Monday, August 8, 2011

AP and China

Andhra Pradesh in India and China may well share something peculiar. I think there is a shared connection between AP’s Education System especially in high schools and the way Chinese mass produce goods. Andhra Pradesh is known for producing Engineering students by the cartloads and is also responsible for majority of the seats in premier institutes like IIT’s, NIT’s, BITS, etc… They have achieved this through carefully planned out teaching pedagogies where students become machines with an unimaginable ability to rote stuff. Concepts, Logics are put aside and the only objective is to obtain a good seat. Clearly AP has monopolized the Engineering stream and I don’t see any competitor close enough.

Coming to China, known for mass production and the ability to produce things cheap, they have become a global behemoth in manufacturing. You can see the similarity as one produces students and the other goods. Both share similar problems with respect to quality as AP students have been known to struggle once they enter Engineering colleges as it calls for systematic learning and understanding rather than memorization. The quality of Chinese goods is always questioned and every sub quality product is always labeled as a ‘chinese maal’ in India.

On a broader context, we can even compare the human rights issues. China has been known to abuse human rights and have tough labour laws and work conditions. It wouldn’t be completely wrong to call the way students are treated in AP as inhuman. Asking a student to study from 8AM to 8 PM with a few breaks in the middle to have lunch and tea is being insensitive and cold hearted. Ideally at this age students should have the right to play, explore the world and try and carve out a career for themselves.

I guess the solution to AP’s problems lies in better information being provided to parents and students regarding other career options. I guess the government will have to look at such education drives as this will help in getting a more varied pool of youth who would be better equipped to take the state forward rather than producing a million of the same kind. After all we are talking about people here not goods.

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