Education Blues

As I am a student right now, just in college and completed a year successfully. This same time, one year back was very troublesome for me. Applying to every possible university which has a good rank in India for engineering, and more precisely Computer Science Engineering (let's address it as CSE, as done in my college). The education system in India is very strange. If you are an Indian and reading this, you will know what I am actually talking about. And for the rest of you, there are various sets of exams conducted, known as "Entrance Exams". These entrance exams are mostly based on the multiple choice format, you are given 4 or 5 options per question and obviously one of them is right. Seems Fair?
Well Let's see, for Engineering itself I can list out more than a dozen of exams which are conducted yearly. India being a big country, is divided into several small states. India is a federation of 28 states and 7 union territories(Looked up on wikipedia, and typed the same line). Nearly every state has their own Engineering Entrance exam. So that adds up to 28 "Entrance Exams". They are obviously of different difficulty levels and more of less follow the same pattern of questions from the domain of Physics, Chemistry and most importantly Mathematics.
The two most important exams which a student takes in India, which decides his course of life for the next 4 or 5 years (and for the rest of the life as THEY say) are
  • JEE : Joint Engineering Entrance - Conducted by the IIT's (Indian Institute of Technology)
  • AIEEE : All India Engineering Entrance Exams conducted by CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education)
Giving you a brief description of the exams above, JEE : considered as the toughest entrance exam in the world. I dint make the consideration, its made by the People who have taken it and the People who help Students take it. Every one says "Work on your Basics" and yet no body know what Basics is being mentioned here. Trust me, Even if you know the Basics, You cannot ace this test. Well, lets just say IT IS a TOUGH Exam. If you crack JEE exam, You are a genius of Type-I, and you will have the privilege to bless IIT's.
AIEEE, on the other hand is comparatively simpler, given by double the number of JEE applicants and is the gateway to NIT's and other Engineering college's.

Taken my opinion both are very tough exams. What makes them tough, is not the subject, but the number of people taking it. Recent statistics suggest that around 0.5 Million students took the JEE and around 1.2 Million took the AIEEE.

Everything seems good till here, Right? Now the problem starts. The exams are tough, and the competition is high, so let's say a student takes "n" number of years to prepare for the exams. Now the question arises, what values does n takes. We see everywhere numbers replaced with alphabets and it makes me irritated, "seeing alphabets in place of numbers". So, I give you a range of n, which ranges from 2 years to 6 years. Do you feel something is wrong? Hmm.. 6 years to prepare for an exam. Weird? Isn't it? So if a student gives an exam when he is 17, he might have at least been preparing from 14 (average case).
My point being, the human brain develops from the age 12 onwards till 18 for females and till 21 for males. So during this crucial time, where one should be building on his personality, Indian student slogs for 12 to 15 hours a day learning, sorry learning cannot be the word used here. Studying is more apt. There is a difference, Right? Studying the formula's which can hardly be understood even at the age of 18 or 19. Studying some law, which makes no sense to him, but he has to do it, because in India, you are destined either to be a Doctor or Engineer. If you want to be someone else, Please forget it. "You won't even get paid, You won't have a job.....Blah Blah" - This is what you hear at middle class family discussion.
What a 14 year old would do? Run away? Not so simple, So they give in to studying. The student lives in a world of  "Science", where i is an imaginary number, apple is the reason for study of gravity and what not.

Sad story? Yes? Happens at every house in India.

I have something else to say about. The tests which are designed are based on Physics, Chemistry and Maths. And not basic Physics, Chemistry or Maths. Its Advanced, more advanced than used in Universities at some level. Every body takes the course of Calculus before entering college, Not basic Calculus but Advanced, yet No one knows the use of Calculus. No one knows how and when to apply. They study about Differential Equations, no one knows where its used and how to use it.
I was even more surprised, people in my college, well not all, but most of the people din't even know how to use the calculator properly, and these students are supposed to be the top notch on the country. Can't operate a calculator, want to become an Electronics Engineer. Its because of these Set of "Entrance Exams", some of the best students don't get a chance to do their engineering.

Lets take a case here:
Consider there was a boy called Losre. He was very good with computers, he had his first computer when he was in lower kg. Since the age of 7 or 8, he has been operating computers. He dint like other subjects much, such as Physics and Chemistry. Through school years, he managed to pass with good grades. Now the ultimate came. He wanted to me a computer engineer. He had the knowledge which surpassed most of his peers. As usual, he gave the AIEEE and JEE. Luck din't favour him much on both the tests and he could not get in anywhere.
At the same time, there was another boy called Vin, never ever operated a computer, well just the least bit. Studied all the years. Took up coaching classes for physics, chemistry and maths, when his friend Losre was hacking and designing games. Vin gave the AIEEE and JEE, managed a good rank and got into a University of his choice with Majors in CSE.

Now applying some common sense, who would be a better engineer in computer science, very obvious the one who had more experience with computers. Losre might not have had the good foundation in Physics or Chemistry, but he was very strong with the subjects that he wanted to study in College.
A talent got wasted, just because one could not qualify some stupid exams.

Was this fair? It is happening in India.

The above picture is very apt for describing the Education System in India. The fish will never be able to climb the tree, there is no possibility for him. Other might somehow, with difficulty and loads of practise other will eventually. My point is, Somehow all of them will climb the tree, But will they be any good climbers?

Lets make the game fair for everyone.

I might be wrong. But I say neither this is correct.

-The Guy Who Read Little
Nice article Rashid! And, congratulations on successfully completing the first year of college!

Well thanks :)

u just talked about the education system without knowing the social background of india ........ its pretty tough to get into other business than to studies even a guy wishes his choice there is always an option thah he can do it but a middle class family cant always afford the less to be seen expectations of his own child....its very sad point that our country lack resources and even in that there is lot of corruption and hence a student is left with no choice he has to go by his parents ...and anyways parents also care about their wards .... most biggest prob is not education system but there is a criteria if a person is good he has enough oppurtunities in india too but the scope is not there as india mostly dependent on prodution unit and service providing ....

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