Friday, August 25, 2006

The Pros and Cons

There have been 5 long years in the engineering sector: now, attempting to steer away a bit from the conventional research realm and trying to look at the engineering aspects from an altogether different perspective, landed into exploring this course on Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics. But as I have moved ahead of the superficial academic nook and corner of it, I have started to think differently now. This, coupled with me having been in the mundanely-captioned 'Land-Of-Opportunities' for an year now, let me put down the pros and cons of the education system here: might be a lesson to consider for the 'thoughtful' administrators back in India!

(1) Education, whatever is your major from Fine Arts to Finance to Rocket Technology, happens under the same physical location mostly, affiliated to the same co-existent university: this faciliates interaction, engineers interested in photography can take courses with the Art & Sciences Department. This encourages inter-disciplinary academics and research. Contrast with the Indian system: now you know why US is foremost in all the good research!
(2) Students in their undergraduation are free for the first two years to look around, take course from several majors from music and theater to civil engineering, and then decide on one as per their performance in those and interests. Contrast with Indian system: you will hardly find another Tom, Dick or Harry complaining that "I don't know why I did enginnering"!
(3) Graduate courses hardly have those time-bound examination concepts. Instructors profess a more spread out and overall performance of a candidate through the semester. Contrast with the Indian system: only the sincere and actually 'smart' guys succeed!
(4) Students mostly are more self-responsible. Many of them are supporting their own education since they graduate from the high school. Contrast with Indian system: you won't find parents visiting their kid(s) every year twice during the exams!

PS: Not to talk about the great 'boons' to our Indian system, like the high degree of corruption, political tools like reservation, the act of selling examination papers much before the actual test, and favoribility on the basis of being some MLA'a kith and kin, minority, or regional/religious/caste/creed/sect/sex issues...

(1) Jobs opportunities in US are better; and there really is a high 'dignity of labor'. So you might argue, many undergraduate students can be found to be idling away the four years learning nothing! This is kind of less common in India, since they face this tremendous competition for jobs to survive.
(2) Can you think you another good thing with the Indian education system?

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