Modern education aims to help students achieve their full potential and transform them into leaders and professionals. But is India’s education system equipped for that? Are educational institutions in the country leveraging technology to prepare students for the future?
India is home to about 500 million people between five years and 24 years. Among them, many are students. Some study in government-run institutions, while others get their education from private institutes. The latter spend a considerable amount of money every year. The education sector is worth several billion dollars.
On the other hand, several educational institutions compete against each other and use smart marketing strategies to entice students. Some claim to provide ‘best-in-class’ education. Some guarantee campus placements. Some promise to enhance their skills.
But when it comes to results, most of them over promise and under deliver. Many shocking studies have shown how half the students in urban private schools cannot read a paragraph correctly. Or let’s take the case of engineering students, about 80 percent of whom are not fit for jobs. The situation is even worse for many management students.
Who is at fault here, the students or educational institutions? Let’s talk about the latter and understand if they are doing enough to optimize the performance of their faculty members and students.
When students apply for admission in a typical institution, their parents stand in long queues to take the forms and submit them back. They pay several thousands of rupees in admission fees and spend a considerable sum every year. But most institutes don’t use the basic infrastructure, such as institutes management software, to simplify the process.
After getting admissions, many students attend the first few classes, but some find the extracurricular activities more fun and interesting. The traditional teaching methods don’t engage them and they prefer skipping it. By the way, did you know that more than 60 percent of students find lectures boring? The traditional approach does not just kill the curiosity, but it forces them into a one-size-fits-all box. So, some students bunk classes and ask their classmates to respond to their roll calls by proxy.
The teachers, on the other hand, are overburdened with administrative and teaching duties. This affects their productivity and leaves them with less time to prepare their subjects and upgrade themselves. Did you know that many spend about 15-20 percent of their time just on roll calls?
Parents remain blissfully unaware of their children’s whereabouts and learning progress despite visiting the institutes once a month (or at regular intervals) and paying the course fees. All they see is a long queue and a receipt after making the payment.
Then, finally, the exams season comes. With great efforts, the courses get covered, question papers prepared, and the subjects scheduled. At the time of exams, many students resort to malpractices and manage to get the pass marks. Teachers can’t identify the weaknesses of such students, and neither do their parents. Some parents never see the actual report cards because they don’t receive them directly from the institute.
Such is the stark reality of many educational institutes that have been unable to change themselves and provide quality service. This brings us to the original question of whether schools should treat students as their customers or not. To answer the question, let’s understand the definition of a customer.
A customer is someone who purchases a product or a service from another person or entity. In the education sector, the service is the knowledge and teachings. The service providers are the teachers and staff. The entity is the educational institution. Suffice to say that students are the customers. They are customers and the biggest stakeholders in the system.
But, do they get the treatment and services they deserve? We all know that a majority of them don’t. What happens when an organization in any industry fails to deliver the promised product or service to their customers? It faces major backlash, penalties, and lawsuits, just to name a few. But students have never been considered customers or individuals who deserve respect because many of them are minors.
It has caused more deep-rooted problems over the years. A person’s attitudes and natures are influenced by the support they receive from family members and teachers. A majority of people in the country lack professionalism and entrepreneurial spirit. Many businesses face huge challenges to ensure decent customer care service.
But times have changed, and tables have turned. Institutes that fail to provide satisfactory education and amenities find it hard to compete with those who deliver excellent services.
Imparting the best possible education will be possible by leveraging technology and using it to perform mundane activities. Using it, in the form of institutions management software, educational institutions can:
- streamline admission process
- conduct remote classes
- automate attendance
- accept tuition fees
- conduct online exams
- make important announcements
- send progress reports and important updates to parents
- and many more
Institutes and educators can also develop effective learning techniques such as experiential learning, flipped classrooms, hands-on projects, and more to engage students in a better way.
Teachers should know each of their students individually, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and treat them respectfully. They should encourage participation in classes and make the lessons more interactive instead of lectures and monologues. Students respect educators who they believe respect them and have their best interest at heart.
Educational institutions should also give parents the respect they deserve and value their time, effort, and money. Why must they travel long distances, stand in long queues, and wait for reports and updates when there is an easy and cost-effective alternative?
Taking everything into account,
Education is as old as the human race, and teaching is one of the oldest professions. But it must continually evolve to keep pace with the changing times. In the present time, as education institutions prepare students for the future, they must leverage technology to impart education and give a sense of professionalism. Students and parents have always been the most important stakeholders in the educational sector. It’s high time to treat them as one.