As I sit idle once again, pondering over whether the Indian education system is the product of brilliance, or bullheadedness, I realize it does much more than just produce clerks; something I mentioned in my previous article. Perhaps certain characteristics of those emerging successfully from this system may be associated with those of a boring office clerk (no offense to any clerks in general). However, it would be unfair to pass them off merely as people with a love for paperwork and well-polished shoes.
For the past twelve years, I’ve had to spend at least six hours of every two out of three days in my life going to a facility specially equipped to make vegetables out of people. At “school”, students were trained under two primary disciplines: How to develop a taste for conformity, thus rejecting anything original in the process, and endure boredom of the highest degree. As shunning originality was part of the routine, all coursework involved reproducing writings, thoughts, and ideas; either from those unaware of out system’s values, or other copyists. As we copied every single character concerning the aim, procedure, and observation of a given experiment from a dubious source, teachers congratulated students plagiarizing poems by Wordsworth, Milton, and Keats for the school magazine. It startles me to acknowledge the amount of printed material my classmates, and I have painstakingly re-written by hand.
Though the Indian education system respects the indifference toward intellectual property, copying during tests is strictly prohibited. Why? Because, copying in a test requires one to be creative, sharp, and alert. New techniques are always being thought of and established so as to skillfully carry it off without attracting unwarranted attention. Hence, it is punishable by law. Yet, one is allowed to regurgitate facts onto some paper; facts which one might have failed to digest over the past few months. And those capable of vomiting more factual information are glorified by their teachers and looked up to.
Our education system requires nine-tenths of the people working under it to be incompetent in order to function the way it has functioned so far. It is a place where the incompetent are respected and the incapable never lose their jobs. However, the blithering idiots who try to teach in class, the kind of people who are considered to be icons, and the environments students are forced to endure are all topics for another article and another idle afternoon.