The Never-ending Numbers Game in Indian Education

The Never-ending Numbers Game in Indian Education

Indian education system

“Sharmaji ke bete ko dekho, tum bhi seekho kuch usse” – This is nothing but that iconic dialogue that runs through the Indian bloodlines. We all may have heard such lines at some other point in our lives. Such Things have been so normalized in our private and social circles that the subtle yet powerful discriminations this amounts to for a student, have become much normal an affair in our society than it ever must be.

Parents and teachers belittling children for their apparently poor marks in their exams surely make anyone question the layman’s belief which apparently states that a cent per cent in one’s answer sheet promises nothing but a success equated to a happy future. People, however, just do not realize that none of these can ever be promised and a successful life may not always be a happy one. There also exists an urgent need for us, as the youth, to investigate and challenge the root causes of this tendency to attach the worth of the child to a mere marksheet.

What Went Wrong?

While being celebrated for laying the cornerstone for some of the prominent universities and syllabi in the world, which have gone on to produce quite a handful of prodigies for the world stage, the Indian Education system has operantly conditioned our society. It assesses every child on how well they can regurgitate the lessons, tales, and morals they were taught onto sheets of paper. This is rather than evaluating how capable they would be to practically utilize these morals in their future lives.

The system has also tactfully created a belief in us, a belief that defines good grades and marks as the finest parameters of a successful future. This illogical importance that is unconsciously mounted over a scholarly mark sheet thus leaves good grades as the only set of incentives for getting an education.

Not only does society mount an illogical inevitability upon good grades, but it also tricks its people into believing that this alone is the definition of success. Being organically conditioned to this thought through generations, people tend to rudely dismiss anything apart from a future sponsored by one’s academic endeavours.

While many parents would be stubborn about having their kid trained in every extra-curricular under the sun, they are rarely found on the same page as the kid once he or she wishes to nurture a career in any of them. Our society, at times, fails to give the least possible nudge of acknowledgement for the plethora of passions that the kids might nurture. This habituates the parents to hail the belief that any road less travelled is never worth travelling. Any extracurricular pursued mainstream is not worth the input. The latter is solely driven by pure luck.

The Forgotten tale of skill Enhancement

While the never-ending numbers game owns up the complete stage, skill acquisition-based education takes an unfortunate backseat. If education does not provide any room for students to acquire and hone their life skills, it undoubtedly will never contribute to their holistic development. Skill-based learning enhances creativity among children.

Since they are exposed to learning new life skills, they would be able to better grasp and comprehend them. It would also aid their independent thinking skills. If a curriculum is centred on skill education, or to say the least, pays attention to honing the skills of its pupils, it aids the students to solve problems through deeper and higher order analysis.

This not only alters their thinking patterns in a critical path but also builds upon their self-esteem. Skill acquisition during school and college years would further help the students understand the nuances of their strengths and weaknesses. This would present them with an objective to complete their education instead of focusing on “good marks.” Skill education is further potent enough to alter the statistics of our workforce completely.

Training the students in modern professional skills like AI, Robotics, Data science, Research methodologies etc. and personal skills like interpersonal communication, languages, negotiation, marketing etc. would ensure that the nation possesses a workforce of not only an exceptional quantity but also of an exceptional quality.


A survey conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in 2022 showed that 81% of the respondents believed that their anxiety was caused by exam stress. National Crime Records Bureau recorded deaths of 13089 students by suicide in 2021, which shows a 70% increase in the rates from that of 2011.

It further displayed that a distressing count of 1673 cases accounted for failure in examination. Kota, the proclaimed educational hub of our nation, has witnessed the lives of our young teenagers disappear in the bat of an eyelid. The “hub of entrance exams” witnessed 23 students die by suicide within half a year (records until August). These numbers are however just the tip of a humongous iceberg, that none has the chivalry to uncover.

How do we repair it?

First and foremost, we ought to keep in mind that a classroom amounts to quite a small room space to accurately navigate a child’s future. Not even the best intelligence test developed by any psychometrician can determine a child’s success because success is something that ought to be qualitatively and personally defined by every child. No one should ever abide by the tailored definition of success which is conveniently imposed by society.

Parents and teachers should instead prepare their children to take on the world waiting outside their doorsteps. They should be continuously assured that no marksheet can ever decide the value and prosperity of their lives. While they may find it anxious and depressing to, sometimes, lose sight of an academic goal, reiterate that it is never necessary to have one. Instead, teach them that what is inevitable for humans to live their only lives is to have the courage to incessantly chase their dreams, no matter what they may be.

Teach them to be kind, compassionate and empathetic in all walks of life, because that makes them unique. A mark sheet with excellent grades may help them stand out for a day or two, but these qualities, if etched in their hearts, will take them to unimaginable heights. The instances of our everyday world prove that humanity is now facing an unfortunate dearth of humans, hone them to be the finest of them. Lastly, help them understand that the numbers game that they find themselves in, in most situations, is toxic and unhealthy. Reassure them it is okay to fail and falter, but it is never okay to quit.

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