To strengthen the Indian Education System, an educational policy was adopted by the Indian Parliament in 1968. Education was made an important and integral part of the national development efforts. After independence there has been an effort to spread education to all levels of Indian society. Statistics point to the fact that 99 per cent of children in age group 6-11 years have been enrolled in school.
However, to bring the remaining into the ambit of universal primary education is proving difficult because some reside in inaccessible areas, there is a deep rooted prejudice against educating girls there are practical difficulties of distance and inaccessibility of schools. Moreover, the dropout rate is so high that universal elementary education (UEE) is quite an elusive goal. Since, education is important for the growth of developing nation like India, various steps have been devised to reduce the percentage of dropouts.
Non-formal education to provide educational facilities for the drop-outs and to fulfill the desire for additional education in the grown-up-drop-outs is being given a new orientation to make it purposeful and to attract a broad spectrum of the drop-out population. In Indian Education system, adult education programmes covers the age group 1-35 and has been vigorously implemented by the government with the cooperation of many voluntary agencies. Even then much has to be done to realize the target which is 100% coverage adults.
With regard to the pattern of secondary education experiments have been going on since Independence. The 10+2+3 system of education which was recommended by Kothari Commission of 1965 is now being implemented in almost all the States and Union Territories of India. This system (pattern) provides for two streams hi the higher secondary schools; the academic streams paving the way for higher education and the vocational stream of terminal nature. However, very few schools live been able to provide this terminal education.
As result, schools with academic streams still abound, thereby defeating the very purpose of reducing the acute competition for college education. In many States education is free up to the lower secondary level, and in a few states education is free up to the higher secondary stage. Higher education system in India is imparted through about 180 universities and neatly 4500 colleges. In addition there are several institutions imparting specialized knowledge and technical skills. Since education is a State subject. The State Governments in India are free to open new university.
Grants Commission is an authority which dispenses grants to the universities. But its formal sanction is not necessary to open a university. Taking advantage of this provision many State governments in India have opened a large number of universities in recent years. The tremendous increase in the number of students and of educational institutions has given rise to the term ‘education explosion’. No doubt, this has resulted in serious problems such as inadequacy of financial resources and infrastructure and dilution of personal attention to the education and character-formation of the students.
Also there is the unwanted side-effect of enormous increase in the number of educated unemployed. However, we cannot overlook the advantages of education explosion in India. Mere increase in the percentage of literate people does not indicate a qualitative change in the educational standards of the people and a substantial improvement in manpower resources of India. Unemployment problem in India cannot be blamed on the availability of large masses educational people in India. Uncertainty and vacillation have marked the government’s policy regarding the medium of education in India.
Mahatma Gandhi wanted basic education to be imparted through the mother tongue. Bearing this in mind the Constitution provides that facilities for primary education in mother tongue should be provided to all Indian citizens and that, for this purpose, the Central Government may issue directives to the State Governments. Thus the requirements of linguistic minorities are properly attended to. Even before Independence, most of the students in schools had their education through the regional language/mother tongue.
While the government policy in this respect has not changed, a significant increase in the number of schools—primary and secondary—imparting education through the English medium is a significant development; thousands of nursery schools that have mushroomed since the last decade purport to impart education to Infants through English. This is an unwanted development which has been deprecated by educationalists and political leaders. Regarding the medium of instruction in colleges and universities, many State Governments have already decided, in principle, to switch over to the regional language.
However the implementation in this respect has remained very slow. If regional languages are fully used for imparting college education, mobility from one region to another for the higher education in India will be seriously hampered. But continuing higher education through the English medium is disfavored by many politicians and some educationalists. The alternative of imparting college education through the Hindi medium throughout the country makes no sense. Thus, the Indian dilemma in respect of medium of education still continues. There is a general feeling that the curricula adopted for different stages of education are substandard.
This impression is not borne out by facts. The syllabus for irrelevant and various course in schools and colleges have been updated and upgraded. The NCERT (National Council for Educational Research and Training) has set the right tone in this respect. Regarding recent changes in the curricula in schools and colleges, a mention may be made of the introduction of physical education and services like National Social Service (NSS) and National Cadet Crops (NCC) as part of the curriculum and of the inculcating of emotional national integration through teaching of Indian National Movement.
Constant review of the syllabus and methods of teaching in the light of the innovations and methods adopted in advanced countries has certainly resulted in improved standards. This is not to say that the average standard of teaching and average proficiency of the students has improved a lot. The general educational standard has been diluted by decrease in the commitment of teachers and by the general decline in morality and standards of life. In many colleges and schools examination has become a farce and real assessment of the intellectual and other capabilities of the students is not done.
