Each year, new batches of students take admission in their respective courses and institutions. For the overall growth of a country, education is essential as it builds the basic management and developmental skills that are necessary for a person’s productivity. The Indian government has placed a much needed emphasis on primary education but that has not been adequately replicated in higher education. This is a major contributing factor for students to look abroad for higher education. Unless the government shifts its focus towards providing quality higher education, it seems difficult to stop this perineal brain drain.
Manta Roy, Doctoral Researcher, Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM), told BE, “If I am graduating from IIT or IISc then, yes for sure, I will like stick to India but otherwise I would opt for abroad. This is because only IIT and IISc institutes train their fellows to deal with problems, stress, subjects and offers more scope for studies in various other fields of interests, which is quite similar to what one can achieve in foreign universities. There is lack of opportunity for each individual to explore himself and to explore his field of interest. In India, everything is based on hierarchy and not on priorities. The career is chosen based on availability, rather than to pursue something that is wanted.”
The rate of graduates leaving India for completing their post-graduation and further studies has been alarmingly high. India comprises of around 30,000 institutions for higher studies in comparison to the other countries which stand with about 5000-7000 higher education institutions at the most. The growth in the number of students leaving for the United States or Germany is growing every year and grew by around 20% in the last academic year. Around 56% of the total graduate students studying in American institutes are from India.
Roy, who has been a teacher before she left for research, added, “It is not easy to come overseas for higher studies, especially after graduation. It’s mostly because in India, we are more trained to get a computerised brain, fast programmed with theoretical knowledge of the subjects, but what matters in higher education is skills like practical problem solving capacity, team integrity, field experience in various other fields other than your own subject and so on. So when our young generations come to realise the lack of opportunity in India, they set themselves to sail for abroad.”
Issues that force students to leave:
There are various factors that have been identified for students to opt for foreign education. The major reasons showed by various researches are:
l Quality of Education provided: When quality of education is discussed, there are different aspects. The quality of education depends on what the course modules include and how the teacher is using the same. The teachers in some of the institutions are not trained to impart proper information to the students. Even if the course modules are properly designed, the teachers cannot, at times, explain the subject. This results in a disparity between the kind of information that the student should receive and what they receive.
l Methodology of Teaching: The lack of demonstrative teaching in many Indian institutions is causing several issues as students are not able to understand the actual facts and figures. General knowledge about a subject is not enough and demonstration of the subject matter with practical examples is necessary. The second problem in the method of teaching would be the language that a teacher is using. In many cases, the teacher is not comfortable in the same language or the students cannot understand what the teacher is trying to say. This causes another gap in the information that the students receive. Roy added, “Mostly, we notice that the bond is not too strong between teachers and students. This is detrimental for the learning process. Often, we see that teachers take their job too professionally and take no effort to simplify their modules for all the students. But, when you are a teacher, you must be aware of the fact that not everyone has the same learning capacity. This reflects two things – either the teacher believes in hierarchy and superiority which means she/ he is not taking any effort to make a change in the present system or she/he is not interested in teaching at all. To make an effective change in the educational scenario, the existing superiority in the system needs to be done away with and teachers and students need to share a strong bond.”
l Lack of Basic Ethics: Education doesn’t only mean that one has to mug up all the basic subjects but one needs to understand social values and ethics as well. The job ethics or social manners are a compulsory requirement for a person’s development and thus it is important that students are also trained for the same.
l Need of Skill Based Studies: There is dire need of research based education associated with higher studies in India. Students will be better poised to learn if they are given access to practical hands-on training. The students also lack in terms of communication skills since it is often seen during an interview that students struggle to converse properly. Apart from the basic books under the course syllabus, students should also learn about technical, analytical and other important skills as well. Roy further added, “Yes, we lack skills in teaching. The system binds us to a syllabus with time schedule and everyone rushes to make it on time. But during that rush, when we stand on the dead point and turn back, the students are left with no practical experience and mostly forget everything about the mugged up knowledge. This is high time to change this process of learning.”
l Course Modules: The kind of course modules prepared in our education system indicates that everyone has to follow the same pattern. If someone doesn’t like a particular subject, they still have to study that since that is a part of the module and they cannot opt for something else. It is important that we welcome mixed or relaxed course modules in the system in order to make students like what they are studying and not just do it for the sake of studying. Roy also said, “It should be flexible. The reason is simple, if someone is studying chemistry does not necessarily mean that he/she has to take both physics and mathematics as their only optional subjects. Instead, if we will leave the option open and welcome to let any subjects be chosen, it will result in more freedom to be creative and self-confident.”
l Rat Race: The fact about the rat race that is being followed by the students over the years is saddening. Every student has different traits that make them special. If we expect every student to score 90 on 100, it is not a logical approach. We cannot force students into learning something that they don’t like but rather we should encourage them to learn things that they like. Rather than contributing to the mindless rat race, we should focus on building their persona which would be useful in the future.
l Infrastructure: Apart from what is already discussed above, educational infrastructure in India needs a push. There are certain equipment and technological advancements that are required to be incorporated in the educational sector. E-teaching has taken a great path and students are also enjoying the way teachers are focusing on the subjects. More schools need to be equipped with computers and technologically driven learning tools.
The government has taken certain measures to incorporate changes in the educational system and the participation of the private sector has also brought in positive movement. But a more focused approach is needed to make the Indian educational sector at par with the global standard.