Indian vs American Education System

Being literate is not enough today. Being educated is what we require. Standing and living amidst a competent world, the ability to identify, think, and evaluate for oneself is of utmost importance for any human. The foundation for this is built through education. Hence the education system plays a major role in shaping an individual. It’s inevitable to not discuss and compare the different education systems around the world, however, the American and Indian education systems tend to garner huge attention in contrast to others. It’s especially evident from the large number of Indian students’ who flock to America to pursue their further education. In this article, I too am going to elaborate and sketch out the different characteristics of the Indian education and American education system with the help of expenditure, education structure, course structure, teaching focus, and flexibility of subject choices.


The Indian System of education has long been influenced and changed since the British Colonisation. With India’s independence hurling better opportunities, the education system itself has witnessed very few changes in its learning methodology. It is found that an estimated expenditure of around 6.3 lakh crore in the year 2019-20 is spent by the Indian Govt upon the education sector, ranking India at the 35th position on the ‘Worldwide Educating for the Future Index’ in 2019. India’s education system currently follows the 10+2+3 learning system and the grade levels are divided into Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary, Higher Secondary, and College. The course structure followed by the schools and colleges is highly rigid as it focuses on certain subjects such as Science and Maths more compared to others and provides absolutely no choice to choose subjects until Higher Secondary. The learning methodology used in early education is solely dependent on cramming and memorization techniques with no room for creative aspects to flow. Students are made to focus on academic subjects more than non-academic and extra-curricular activities. Another unique characteristic of Indian Education is that the teachers are often made in charge to handle 40-50 students per class. This ratio may even go up to 100 students per class in rural areas. Furthermore, students are not required to answer any exam to enroll themselves in universities except for a few selected courses like Medical, Engineering, and Architecture (NEET, JEE, NATA). The admission process for universities is usually based on the marks received by the students in their Higher Secondary Board exams.


America on the other hand, also known as the ‘Nation of Dreams’, proves to be very different compared to the Indian education system. The American government spends over $700 billion every year on its education sector making it the topmost nation to invest in education. American Education also varies in its structure as it follows a 10+2+4 system. The level of grades remains the same as Indian Education, however, they possess different terminologies. For instance, Elementary school refers to Pre-Primary and Primary Education, Middle School refers to Secondary Education, High school refers to Higher Secondary Education and Post-secondary refers to College in the Indian Grade Systems respectively. The American Education also offers a highly flexible course structure from the beginning of lower grades where students are free to opt for courses that they like. Math and Science are not the dominant subjects and activities like sports and non-academics are given equal importance as academic courses. The learning methodology focuses on enhancing the child’s creative and critical thinking skills while minimizing the memorization load. For every class the teacher is assigned not more than 30 students, making it easier for the teacher to pay attention to every child in the class. Lastly, for admissions in Universities/Colleges students are required to answer SAT and ACT compulsorily. In addition to all this, both the Public and Private divisions of American schools have better infrastructure and well-equipped technologies compared to the Indian Government schools.

It’s clear that the American Education System is distinctive from the Indian Education System in many ways, yet it’s not the best in the world. Education Systems should not be focused only on flexibility but should also take into account the needs of its citizens and country. The NEP is a step forward in terms of education in India and this is what every country needs to strive towards. As the years go by the education system needn’t stay static but strive to be dynamic to accompany and enhance the educational power in every citizen. In the end, we should never forget that ‘Education’s true purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.’

Categories: Education, Learning, Western

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