Hacking into the Indian education system | Debarghya Das | TEDxBangalore



hi guys my name is devar cthis as you can see I go by D D and last year some of you might have heard of this I hacked the Indian education system and I won't tell you a little bit more about it but first I want to tell you a little story a little personal story very close to my heart I went to high school in Calcutta I know the accent doesn't sound like it but I went to high school in Calcutta and when I went to high school I had my best friend was this guy called Tintin and Tintin kind of embodies everything that the Indian teenager today is he hated school he absolutely hated it he'd go every day teachers were unqualified would read off page after page of textbook and it was boring and he didn't like it he liked music of course he he loved to play the guitar he was extremely good at playing the guitar but even more than music I think the coolest thing about Tintin is he really likes sound he liked acoustic engineering he really wanted to do something in that in that field but unfortunately class 10 came around he didn't do very well he didn't get science he got commerce didn't like commerce very much in class 11 he failed in class 12 very unfortunately he passed away in a very tragic accident and what can you do see education is something very dear to India we all know that you pick up an average paper this is what comes up this is I just googled something two months two months of newsgroup and this is what comes up education is huge in India it's your road up the social ladder is education and it's not done well and people like Tintin everyday crumble under the pressure of the Indian education system and many others face its challenges and I'm going to tell you a little bit more about that overall in my talk I'm going to tell you about what I did last year I'm going to tell you that and some other problems with each Indian education system and I want to tell you that we can actually solve this problem we have solved this problem and how we can bring it forward into India you see let me first start with how how education works in India for those of you who don't know you go to school teacher reads page after page for 10 10 15 years you get to class 10 you give your boards you regurgitate all the information and the boards are a big deal because the words are a national thing it's sometimes it's a state thing it's either the ICS see the CVS see your state boards you give your board exam and then you expect a 16 year old who gave his board exam to decide what he wants to do in life there's no anything about life he's worried about his girlfriend and you tell him whether you want whether he wants to study science or commerce and humanities and all these tough words that doesn't even know what half of the mean and then after he does that two years after class day and after class 12 he gives another one of his board exams after it regurgitates all that information that he learned and based on that one mark that he gets the one result in his class 12 board exams that decides his future that decides which college he goes to most arts science business colleges as you all know they only want your class type board result for engineering it's a little better sure you also have an entrance test so in addition to high school you take tuition and then do that as well and for a lot medicine it's just bizarre you don't even need to go to high school you could study for your entrance exam you become a lawyer a doctor it's absolutely fragmented it's absolutely bizarre how the Indian education system works this this comic I really like this comic it kind of demonstrates what the Indian education does to you it kills your creativity it kills everything that you're passionate about the Indian and yet doesn't really have an education system at all as an examination system that's what it has there's this funny joke there's two types of knowledge in India there's knowledge that's in the syllabus and there's things you don't need to know and the ends always justify the means it's whatever at the end of the day no one cares if you've learned anything you come back home your mother doesn't ask you if you learned anything they ask you one question how much did you get did you get one hundred math No and so last year I did this really cool thing and to be honest I wasn't trying to change the world I just wanted to do something cool and hearten to the indian education system and I downloaded over a million students results from the CBSE the ISC the ICC and I did some analysis on them and I found some great great flaws some of them you already know some of them were just conspiracy theories that you never knew could be proved and I think I might have proved some of them so you don't big data right we're in Bangalore were in the tech capital of India big data is a big tech buzzword and big data is what happens when you have a lot of information it's really hard to deal with a lot of information because it's just a lot of numbers and you need to make sense of it and with the computing power we have today we can make sense of these big big numbers and companies do it all the time for example I'll give you an example in Facebook you can detect images you select faces and images you are all on Facebook you all know this you that image detection algorithm can detect faces better than humans 98% accuracy and then cheating we have algorithms that can detect cheating more than any other teacher if you're if you've you copied from Wikipedia they know and we've all done it and so when I had all this data right a million students very big number to even imagine a million students are all the results how do you process this what can you find out this information my problem was much much easier than all these big guys Facebook and everything and so I did some stuff and I won't tell you what I found out you see first things first privacy right no one really thinks about it in fact after I published this the only lectures of privacy I got were from the American people you know your how can you do this this is this is horrible how are these results up in the open and the thing is India has a culture of public shaming and praising on marks right hey guys you're not a statistic you're not a number you're not you don't deserve to be put on a chronological list of how you did at school that is not your true self worth it's not and the fact that all these numbers are open you just go online you type in your number you get your ICIC result right you type in your number add one to it you get your friend's number and then you're like oh I hate it better than me I'm horrible and that's something we need to be that's the first thing I think we need to fix but you know in one way I'm pretty happy that this wasn't private because I'll tell you some more things don't don't try to make too much sense of this in the CBS c CB you see the standardized test right a lot of people give the cpsc and with standardized test you're supposed to have a standardized distribution not exactly like this but this is the SAT distribution so that's how the marks as for each column vertical column on that graph the number of students who get it the higher the Green Line that more number