Oh lovely, an education ranting thread! ^_^ I represent the glorious Indian education system, home of some of the world's greatest ancient universities, except not anymore.
The biggest problem I have with the Indian education system is that it is entirely memorization-based and relies wholly on the students' ability to retain data for a while, as opposed to actually testing their skills, understanding or reasoning ability (Maths is an exception). Hence you have tons of kids who can shoot away memorised data like a Tommy gun but can't utter a word if you ask them something trickier.
Education levels themselves are fairly low, with teachers being snobs with poorer knowledge than they should have, and even poorer salaries. All the better and skilled teachers head for the much higher-paying coaching classes, which are another problem as they serve as something of a second school to go to. So not only is your school ****, you have to go to another school to make up for it. Fun.
The education model's focus is entirely off the student, and apparently inspired by Ford's assembly line. It's all about doling out more kids with higher marks, which are in intense competition for securing admissions in colleges. The result is an educational environment that prepares you for mental warfare in an orgy of a battlefield rather than actually instilling any qualities of curiosity for knowledge. The ingrained Indian respect for education doesn't help.
My views on how education should be, would first state a diversified model. Upto the age of 10 or 12, they will go through primary or elementary school, with a fixed set of subjects to cover the essentials of everything: language, maths, science etc. Most importantly, a certain understanding of morals and ethics would also be helpful.
In the second tier of education, lasting from say, 12 to 16 will allow the student some degree of freedom in choosing subjects which would increase over time. They will still have certain fixed subjects, basic mathematics and language for example. The next two years of education will focus on specialised education, but still allowing the student versatility to select subjects from various fields.
Schools in themselves should "grow" with the student, rather than following the same teaching practices throughout all ages. There should be a larger focus on having the student research and "learn to learn" rather than force things down their drain. To quote Ayn Rand and suffer a backlash from Rand-haters:
Originally Posted by Ayn Rand
The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.
That is exactly what I believe, ma'am, you stay awesome.