Monday 23 March 2015

Do we need a Honor System in the Worlds Largest English Speaking Democracy ?

The Education System is Shaped by the Ones Educated in it !
From the Heart of Sagar Galwankar, MD

The whole western world went berserk when they viewed pictures of the mass cheating at a high school in a state of India.

It does not matter which state of India did the school belong to. The fact is the School was from India.

We are at a very vibrant stage in India wherein our National Leadership is advocating India and Indians to be the largest supplier of English speaking, technology savvy, knowledge rich and high skilled human resource in the world. Complimentarily the government is pitching the case to the world to come and Make in India.

At moments like these where our Nation is making such an honest case to the world, instances like these have left a big question mark across the western world.

It is very easy to use the famous Indian terms “It’s OK, It’s one school”…Well let me tell you it’s not OK, it’s not one school, it’s A School in India.

Being an ardent Indian working in the United States I was sad when one of my colleagues from USA came and showed me this news. I was shocked and embarrassed and I said nothing except, “Don’t Judge the Nation and its Citizens by what you hear and what you are shown. I understand that this happened but that does not reflect on the nation”

Why should we bring ourselves to a stage where we have to defend ourselves?

The whole education system in India needs a Second Look and a thoughtful solution.

The whole Education Systems revolves around three important  points

1.   Marks

2.   Caste

3.   Financial Capabilities

We should be reminded that a country is made by those who are aware and educated and not by those who are ignorant. The world is now connecting in seconds and India has reached Mars.

Our Education system is facing the biggest challenge it has ever faced. Competition has been limited to only 10 % of the whole education system because commercial education dominates the rest of 90%.

Students of today believe that if they pay they deserve to get the Degree. They believe education can be bought. There are only a few who believe that real talent will always win and there are those who give up all hope when they fall on the border and get eliminated by the Caste Line of Scores where a student with lower grades can make it to top institution but a student with high grade can’t get in because his quota is filled up.

 This gives rise to what I called “Fractured Progress”. We sow the seeds of dissent in the system which is created to cure dissent.

We speak about BRAIN DRAIN but we forget that the very reason for brain drain is the loss of faith in the future.

If the affording believe that they can buy any degree at any cost and the struggling believe that marks are the only way they can be educated then be it any caste there will always be a race to win and win at any cost and that cost could amount to cheating and academic dishonesty too.

What happened at one school is a small indicator of what can happen.

The world has many achievers who are Indian. Let us not stigmatize them.

The government has to fortify its vigilance and regulatory framework in Education by partnering and learning from Successful Education Systems across the world.

It’s not that difficult.

I will give the Example of Allopathic Medicine in India:

1.   Make Common Entrance Test applicable to getting admission in any medical school which comes under the Medical Council of India be it Private or be it Government Funded

2.   Offer Student Loans to students to fund their own education

3.   Keep Points for the resource limited students but don’t divide merit on caste

4.   Let One Apex Agency be responsible for Accreditation of the Medical Institutions of Under Graduate, Post Graduate and Sub Specialty Education

5.   Let another independent agency be responsible to conduct nationwide examinations of every field, discipline with complete freedom.

6.   Create a National Medical License Tracking system

7.   Empower a regulatory authority to accredit the healthcare facilities to provide quality healthcare.

8.   Penalize those who default at any level

9.   Encourage Physicians to become teachers by offering training initiatives and incentives and set up benchmarks for career advancement.

10. Integrate the vibrant corporate healthcare system into the academic medicine system by cross sectorial collaboration

These are 10 Points which by itself will reform Health Education and HealthCare in India.

With current existing scenario where Caste, Marks and Finance dominate the future of smart citizens,  it is reforms like these which will change the face of India.

There should be no student who should feel helpless because he could not avail the education he desired, there should be no student who should be compelled to compromise in order to win at any costs, there should be no student who believes that money can buy the degree they demand, there should be no student who should be left behind.

I believe in Bharat where Universities like Benares Hindu University and Nalanda University made history, I believe in my country which has institutes like All India Institute of Medical Sciences, I believe in my country where the largest skill population of the world lives, I believe in my country which placed me where I am today !

 I believe in my country which has the potential to bounce back when challenged.

Let’s bring the honor code into education, let’s create an environment to implement the honor code, let us value that an Educated Nation is an Empowered Nation, An Educated Nation is an Economically Progressive Nation.

 I have a dream and I dream to make it true !



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