students who got that and it's a continuous graph it looks really nice right and that's a most most standardized exams are and then that's the cpsc crap do you know the first hump is the pass mark right and I've told people isn't there like yeah that's obvious hey yeah grace marks right no big deal this 5% of our our country that we're passing and they don't deserve to pass and they all think they're lucky you know I did well and I just passed they didn't fuss they were passed and the second hump is even worse right the second hump is 95 and that's elite colleges that's what it depends on why is it there I don't know but that can't be there it's a statistical inaccuracy the probability of that humping there is so low that you could expect to be murdered tonight and that's that that probability would be higher than this yeah I got that right I just I want to show you some more things um go on Bangalore is full of Engineers right tell me what this sequence of numbers or this group of numbers represents what's common between all these numbers in in the ISC 2014 if you ask any of your friends you know any of your friends give the ISC ask them how much they got in any subject they won't tell you but you know if they do tell you they won't have got these marks strange right why wouldn't anyone get a 93 no one got a 93 know about any of these marks in 2014 60,000 people gave this exam five subjects each in no subject in no you know your even this year and last year nobody retained these marks it makes no sense what's going on and I think I have an hypothesis right so it can't be these marks happen to some teacher somewhere in India gave these marks something happened to it it was changed it's horrible the horrible thing to do in your life depends on this right I want to talk something about the butterfly effect I find this concept fascinating it is a movie about it – the butterfly effect is when in a deterministic system a small change you don't have to understand the small change in the set of initial events changes in the outcome in the end I'll give you an example imagine in India a woman goes to work you know had a bad day at work comes home screams at her husband and her husband is very angry and he has to create all these exams and he's in Iasi exam waitering you know he just wants to make the most money he wants to get rid of all these exams quickly go to sleep takes out this pile of 100 papers and it's about an English papers and he's really angry and he marks them low bad mood changed so many lives in that day it happens I have data to prove that this happens in English in the CBSE in the ISC from year to year the averages of each school change by more than five to seven percent it all depends on who's correcting it right all of that decides your future decides which college you go to this is this is another really interesting comic I came into and I love your gun think of this right because when you give when you offer these subjects to kids and you're graded on the same benchmark you get it on the absolute number you get in the end and you offer all these different subjects so you would assume that in all the subjects it's equally hard to get a 95 and an 85 and everything but that's not true in fact both the board's depending on which subjects you take you can make a 30% difference in your grade 30% that's the difference between going to the best college in India and not going to a college anywhere the subject choices right I thought of this last night did you heard the doc punk song we're up all night to get lucky that's basically the indian education system in a nutshell it's incredible our lives our lives are in the hand of fate you know you didn't talk to the girl got 99 points the reason he did was he was lucky there are people who deserved it they didn't get it he got the right graders and it's great but are we really gonna let the lives of our future youth depend on luck I don't think so I think we haven't we have a solution for this a lot of people don't agree with me but right now I work at Coursera and in Coursera does online education and you might think of online education as all a lot of videos and what or whatever but it's a lot more than that see MOOCs are massive on open online classes and MOOCs can take the luck out of any education system and they have been at Coursera I work with three people on my team who never went to college they were passionate about what they did and it's not just in America EDX Coursera Udacity are changing education across the world some of you might recognize some of these universities right can you imagine 10 years ago from your bedroom you know you're going to sleep you're lying on bed with a laptop you can learn for free from people who went to Berkeley Berkeley College of Music John Mayer went to Berkeley College means you can learn from the same people who taught John Mayer in your bedroom people who didn't study math at Princeton you know feels medal winners Nobel laureates such University of Chicago teaching economics you can learn anything from the greatest professor in the world you just have to open your computer I think I think that's amazing I want to show you some some little facts and figures there's 170,000 IIT alumni it is always the benchmark right this is 170,000 IIT alumni in total in all their history in India actually I think everywhere right now in two years at at Coursera there's four times that amount already and there's more potential it's 130 million Internet users we can educate a 130 million people so scalable and it works it works you know why it works I'll tell you this this wasn't the slide I had yesterday this guy I met this guy yesterday his name is pankaj he's in the audience somewhere I want I want first let me tell you about him and then you can give him a round of applause Pankaj typical story you know hated class everyone hates class he went to Bombay studied he did his degree in business or whatever he didn't care about it and then he discovered online education right transformed him he's a CEO and Founder at 22 he manages people and he runs his business he designed these slides give a round of applause you know a few weeks ago joseph stiglitz he's an economic Nobel laureate he came to Coursera and he said something that really struck me he said we still live in a world today where the greatest gift you can have is choosing the right parents to be born to if you really think about it that's so true what our parents can do for us it decides our whole future it's all luck even in the very beginning and this very famous talk by Ken Robinson also of Ted and he says high high quality education is a fundamental human right high quality being the operative words here high quality education and I want to leave you with one thought you know I want you guys to go home maybe today maybe tomorrow discover your passion go online take some classes really learn for the sake of learning and I assure you you will get somewhere in life challenge don't stop complaining about the system we all complain we love to complain about the system and look at what today is taught us the ugly Indian nourish narsimha and it's so beautiful because they're challenging the system I want you guys to go challenge education thank you you

