Blog: My wish for 2014 - education reforms

(Aaditya Thackeray is the president of Yuvasena, the youth wing of Shiv Sena)

We all live in an age where we love to debate on issues right from the Presidential democracy of USA to the Panchayats in our own country. We debate from civic issues to political solutions and we debate about lifestyle. It all concludes to one point: Education.

It may be possible that education is what separates thought processes in our country and probably much more.

True that we have passed the Right to Education Act, but do we truly act to make it Right to Quality Education?

Being only 23 years old and being a student myself, this is what I want to voice and may be set straight at the earliest: Education.

When I speak about reforming education, it must be done in various ways and at various levels. I am aware that the task is huge, covering an entire nation with vast differences, but we are a nation and we need to begin somewhere.

To begin with, the syllabus:

We learn through different boards. Our blackboards are defined through different boards: CBSE, ICSE, SSC, HSC, IB and much more.

I have been an eyewitness to arguments in classrooms where students from different boards argue over quality of their board and mainly over issues of facts.

We need to radically change this.

Why not have a uniform authority across the nation that sets a uniform syllabus for all the states. Science, Mathematics, Grammar taught will be uniform in quality, quantity and more importantly, not differ on simple facts.

While the syllabus is uniform, the state authorities can include local history, language and a glimpse of local aspects till the 8th standard.

Civic awareness, social responsibility, career counseling, sports need to be focused on.

May be we could bring about equality in education through the uniformity, no matter what the fees of the school are.

Then, the colleges:

Till date, our colleges are stuck in Arts, Colleges, Science.

Let's break that.

Why not bring about a true diversity in unity there.

Why can't one student take Photography with History? Physics with Politics?
The students have varied interests in various subjects, but they are forced to study in streams. For exams. For marks. Not their passion or profession.

Then, the method:

Ever realized why most of our inventions come from only a few colleges and most government organizations while most of the world invents new technology in colleges?

We need to focus on Research and Development.

We need to focus on practical study, constant revision in syllabus

We need to focus on breaking barriers, making education more modern, career oriented, passion oriented

We need to bring in subjects like Music, Theater, Film Making, Actuarial Science and such unconventional subjects.

We haven't yet encouraged students to question knowledge. Knowledge has only evolved on being questioned. Subjects like Law that need interpretation, are mugged up and spilled on paper.

And all at university levels, where we are ready to vote for a government, but not ready to question, analyze, interpret knowledge.

The point is, if we debate so much about education, are we willing to accept the change?

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