US students learn less than Indian students in high school!
Topic: Education in India and the USA
US students learn less than Indian students in high school!
In USA, students cannot point out a state on their country map!
There are vast differences in high schools in India and the USA. Here, we are a new nation where literacy is catching up. There is more emphasis on compulsory subjects like maths and science. This, says this observer of the US education scene, leads to more software engineers
India is a developing country. Earlier, the economy was rural based, and there was lack of industrialization. Thus, masses in
rural India were solely dependent on agriculture. Hence they were less interested in education. There were fewer schools or no schools at all in villages. Further, their income being meager, the villagers could not afford sending their children to school. Thus illiteracy rate was very high in India. To bridge this gap in the society, the Govt. of India passed the “Right to Education Act”. The Govt. opened many schools in villages. To encourage and attract the students for attending the school, a “Mid Day Meals“ scheme was introduced, thereby serving free meals to students. Vitamin tablets are also given to students free of cost. Thus the literacy rate is improving now. In fact literacy has gone up dramatically.
Comparison in teaching system/method and teaching aids.
In India, teacher teaches a subject from prescribed school books. The black board & chalk is used for explaining the subject, by drawing diagrams, etc. The students are asked questions to answer orally. Home work is given, which students has to complete and show to the teacher the next day. Thus the teacher can evaluate the progress of a student on daily basis. In USA, the education is imparted through various teaching aids, viz. multimedia and audio-visual aids. The class rooms are fully equipped with electronic gadgets. The vast difference between Indian schools and schools in the USA is in the number of students in a class room. In India there are approximately 50/60 students in a class, where as in the USA there are only 12/15 students in a class.
The students in India are not disciplined as compared to students in USA. The delinquent students bunk or cut short classes and run away from school. There is no security check. However, in USA there is security staff to prohibit the students from leaving the school mid-way. In India, teacher is the only mentor, guide and counselor to help students, if they want. However, in USA, there is a counselor to help students to identify and choose a particular line or subjects according to students’ likes, and ability. In India, the teacher is the only person to help a below average or dull student to overcome his problems in learning. The other alternative is, such students join private tuition classes by paying fees. This has commercialized the education in India to a large extent. This is more important as a student has to pass in all subjects to get promoted to next class. As compared to this, in USA, a student is promoted to next grade with a condition that such failed student has to pass that subject before graduating the high school. The basic and most important difference in education in India and USA is that maths is compulsory subject up to High School level in India. It is also a must do subject, if a student wants to pursue higher education in Science & Technology or Engineering. However, it is flexible in the USA. A lot of students majoring in science faculty in colleges do not take maths in High School. The emphasis on math’s in High School and Engineering Colleges is the reason why India produces good software Engineers.
On the other hand, in India, there is lack of infrastructure and interference by management. There is no transparency in the system. The research work is affected for want of funds, and freedom to students.
Students under more pressure in India as against students in the USA!
The curriculum and system is so designed in USA, that it does not hurt the self-esteem of any student. Everyone can pass High School here. This leads to lowering of standard at High School level and also college level. Thus the students learn much less in USA than compared to students in India. In comparison, Indian education system is very hard and ignores the feelings and opinions/ambitions of kids. Here kids are made to study from the age of 3 years. A lot of stress is given on competition and performance in not only exams, but in every other field; the kids are pressurized to study hard to achieve meritorious success. Failure or under achievement is harshly criticized both by parents as well as teachers. Kids are made to memorize multiplication tables, formulae, equations, and other things, which increase their brain power, memory etc. and help them in good stead in future. But this limits their ability to think independently. In USA, however, students are made to think and analyze the matter and emphasis is given on practical, as against theory based in India. However, in India, emphasis is given on general knowledge not only related to India, but around the world and every possible topic under the sun. But in USA it is not so, and students cannot point out a state in USA on the map. Thus education in India up to graduate level is better than USA.
However, higher education i.e. Post-Graduation is better in USA, as USA attracts best students and faculties. The Universities in USA are also equipped with all necessary electronic gadgets. They give free hand to students doing research. There is no dearth of funds, and whole system is transparent.
Education is a building block of the nation’s future. Therefore every step should be taken to make it intellectually stimulating and rewarding experience for both students and teachers. Most importantly, schools should provide a safe environment to everyone.
Mrs. Shubha Kale
Retd. School Teacher