One keeps hearing that the Indian education system is lousy, how good the European system is, blah blah blah.
Actually, the Indian education system is the best there is … for India.
This becomes very clear when one examines a few key parameters from some other education systems.
Let’s take the age of graduation.
In Germany, for example, a person completes university education at an average age of 28 years. Yes, that’s right. While a few people come out at 26, there are several who take till 32 also. Contrast this with the average age of around 20 for a university graduate in India. Even granting that the average university graduate in Germany comes out with a post-graduate degree — their university system does not have the concept of bachelor’s degree, it’s all master’s degree only — and is perhaps more worldly-wise compared to the average Indian university graduate, the fact is, in India, we cannot afford for a person to wait till the age of 26 or 28 to start earning their own income. Neither does the Indian government provide for free university education, whereas university education is free in most European countries including Germany.
Another parameter is the “standard” of education.
When I started off at IIT Bombay in 1980, there was a spate of so-called “capitation fee” engineering colleges opening up in Bangalore, Mangalore, Manipal, and elsewhere in Karnataka. When they started, it was rumored that many of them had very few faculty members, some of them had absolutely no lab facilitities, and so on. Many people used to wonder what kind of output is going to be produced from such colleges.
But, today, we can be sure that it is such colleges who have contributed largely to the creation of the huge pool of engineering resources that has made Bangalore an IT superpower in the world.
Therefore, in my opinion, there is no need to be overly-critical or defensive about the Indian education system. I think, given the needs of India, our education system is the best there is.