Creativity in Indian education system

By Priya Chetty on July 4, 2015

Thousands of children get enrolled in schools every year, where a strict curriculum is followed for the upbringing of the children. But one major factor that schools give a miss is the way the children are taught. The significant flaw in the Indian school education system is that, despite numerous acts made to enable universalisation of education, very little progress has been made in the technique of teaching.

Creativity, as viewed by Peat, is energy which constantly comes out of the child while sitting at a school desk. Through this definition, it can be understood that creativity is largely ingrained within a child, while learning to walk, talk, play word games or any other activity. And this attribute of creativity suffers when we make the learning process rigorous, through rote memorisation and indoctrination.

Indian education system

India ranks second in the World’s Education system, just after China, in which nearly 32% of the population is aged fewer than 15 (Cheney et al. 2006). But very few amongst them[1] completes the average years of schooling, most of them leaving in the middle owing to various reasons. Out of the small proportion enrolled in the State-supported public schools or fee-based private schools, the quality of instruction varies. Most of them resorting to processes not incorporating ideas to motivate creativity. This problem of enrolment and provision of quality of education existed since the colonial period. This led to our thinkers and philosophers like Tagore[2] and Gandhi[3] devise extensive ideas of transforming education in such a way that will boost their innovative thinking. Mukherjee (2013) opined that the present education system still follows the colonial pattern of generating mass civil servants, bank officers and engineers. In his view, numerous students are victims of “unrealistic, pointless, mindless race”, thereby curbing their creativity and originality (Mukherjee 2013). As observed by Guimbal (2015; IE, 16th May) through his interviews with people obtaining education in India, most of the students in the country are indulged in memorization of lessons, dates and other pieces of texts or information to be able to write in their exams (15).

deterioration in the recognition capability of letters among primary children, over the years from 2010-2014. Source- ASER (2014)
Deterioration in the recognition capability of letters among primary children from 2010-2014. Source- ASER (2014)

To usher an overall development of a child and to enable them to enjoy the process of learning, the education system needs to be transformed from its colonial ways of teaching to innovative learning.  Teachers should introduce innovative ways of teaching by giving priority to activity-based learning and enable learning with experience and observation. Most people agree to the benefits of creative learning but they motivate creativity post-school rather than during school’s teaching process (Guimbal 2015).

The current scenario of the education system is grey. Although there has been an introduction to innovative learning most of it has strictly been restricted to private schools.



  • [1] An average of 2.9 years and 1.8 years of schooling is completed by male and female population, respectively (Cheney et al. 2006).
  • [2] Tagore aimed at bringing self-realization within human being through education, through one’s imagination and insight, evolving within themselves, the universal soul or the super human being. His concept of universal soul had impact of the Gita and Upanishadic philosophies.
  • [3] Gandhi believed in the mode of education which will bring the socio-economic development of the society, thus advocating the significance of work experience in education (learning by doing). This system of education will lead the child to become a moral, compassionate, fair-minded and dedicated personality, leading in the stimulation of creative, independent and critical thinking.
  • [4] As per the ASER (2014), 20% of children belonging to standard V can only read letters, 14% can read words but not sentences and 19% can read sentences but not longer text.


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