Multidisciplinary High School education in India- whose it for?

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I like studying a diversity subjects. The broad labels like “Humanities”, “Science”and “Commerce” under which we are made to chose subjects in our traditional CBSE schools really bothered me. For example, I didn’t want to take History, and instead take business studies, but my school had made it compulsory for anyone with humanities to take that subject. I dreamt of studying in a different education system but sadly I didn’t put enough energy on my desires and dreams, and wasted more time thinking about my losses.The subjects I would’ve picked if I were in an IB school or a school that allowed to take a combination of subjects as per my wish would be probably be Physics, Entrepreneurship, Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology, German and Dance.

Do note, that CBSE itself does not discriminate between these broad frameworks, and neither does it dictate schools to force kids to pick subjects in this manner. However, it is probably universities whose screening processes require one to be in either of these categories and hence most schools force their students to pick subjects in this manner, often not even letting them know that they are not bound to.

It is also ironic that this leverage is given in two dynamically contrasting contexts.

  1. There were many schools around me in Delhi who did not have an IB curriculum and yet allow(ed) students to pick subjects based on their choice, rather than under the umbrella of a broad discipline. However, such an opportunity was sadly restricted only to more elite students as these schools were one of the very expensive ones. Most students studying in these schools were also looking to study abroad for college.
  2. The “dumb” or “weak” students in my school got the opportunity to study subjects that didn’t come under the broad definition of the 3 categories. The coordinator would “assign” them these subjects without considering what their interests might be, very much assuming that only “intellectually weaker” kids can study a variety of subjects not conforming to the broad framework. Also, these subjects would be a mix of humanities and commerce subjects, like political science, business studies, german etc and not include any science subjects. Even then, I would still consider it interdisciplinary because the subjects were diverse.

This is shockingly ironic since on one hand, the part of the population in the city who got this opportunity were the rich kids who could afford to go to schools that were liberal in their curriculum, while the other kids (as a few whom I consider lucky in my school) were “assigned” this diversity because they were considered “intellectually weaker”.

What does this say about the cultural understanding of multidisciplinary education? It probably says two things- One, that it is only for the minuscule elite, and second, it is for the “intellectually weak”, both of which are highly contrasting.

Either way, freedom and choice to chose what you study should be given to every student, in every school regardless of their “IQ” or how much fees they pay. Given the choice to make decisions for themselves, they can perform much better and even save the country’s resources. Hence, I strongly advocate for a liberal education system.


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