International Students Day

Report on Shikshit Bharat, Saksham Bharat programme in SIT

A group discussion for the students was organised in Symbiosis Institute of Technology, Pune on “Shikshit Bharat, Saksham Bharat”, on the occasion of International Students Day, 17.11.2014 at 3:30pm in the Seminar Hall .

The main topic of discussion was the student’s take on the Indian education system, what is expected by them and what can be done to resolve the problems faced by the students. The students felt that Indian education is mainly based on rote learning and the students lack the basic understanding of a particular topic. Education doesn’t just comprise of studies and theory, general mental health and psychologythe society is also a part of education. Education is a pathway to make yourself independent, giving you the knowledge of right and wrong. Education makes one capable of taking decisions.


The speakers said that the drawbacks of the Indian education system and the mentality of the people in India is that all the streams of education are not considered equally. If a student scores well, he is pressured to take up science as a subject by the society. Freedom of choice is restricted, resulting in low performance in higher education. Also, many students don’t study to excel and to gain knowledge, but to score marks. Indian education system in short needs to incorporate skill based learning in its curriculum, and mugging up should be slowly eradicated. Questions should be such that have some real meaning, and can be encountered and related in everyday lives. Unrealistic education will only go vain. ¬†Competition amongst the students leads to high pressure to excel. This causes deterioration in mental and physical health. Education should be such that it collaborates mental and physical wellness.
One of the students pointed out that with the advancement of technology, the curriculum has become vast. Everything of importance is not always possible to be included in the curriculum. Hence customization of the courses should be an option, where a student can study a variety of topics of his/her interest.

Another problem, as was said, is the focus of the educational institutions. Passing the students is the main goal of the institutions rather than giving them core knowledge of the subjects. Teachers teach students not the concepts but how to pass the exams. Hence students also feel mugging is easier than understanding a topic.¬† However, in the long run, mugging up fails. The concepts which are rote-learned fade away. Institutes must ensure that their syllabus and curriculum is such that engages the students in activities that make them aware that mugging up doesn’t help and a proper understanding of the subject is needed.

The course and syllabus, the students said, were very important. Not realizing, these concepts are applied in day to day lives. Hence, a practical knowledge of the subjects along with theoretical knowledge is very important. Another hindrance to a detailed curriculum mentioned was time. Practical’s with videos and field trips and theory, etc are not possible to be covered in the given stipulated time of the course. Teachers don’t want the blame to leave out concepts and hence they cover up the course without giving proper in depth knowledge of the subject.
To come up with a solution to all these problems, the suggestion given was to draw a venn diagram to find a common solution for the learning-teaching problems. Teachers should make their lectures interactive and more interesting by adding visual elements while teaching. A balance between pictures, videos and theory should be maintained. Education system of India should develop. Many universities abroad offer diversity in subjects that can be chosen while studying. The education system of India should adopt such ideas to create more interest in students to pursue higher studies.
As a whole, there should be a mentality change in the people of India, to accept all branches as equals. Students must get to choose their field of interest without any external pressure. The notion that students who take up science get paid better than other branches is wrong. People who are good at their job and who work hard excel, irrespective of their field of study. Interests should be independent of the salary earned in that field. Emphasis should be given on project based learning, and internships should be encouraged.

The speakers said that, the major change should be in the ideology of students and parents, and even the society as a whole. Studying should be done for knowledge, not for marks. Society must reward students for their skills in order to discourage students to study just to score well.

The Director of Symbiosis Institute of Technology, Dr. T. P. Singh, said that in order to change the Indian Education System and to bring prestige to the Indian Education System, India on the whole has to change, from the mentality of the people to the infrastructure, everything has to be altered in order to attract students from all over the world.

The discussion concluded by saying that the students must understand what they are studying, and have the ability to practically apply what we learn. Doing something that interests them, will not only make people open minded, but make them a better human being at the end.Trusting one self, believing in what you have and knowing your instincts is very important. More important is to know how to apply this to our daily lives. Making optimum use of resources at hand and doing what the students are best at irrespective of expecting to be rewarded, will ultimately cause a drastic shift in the mentality of the Indian Education System.

The programme concluded by a vote of thanks.