49 thoughts on “Hacking into the Indian education system | Debarghya Das | TEDxBangalore”

  1. Lol people think that's fake accesnt ?? It not fake at all .. my friend who lived in London since born for 12 years has the same accent but we mostly talk in Hindi tho

  2. After seeing lots of controversial videos and motivational about ''changing Indian education system or present condition" ..i can only say that nothing will change in India …….NO ONE CARE ABOUT STUDENTS…AND YEAH SURELY WE ARE BECOMING SLAVES DAY BY AND NO ONE WILL HELP OR REDUCE THE SYLLABUS .😥😖
    THOSE WHO ARE IN 11 SCIENCE WILL UNDERSTOOD WHAT AM TRYING TO SAY…WE ARE REALLY HELPLESS ..I CAN ONLY SAY THAT INDIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM ESSPECIALLY THE SCHOOL EDUCATION IS LITTERALY WASTE OF 15 YEARS….

  3. Dude the irony is i am studying maths right now while watching this video for my class 10th and the saddening part is i have no choice

  4. All those who failed in exams or failed in life … Will find their voices has been raised by someone???
    I also found it interesting….. But lemme tell u onething that everyone of us faced but didn't notice is that it's not the education system but the management system that gives us underpaid teachers….. We all want best education in our lives but we don't want to pay our teachers what they deserve…..we pay it to managements and they exploit it in the best possible way. Even u go for the best online classes or the best institutes u will find how they pay their teachers less.
    We expect the best out of the teachers….. But forget that it requires lot of hard work to do the boring work of teaching. We think that by merely celebrating teachers day and giving a pen will square his time and effort than we are sadly mistaken. Teachers of new India have everything in their hands…. It's the youth of India that will have to recognise at a young age who is the right and hardcore teacher…… By merely going to a well structured organisation with nice infrastructure and getting involved in lot of activities doesnot mean that u learned everything …….i know it will write a book if said….. Sorry if hurt anyone feelings and yes I m not a teacher but has closely observed the profession. Teachers can do wonders given a chance. And yes selection system also matters.

  5. we are startup on educational transformation from theory to practical ways of education .SHOUT KLUB whatapp +919003023620

  6. I hated my school as my other fellow indians do because if not having effective teachers to break the concepts, and the worst part of this is that the schools don't even take the feedback from the students about what things can be done better it effectively to create better selves.

  7. Why peple watching this fools shows…… They dont care about science…Yhey dont know about scince…… Q folowers also Q.. thre is teching fools……U all mised one think….

