Indian students show high resilience to pressure says a Cambridge study

Cambridge,  the world’s leading provider of international education programmes, has announced the findings of its Global Education Census for 2018. The study gives insight into what life is like in schools around the world today for students and their teachers, according to a report by Cambridge International. The survey was conducted with almost 20,000 teachers and students around the world, including 4400 teachers and 3800 students across India, noted the report.

Change in culture and teaching method

The results from the 2018 census illustrate a shift in culture and teaching methods in Indian schools. This is a testament to the fact that schools are moving from a rote learning culture to one that focuses on the development of the whole child, which in turn will help students succeed in their professional endeavours. The census also reveals that Indian students are not only driven academically but also make use of other learning opportunities to pursue their interests and passions.

Interestingly, while the survey shows a definite shift in the teaching culture in Indian schools, it also cements the country’s long-held fascination with engineering and medical careers.

The key findings from the survey are:

  • Indian students take more extra classes and do more extra-curricular activities than other countries surveyed
  • India and China have the highest number of students taking additional classes (58%). Those seeking extra lessons/tutoring mainly take Maths (74%), Physics (64%) and Chemistry (62%)
  • Indian students are the most active in the world when it comes to extra-curricular activities (72%)
  • Only 11% of Indian students said they don’t take part in any extra-curricular clubs or activities
  • Debating is the most popular extracurricular activity (36%), followed by science club (28%), art (25%) and book club (22%)
  • 74% play sports regularly with badminton (37%), football (30%) and cricket (30%) as top choices
  • Indian parents have a keen interest in their child’s education
  • 66% of Indian students say their parents ask about their school day, and over half say their parents attend school events
  • 41% help with the parent-teacher association – this is the highest proportion of any country globally
  • Medicine and engineering are the most popular career aspirations of Indian students, and schools are supporting them to achieve these ambitions by providing excellent support services
  • 23% of Indian students say they want to be a doctor/dentist, 23% an engineer and 16% a software engineer – more students in India said the latter than any other country surveyed
  • India also has the highest number of students who said they would like to be scientists (8%)
  • Indian schools invest in good career advice and health services to help students to achieve their ambitions
  • Seven out of 10 (73%) teachers in India say their school provides careers advice/counselling
  • Indian teachers also report the highest levels of health care (55%) and mental health care (35%) provision of all the countries surveyed
  • Indian teachers use a blackboard in the classroom more than any other country surveyed, however, use of smart boards is becoming increasingly popular
  • While chalkboards are used in 56% of classes according to teachers surveyed, technology is also catching up as the use of smat boards/interactive whiteboards (43%) is on par with developed countries
  • Most Indian teachers don’t feel pressurised to ensure their students perform well, but they are doing everything in their power to help their students succeed
  • Indian teachers are the least pressured globally to ensure students perform well in exams, with just 36% reporting pressure.
  • 42% said they have good professional opportunities and 67% find teaching to be a rewarding career

Dedicated Teachers

However, when it comes to preparing students for exams, Indian teachers are amongst the most dedicated in the world, says the report.

  • The majority of teachers surveyed in India say they help their students prepare for exams by teaching them to respond to different types of questions (73%)
  • The second-most common way of offering exam help is to show their students how to plan their time in an exam (68%)
  • Indian teachers are also the most likely globally to offer study periods for revision (50%) and to teach students how to create personal revision timetables (42%).
  • 33% of teachers in India say their students take multiple mock exams and a final year-end exam.
  • 26% say their students take two full sets of exams.
  • Students achievements are celebrated very well in Indian schools
  • Most teachers in India say that academic performance is rewarded through trophies and certificates (60%)
  • Two in five (40%) also say students receive a special note on their report card

Ruchira Ghosh, Regional Director South Asia, Cambridge International, said: ‘A globalised world means there are more opportunities for students today than in any other time in history. While this has clear benefits, it also means Indian students are investing in developing their knowledge and skills outside the classroom through extra-curricular activities and use supplementary learning resources. Indian teachers are also very dedicated to helping students perform to their best abilities and come top in the survey for their investment in time preparing students well for examinations. It was also really nice to see that Indian parents take a keen interest in their children’s progress and it is equally heartening to see that schools are increasingly offering a health care system that focuses as much on mental health as physical.”

Lynn Eldered Menezes, MA (Career and Developmental Counselling) and B.Ed (Social Science) at HVB Global Academy in Mumbai said: ‘It is great to see the Indian students are on par with their global counterparts. However teachers should ensure that homework and extra classes do not overly burden their students. Academic competitiveness is important and can make learning fun. The focus, however, should remain on the overall development including the Emotional Quotient which is more important’.
Image – Cambridge website

Leave a Comment