Thursday, August 7, 2008

IIT-JEE: Existing Pattern and what lies ahead

A couple of days ago I was approached by a journalist for my comment on existing IIT-JEE standard and whether it is enough to gauge the standard of an IIT-JEE aspirant to get him a seat at the prestigious IITs. And I came up with the following to form the basis of my comment which figured later during a program at their channel.

Genesis of the problem lies in the menace of commercialization of every aspect of life and there is nothing today which can't be weighed against the money. Of course there are things and people which/who are beyond the realm of money but then such things/people are beyond the reach of common people as well. Education industry and that too in India has not been able to keep the pace with other industries. And while other industries have redesigned their financial struture to attract the best of the minds, Education Industry has miserably failed to lure intelligent minds to take up teaching as a career option. Usually it is the left overs from other industries who decide to take up teaching as a career and this has led to decline in the standard of education across the relevant sections and throughout the country. The yardstick to measure the quality of education itself is on a steep decline.
Any change in the quality of education can have two consequences. Decline in the quality of education being imparted has resulted in sub-standard students, sub-standard at least from the view-point of the standard required for IIT-JEE . Government instead of taking corrective measures to stop the decline in the standard of school education and further improve upon it to make it meet the standard required for JEE, opted for the easy way-out i.e. lower the standard of IIT-JEE to meet the standard of sub-standard products of the present school system. And thus the original JEE was replaced by 2-tier examination which in quality was definitely lower than the original JEE.
Coaching institutes are meant to fill in the gap between the requisite standard of IIT-JEE and the sub-standard students the schools are producing. This they were supposed to do by raising the standard of students qualitatively but they also opted for the shortcut and devised ways and means to make students just somehow make it to IIT.
All such institutes are totally commercial in nature and hardly bother about any qualitative improvement in the enrolled students. Their only concern is to beat others in numbers. The kind of process students are made to go through in learning the tricks of cracking of JEE papers are such that though they end up in cracking the JEE papers but they do so without learning the know -how of the subjects. Many of the professors at IIT Delhi have confirmed the above observation by saying that they no longer meet quality students.
Coaching institutes are proof of the sub-standard education being imparted at schools. Instead of lowering JEE standard the Goverment needs to form policies in order to improve upon the quality of school education so that the students get equipped with proper learning at school itself to clear IIT-JEE.
In the time to come, where will the mindless policies of the govt. take the country to is not tough to predict!!!

1 comment:

Anshuman said...

here are a few reasons why I would disagree -

1. Coaching institutes are meant to fill in the gap between the requisite standard of IIT-JEE and the sub-standard students the schools are producing -- schools dont produce sub-standard students, they give sub-standard education. When a student is serious about JEE, he/she can anyway not rely on school education, cause the JEE exam is supposed to test you at a much tougher level (something for which the schools were never designed for in the first place). So a high calibre student, irrespective of weather in a good school or a bad school, has to buy the JEE books, and put in hours of hard work every single day.

The whole idea of the new system is to go for a highly analytical exam pattern, where coaching classes fail to give an advantage. In other words, for 2 students studying 3 hours every evening, one in a coaching class and other in his room, should stand the same chance. The new system, strives to achieve that.

2. Coaching institutes are proof of the sub-standard education .. - please be aware of the fact that coaching institutes thrive on the aspirations of students. More so, if I may sound a bit harsh, of selling the IIT dream to people who know they cannot otherwise make it. In the end, those who make it are the best of the lot, not the most coached ones.

Re-iterating the point made before, the new system will eventually settle into a highly analytical exam pattern, where coaching classes fail to give an advantage, and only the genuinely bright people make it - their 3 hours of study in a coaching class getting as close an equivalence as 3 dedicated hours of self study at home.

If you think schools can prepare you for JEE, sorry but they can never do so - and they were never meant to be.