a farce. They are nothing more than a communication medium for the administration. Like the rest of the world, schools are run by old, senile people deciding the fate of the young ones.

The perverse incentive structure for teachers: Teaching is indeed a noble profession. Perhaps the noblest of them all. Yet, we continue to pay our teachers the bare minimum. For most teachers, it isn’t their passion. Just the last resort. The stellar students go on to make a career in a high-paying industry. The average ones migrate to academia.


Parents: Student suicides are a reality. A disturbing one sure, but a reality nonetheless. Everything wrong with the Indian education system has finally, over the years, festered into a metaphorical demon that demands the occasional blood sacrifice. Instead of recognizing that different kids have different developmental needs and aptitude, our society still treats everyone with a common yardstick. Kids who are not able to live up to the (exorbitant) expectations of their parents, and having no other support structure, often choose the devastating option of ending their lives.”

What do you think of this analysis? Tell us in the comments below.


First published on: 05-04-2017 at 01:25:55 pm
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