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Critiquing the concept of rote learning, Stephen Leacock, the well-known humourist and writer summed up our current education system aptly, “Parrots would pass the examination of our time better than men. It is the one who has a sharp memory that will make the highest score, though he may clear forget everything just the following morning.” Based on rote learning, our current education system encourages incessant memorization with no meaningful learning at all. This happens to be one of the major reasons as to why students show disinterest in studies. Loopholes in the current education system were well evident in the Bihar Board fiasco in recent times. With the subject toppers not being able to even pronounce the subject name correctly, the infamous scam highlighted the falling standards of board examinations. As per a report in DNA, our country is likely to experience a paradox of more than 80 million people joining the workforce but majority of them lacking requisite skills and the mind-set for productive employment. Also, only 11% of the 550 million Indian people under the age of 25 years are enrolled in tertiary institutions, as compared to the world average of 23%.
Tracing the history of the Indian education system, it was thecolonial rulers who designed it in a way to raise clerks and civil servants. Unfortunately, not much has changed. The contemporary pattern of education is based on similar lines. It has made millions of students the victims of a futile, unrealistic, and monotonous rat race. This clearly calls for a dire need to incorporate a whole new approach based upon innovation and meaningful learning.
Fostering the concept of ‘smart learning’, it is the companies like Educomp Solutions by Shantanu Prakash,NIIT by Vijay K. Thadani, Adobe Systems by Shantanu Narayen, etc.,that can lead to a knowledge-based economy. Addressing the needs of modern learners, these companies are doing their bid to widen the horizon of India’s education sector. Ushering in a digital revolution in Indian schools with the launch of its SmartClass program, Educomp has revolutionized the country’s education sector. Likewise, Adobe Systems, a key vendor in the Global Smart Education market,is making a significant contribution to transform educational institutions with digital innovations. NIIT too hasbeen actively involved in offering training outsourcing services to the world’s leading companies. Such radical and robust changes introduced by companies based on ‘smart learning’ are what the country’s education sector needs the most. It certainly is the only panacea to liberate the system from tenets of mechanistic and obsolete education.