Two of the most important characteristics of the Indian education system in the present-day context are tuitions and tests. Apart from being the highlighting features of the system, these two traits have also been declared as the most detrimental ones recently.
UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report, released earlier this month, has pronounced tuitions and high – stake tests as two of the direst problems in the education scenario of India.
The Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, previously known as Education For All Global Monitoring Report, is a UNESCO 2002 initiative for an independent and efficient body measuring progress in the field of education and observing countries’ growth in the Sustainable Development Goals framework. The report has provided findings and recommendations for various countries in its 13 editions.
The 2017 GEM report says the following in India’s context, “There is extensive evidence showing that high-stakes tests based on narrow performance measures can encourage efforts to ‘game the system’, negatively impacting on learning and disproportionately punishing the marginalised.”
Issues at hand
The major problems highlighted in the report, on the face of it, have become termites feeding on the very roots of the centuries-old education system. There is an enormous burden on the students caused by the pressure of attending school and tuitions simultaneously. This burden is burgeoned by the extremely high stakes attached to every other exam. The students are subjected to a heavily hectic schedule and high expectations from their family.
The high stake tests and tuitions are affecting not only the students but also their families in more than singular ways. The report points out, “While remedial or individualised help may benefit students, the time and money allocated to tutoring can undermine student well-being and strain household budgets.” Moreover, the pressure of clearing exams has augmented the stress of taking tuitions. All of this combined has resulted into this damaged situation of education in the country.
What adds to the pressure of this situation is that there are no ways of refuge to help students tackle with all the burdens they are subjected to. They are forced into joining tuitions and similarly, into appearing for exams. This scenario calls for an awareness campaign to educate people, both students and families, on the dire effects of the two problems in consideration. There is a pressing need for spreading help regarding the issue of forced tutoring. Platforms like “Student Forum of India” are working in favour of addressing the pressure faced by students of all age groups. More such initiatives can prove very beneficial in improvising the status quo of education, as criticized by the GEM report.