IE: How do you rate the current state of Indian education compared to world standards?
Sujatha Ramadorai (SR): The current state is uneven. We have some isolated very good places and some which are very patchy. Our public schools need to be overhauled massively. On a scale of 1-10, I would give India between 3 and 4.
IE: Though the country produces literates in quantity, quality is still a question. Please elucidate.
SR: We don’t produce literates even in quantity. Also, the concept of literacy for the future is changing. We need to be digitally literate as well as technologically literate. Also, children around the world are learning ‘anytime, anywhere,’ and using a variety of teaching and learning aids. We are lagging behind on all these fronts.
IE: One breakthrough that can revolutionise education in India.
SR: There is no silver bullet. We cannot leave every thing to the government. We need to think of creative solutions like making teachers greater stakeholders, acknowledging their role, giving them more freedom, using and leveraging technology to improve teaching and learning methods.
IE: Please suggest a method that could be adopted which can foster innovation?
SR: We need more modules which link what is done in the classroom to the real world, expose children to different subjects rather than put them into silos. Also, children need to do things with their hands and also see the connections between different areas, as well as the connection between theory and practice.
IE: Are students eager to pursue research?
SR: Research funding needs to be increased. We also need research in pedagogy. Not many students are eager to pursue research.