Work-oriented education system was advocated by Mahatma Gandhi and others. However, vocational education system in India has proved an up-hill task. The present pattern of 10+2+3 with a vocational stream has touched only the fringe of the problem. The fact is that people resent being taught crafts and traditional occupations in the school. However, the modern commercial education which imparts skills in typing, shorthand, reception and the like has met with better popular approval and demand. The core of the issue is whether education and employment should be de-linked.
Such de-linking will have the great ‘merit’ of reducing attraction for college education. But de-linking or jobs from degrees and certificates is fraught with unforeseen dangers. In any case employment can be provided only on the basis of certain qualifications. If the qualifications are not to be determined by the universities and other conventional examining bodies, the same work will have to be done by the recruiting agency or somebody else. Besides, the scheme of not prescribing the bare minimum educational requirement for posts will pave the way for gradual erosion of standards necessary for different posts.
As pointed out earlier, education is not to be blamed for the widespread unemployment In India. In recent times new educational opportunities have been invented, one such being correspondence education system. Today virtually every university in India is offering correspondence courses for different degrees and diplomas. In fact correspondence education has opened new vistas for the educational system which could not successfully meet the challenging problem of providing infrastructure for multitudes of new entrants into the portals of higher education.
The public demand for higher education was initially met through evening colleges; now correspondence education has come to the rescue of the worried education administrators. The latest innovation of ‘open university’ has also been introduced in India in the form of Nagarjuna University at Hyderabad. An open university imparts education only through correspondence; and, in this respect, is to be differentiated from the regular universities which take up correspondence education in addition to the college education.
Correspondence education provides an important means for drop-outs to improve their qualification and, for the employed the means to improve education and service prospects. In course of time the glamour for college education may decline if correspondence education is made very effective. The Indira Gandhi National Open University has been created at a national level. Superstitions in Indian Society Superstitions are a commonly witnessed phenomenon. They can be seen anywhere, anytime, whether at home, in office or on the way. People of every caste, creed or community are superstitious.
Though the forms of superstition may vary, their presence can be felt in every society. It is a universal phenomenon. Even the people of highly rational West are superstitious. It is an integral part of human society. To stop all of a sudden to see a cat crossing our path is a widely seen phenomenon in Indian society. It is almost universally believed that this is likely to bring failure to the mission of the person who is going to cross the road after it first being crossed by the cat. Similarly, the howl of the dog at the deadly hours of night instills a feeling of horror resulting from the fear of the death of some near and dear one.
The third very frequently practised superstition is that when someone sneezes at the departure time of a person, it is believed that he is going to flop in his mission. Such practices which do not have rational ground and are termed as superstitions. Superstitions have been prevalent in society since time immemorial. They have their origin in illiteracy, i. e. lack of rational belief, scientific attitude and also lack of faculty to interpret certain events. Its origin can be traced back to prehistoric times when people did not have knowledge and exposure as we do have today.
Nor the people of those days had any control over forces of nature. In such a situation superstitions were bora as a means to satisfy the causes and effects of some mishappenings. Such incidences are said to have been caused by some supernatural elements. Gradually, these interpretations of events in life received acceptability and were passed on from generations to generations. In course of time they became part and parcel to social life. Evidences of superstitious practices can be found even in the earliest human settlements in the later Paleolithic and Neolithic periods.
The presence of lots of things of day-to-day needs in the graves of those periods confirms the superstitious practices rampant in the contemporary society. Even in the highly developed civilization of Indus Valley, amulets were used possibly to ward off evil forces or unknown disasters. Almost similar superstitions had also been practised in the Egyptian civilization. It has been found that a large number of things of day-to-day requirements, generally used by the person were put into the graves by the side of the dead who would need them all in his next life.
Superstitions were also practised by the adventurous and courageous Aryans of the Rig Vedic period. Repeated co-incidences helped in rooting the superstitions. For instance, if a person while going out on a certain mission comes across a particular animal, and by chance he is unsuccessful, he begins to believe that it was caused by the animal which he happened to see. If the incident is repeated this is established that animal is a bad omen. Or conversely, success associated with a series of coincidental happenings also creates a superstition.
Indian religious system also contributed in its propagation, by following totemism. This sometimes gives superstitions the status and sanctity of religion. Superstitions are deeply rooted in society. Even with the spread of education and awareness superstitions could not be driven out of society. They hold the educated and uneducated alike. It has so strong grip over the mind of the people that despite scientific and technological advancement they could not make themselves free from them. Their presence is felt all across the globe despite technological progress made in various fields of life.
