While there are certainly many ways the education system can be improved in India, there are still a great many things Western countries can learn from Indian students' zeal for learning. The Wall Street Journal features a running series of articles called India Realtime, which is described as "the daily pulse of the world's largest democracy." A contributor to this series recently wrote an article that praised Indian students' passion and drive for learning and outlined a few ways that the United States and other Western countries could learn from India when it comes to education.
The writer emphasizes that the three primary ways that the U.S. education system can learn from the Indian education system are: putting students' free time to better use, nurturing mentorship and collective decision-making when it comes to their students' future, and setting up stricter guidelines for college admissions.
In the U.S., it is very common for high school students to procrastinate their homework until the last minute and show little interest in core classes in high school. Instead, U.S. students tend to focus on the social aspects of school. Parents could combat this attitude in their children, but because many U.S. parents spend long hours at work and are tired at the end of the day, they have a tendency to allow their children to spend their time playing video games, text messaging their friends, instant messaging on their computer or watching television. In India, parents have a tendency to direct their children to prioritize their studies, rather than emphasizing leisure time.
In school, U.S. students who apply themselves to do well in school in math and science are called nerds and are often socially ostracized; students who do well in sports, however, are often considered the most popular. However, in India, the educational culture praises students for succeeding in the more challenging subjects of math, science and technology.
U.S. students could also benefit from more parental involvement in their children's future. In the U.S. there is a tendency for parents to allow their child to go their own way and figure out what they want to do with their life on their own. In India, parents play a much bigger role in helping their children map out a plan for their life and will go the extra mile to help their child achieve everything that they can academically so that they have a greater chance at entering a successful career.
Finally, the U.S. has an abundance of colleges and universities and some of them do not take a whole lot of effort on the student's part to get into. A student could get by making unimpressive grades and still get into several different colleges. In India, the number of universities available is small compared to the large number of students trying to get into them, and students must work very, very hard to get into one of them. This drives Indian students to work much harder to succeed in school than American students.
While the U.S. education system has many strengths, there is still a lot it can learn from India.