Educational systems, A contrasting view
As mentioned in the previous post, In this post I shall present some of the thoughts which have accumulated over the past month.
The points I shall present here are a result of my observations and interactions with the local as well as other international students who come form a diverse set of educational cultural and economic backgrounds coupled with my own experiences and interactions back in India.
Education, a topic I take keen interest in. The contrast seen in this field between what I was exposed to in India and what I see here is tremendous.
The city I live in currently, Göteborg is one of the industrial area and is sweden’s second largest city in terms of population. contrastingly, it has only one technical university(Chalmers), and University of Gothenburg is a much larger university focusing on social sciences and other non-technical programs. My point here being, though a industrial town there is no ‘industry’ churning out engineers. The courses offered in these two universities are diverse in number and none is treated superior to the another. I guess you get the contrast, I need not get into that.
The form of education here is more application oriented and less of the rote learning model followed back in India. Along with this a lot of emphasis is given to new ideas and innovation. Students often study in groups sharing ideas and learning in the process. Result of being Sweden ranks as one of the most innovative countries- which translates to income:by selling technology to other parts of the world.
Back in India, when I would talk to students about politics and ideologies rarely would I find ones with a sensible understanding of the situation and would talk logically without bringing in his/her own personal vendatta. On the contrary, most of my political/philosophical conversations here have resulted in both parties gaining some additional insight on the topic. Points shared are not directly quoted from some media source but put more logically stating reasons of occurrence. People here are more informed about the happenings around them and can clearly distinguish between a true incident and a media created one.
In my course of interactions I did come across few who knew India and they were aware about the few aspects of its culture and some spoke of the failing economy. But a larger number of people only knew bollywood and trust me, it has painted a very wrong picture of India to the western world and continues to do so.
Lastly, an interesting observation I have made here is the importance given to activities apart from your main job. On my journey back from Stockholm, on the other side of the aisle sat a lady who kept her self busy all through the journey. She either was either studying “Social psychology” or spent time knitting(back in India I used to associate knitting to old ladies who had to somehow pass time). I could quote a number of instances where people here are not confined to one single job/task, they balance things by doing something they like or just spending time out with family and friends. This definitely helps, you would know if you have tried it out.
Yes, I sure have painted a greener side of the western world, it is intentional. There always are certain negative aspects too but I havn’t paid much heed to them, they serve no purpose and are over shadowed. Though India is on the path of development thanks to various student bodies, I believe a change in system will lead to more rapid progress.