  8. Hey… Checking of papers are done at a certain centre of examanirers , not at home with your moody spouse.

  9. I love you.

    Just Kidding…

    No seriously.. You just said it all!
    Someone finally said out loud in absolute clear terms what Indian students feel like!!

  10. Just learned basic differentiation during the preboard exam times from Khan's academy and studied for the purpose of learning. Wanted to reach the level of quantum physics but sst syallabus was not complete. Got 83.5% as a whole, (made some silly mistakes or the teacher reduced marks for not stating obvious things or following answer format) and back at home I became a disappointment all of a sudden despite the hardwork.

  11. I wish you were studying in my college I would have met someone who has the same mindset as me…..God is cruel and unfair…….Screw the IITians….bunch of talented people that's it

  12. This episode of Ted is brought to you by Coursera. Get 10% off your first certification after you complete a course when you type in the code "TED".

  13. neither the education system nor the students fails in the exam its the parents who are making them failed in their life if u want to change tis u have to change the mentality of every parents in india…becoz in 2005 to 2012 it was engineers time and nw it became accountant time and later i dont know….just act soon asap

  14. I am a student in 11 class in India I scored 10 cgpa in board class 10 I thought I was very intelligent but my scores went down in 11th I opted for science and my passion in computer science. after watching this video I got more strength to follow my passion

  15. he was only person who came up with the solution of online education like coursera, udacity and edX, I was already learning from coursera and it really helps

  16. What is he trying to say?
    If the Indian education system was to bad, why are most of the tech's and business giants hire Indians?

  17. his accent sucks, so his content. no preparation. completely nervous. dry tongue. no confidence in what he is saying or trying to say.

  18. The Best education system was the Vedic system of Gurukul where the student would not only be given education but also trained in the essential life skills required……
    But it was completely destroyed by the invaders….

  19. Dude…Your accent sucks. Please at-least speak UK accent if in-case you don't want to be sound Indian

  20. there should lots of options & flexibility in education , we in India don't get much option we select what we are getting…..
    instead of talking about salary package &spreading the bullshit about salary especially parents
    …there should be talks of entrepreneurship… & the experience of students i.e learner should like a pioneer…
    there are many topics which many people hate because of there past experience , but when learn about these topics on online platform from the best university or teacher in the pure & natural form , you realize that it is very beautiful in its natural & pure form …..
    there is no doubt that universe is beautiful in its genuine state …..
    but because of the rat race mindset of millions of people ,it just ruins it…
    even if you in the race …you are rat at last , may be the best rat …..
    I think open source platform ,online platform. online contribution & community interaction learning on online platform is best …

  21. For those who think it's an ad for coursera – He mentioned and praised edX and Udacity and MOOCs in general.
    And,for those who think it's an ad for onlne education – How can there be an ad for a genralized thing.That's like saying Bill Gates giving an ad for operating systems.

  22. Hey, I am a student (school, Xth grade, just promoted), and what I find wrong is spreading fear among the students. You know how teachers scold us if we are not good at some subject (math or science…) "you won't be able to get into a good college, you won't get a proper job, won't get a good salary, you will not be able to succeed in life"…etc and how our parents scold us when you get low marks (i get scolded EVERY year), basically they are trying to make us study well by adding the element of fear, but that is bad, you can't enjoy learning the subject like that… and well however hard you try, you can never change the Indian education system where a mark's value is considered to be more than a student's mind, his ideas, instead what can be done is instead of scaring us, try to motivate us, tell us benefits of becoming an engineer, tell us the benefits of becoming a doctor, tell us how good our life can be if we get into some good college like IIT, instead of scaring us like how bad will your life be if you don't get into IIT. And most importantly, make us ENJOY studying. Try to make studying fun, bring some creativity in the teaching system, teach us using videos, we are tired of books, bring something that we can enjoy and learn at the same time.

  23. That's right the education system today is killing our imagination I remember that when I was in 5-6 class I used to make make electronic things like a small submarine,working car, hydroelectricity and now I don't even know how to make things like those my imagination has just stopped and thrown out. Here sitting in front of the tab I get to learn more English than I do in schools. I have given the 10 exam but still don't know what to do In my life someone say engineering,someone doctor or lawyer

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