But the spread of education has, undoubtedly, acted as a deterrent against superstitions. Now they have developed the attitude to see and judge anything on the basis of logic and reason. Moreover, the fast-paced modern life leaves no space and time for superstitions. A person cannot heed anybody’s sneezing if he had to be punctual on duty and cannot miss his train or flight. His busy schedule hardly leaves any space for such things. In addition, ever-increasing media coverage and people’s accessibility to mass media have helped in creating awareness against the hollowness and harmful impact of superstitions.
It is ironic that advanced West is not free from the ills of superstitions. In China and other western countries, number ’13? is considered to bring ill-luck. If this number is allotted to a car, the owner of the car hesitates to drive the car and he is always under fear and tension of accidents. A person, who gets the house of this number, hardly makes him free from the fear of death, disease, damage and destruction. Furthermore, passing under the ladder is considered unlucky by the people of western culture, but this is not the same in case of Indians.
The mode of practice of superstitions in India is different from that of west. In India it is a common superstitious practice to hang an ugly fearsome face usually painted on the back of an earthern vessel to the facade of the house, to save a newly-built house from the evil eye. In India people do not like to be called from behind or asked a question just as they are setting out for some work. Hanging artificial black shoes at the back of vehicles-a truck or bus is a very common sight in India.
Often there is an outbreak of epidemic disease in India; the imprint of cowdung at the doorway is a widely practised superstition in India, in urban and rural society alike. The sacrifice of innocent children in the name of certain religious practice is the gruesome form of superstition in India which very often catches the headlines of several dailies. In short, the culture of superstitious practice in India is very rich and varied. Often the superstitions are very frightful and cruel in nature, particularly those related to human beings. In Indian society, a widow’s plight is no secret.
She is treated as an object to be hurt and humiliated catching sight of widow while on the way to somewhere is considered unlucky. Her presence is disliked on some auspicious occasions like marriage. In India a bride often has to pay a heavy price if immediately after her marriage the death of her husband or any other member of her husband’s family occurs. She is subjected to torture, taunts and tribulation for the whole of her life. These superstitious practices undoubtedly bring about negative impact on the progress and development of society as well as individual.
Superstitions need to be eradicated from the society. Media has a significant role in this regard. Mass awareness campaign can help in combating this evil. No doubt, education has no substitute in this regard. Fortunately, the youth of India are not superstitious. They are educated and keep a scientific temper. They believe that every action has a cause, and every cause leads to some consequences. Whatever is not based on rationality and reason should not be allowed to overpower our mind and create unnecessary fear. If you have worked hard, you cannot fail just because a cat has crossed your way.
Superstitions are baseless and should be given up. Me And My Career My life-long career goal is to become a physical therapist, someone capable of restoring, maintaining, and promoting overall fitness and health in accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions. While my educational goal is aimed at studying to become a physical therapist, I would also like to express my passion for science (especially biology) and computers. I plan to, first, obtain a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology, and then enter and succeed in a refined physical therapy programme.
I may even want to make use of my bachelor’s degree and work in a laboratory before studying towards obtaining a degree in physical therapy. It would be a worthwhile experience and broaden my horizons so that I will not be limited to just one career. I chose biotechnology because it utilizes the sciences of biology, chemistry, physics, engineering computers and information technology to develop tools and products that hold great promise and concern. It has made a great impact on medicine, the environment, edibles, clothing and agriculture, and with its advances, we are on the path of a wonderful journey.
Biotechnology has enabled humans to expand their understanding of the biosphere by journeying into space and exploring the depths of the ocean. We have not only been able to look at the surrounding universe and the depths below with the advancement of tools and techniques, but we also have been able to live there. Organisms that can be used to control or cure certain diseases can be genetically modified and High Yielding Variety (HYV) seeds have been developed due to biotechnology.
With newer discoveries in this field, better and more eco-friendly fertilizers, manures, pesticides, weedicides and insecticides are being developed. Biotechnology can show us the way to a new, renewable source of energy! I chose physical therapy because it also utilizes biology, chemistry and physics. It is through that programme, I can be in a profession where I will not have to sit at the desk all day and have the chance to make meaningful differences in the lives of people. Physical therapists get to interact with their patients one-on-one, helping them stretch and do a variety of therapy exercises.
They teach people how to walk and use their bodies again, cope with a chronic disease such as multiple sclerosis, and reduce pain. Jobs are available to physical therapists in a variety of health-care settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home health care and private practices. Physical therapists are in demand as people are getting older and physical disabilities are increasing. Also, physical therapists earn a good salary. This will make it easy for me to get a job that pays well by the time I complete my studies.