Ask any student regarding the reason why he seeks good marks and a degree. His best answer would be that he is doing all of it to secure a good job at a high and respectable position and earn lots of money. For many people like these, education is merely a path to achieve materialistic perks such as money and reputation. Their studies are fueled by these desires and the expectations of achieving them.
However, this method would definitely have worked at any time during the late 20th Century, when only a few people had the means to educate themselves, and those few would have easily got a job by completing high school education and securing a degree.
Today, the case is not the same, as more than half of the Indian Population has access to education and thus could complete their basic education and hold a degree without as much effort as their parents. This has increased the competition, and now at a time when a company could find thousands of people at a time having a particular degree or an education in a required job sector; the companies don’t look for these formal qualifications anymore.
What the biggest companies look for in their potential employees is the ability to create novel ideas, be creative and be able to express themselves clearly and effectively. Today, high-level jobs are not given to an average Joe who got a master’s degree through rote-learning. Instead, only those who are equipped with enough knowledge in their field, and can spontaneously generate ideas are given the perks of an elite-level job and a high salary.
This is the problem with the Indian Education System. Our teachers don’t teach us the importance of the subjects and how it could be helpful for us, rather, students are taught about way and tricks to pass the examinations with the least level of effort possible. This has what created engineers incapable of undertaking a huge million-dollar project, doctors in hospitals incapable of handling a serious medical case, and a few scientists who could only build on an existing technology, rather than use their knowledge and innovate.
Of course, not everyone is doing the same, and there are a few who’ve seriously worked their craft and achieved laurels. But from a vantage point, one can clearly see how people perceive education in India. To most of us, its not an opportunity, but rather a formality. The blame goes to the parents as well. Parents force their children to either become a doctor or an engineer, precisely because, at their time, these two were the only major fields in which one could have achieved the objectives of a high position job and a good salary. But the time today is different! Jobs could now be created in a variety of fields. Today, a person can have the same level of achievements being an actor, a singer, or a graphic artist as compared to being a doctor or an engineer. All it requires is gaining knowledge and applying it in a creative manner.
Creativity and Curiosity are the important fuels for Innovation. Only these two factors can enable anyone to be successful in whatever field they want to. This is why children today must be given freedom to progress on a path where their curiosity exists, let them gain the required knowledge, and then use creative ways to excel in their craft.