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What’s wrong with Indian Schools? – Diary of a Cognitive Scientist

What’s wrong with Indian Schools? – Diary of a Cognitive Scientist

I travel to different parts of India to speak to various stakeholders of schools. Right from parents to management, students and teachers, everyone is facing some problems. But, most of us have missed the biggest problem?

Everybody has a problem with everyone else in the system. Management’s are not satisfied with students, parents and teachers, similarly, parents are not satisfied with the other three, teachers and even students are not satisfied with other three respectively. Outcome? Everybody looks for reasons to prove that their perspective is right and others must comply. This struggle to prove oneself correct, has actually become a journey to find faults with the other three and put oneself above others.

What started as a small feeling has turned into crimes. Here are a few facts for you:

  • 6 out of 10 cases of harassment and abuse on schools are false cases
  • Students kill their teachers and principals in lack of emotional quotient
  • Principals not confident about teachers and even themselves
  • Parents are scared to send the kids to schools (and use aggression as a self defence mechanism)
  • Teachers are focused on self safety, not self development (most teachers just know their subject matter but are not skilled to be teachers for 21st century students)
  • Students are completely confused in differentiating between what is right and who is right?
  • Nobody trusts anybody in a school today (but everyone says they do)

As per the circumstances, this is just a beginning. If not controlled, these problems will grow exponentially as hate crimes within next 1 year. And imagine the state in next three years. Let me tell you the best/worst part. Every single school in the country is vulnerable to these problems. And most of the schools are still following the Ostrich approach. Hiding their face and believing we are not visible anymore. It’s high time we move from believing we are safe till it does not happen to me, or doesn’t happen again, to I am vulnerable and i should prepare myself everyday.

There are many things that can be done to safeguard ourselves as schools, teachers, parents or even students.

  • Create a key description of everyone’s role in the school. Teacher, student, Principal, management and even parents. Everyone needs to feel that they are a part of system (not individuals doing things) and have role to play for smooth functioning of the education delivery of our kids
  • Add responsibilities in the role of the student body and keep some posts rotational. Fill them every three months. Let them be auditors of schools systems.
  • Like a student body, create a parent body which comprises of parents and the body should work in close partnership with management.
  • Involve parent, teachers and students in key decisions.
  • Measure the performance of every part of school regularly and post the results for everyone to see. Your growth is your biggest vaccination.

And this would be just a beginning. If you initiate with all these aforementioned points together, you’ll see a remarkable change in your school systems in 6 months.


Post statement:

I can tell from my experience, that if you are someone who read the complete article, you are really concerned about your future. Write to me at and I’ll share a plan with you to implement as a school or as an individual Principal/teacher and be ready for tougher times ahead.

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