I recently read an article by Mr. Pillai in The Hindu Open page and the subject was "Does real learning take place in schools ?" (the link for the same is provided above) and given below is my reply to him and my perceptions on it...
Your article today in The Hindu Open page "Does real learning take place in schools ?" was spot on. I have similar perceptions on education at school level and you were right in saying that education at school is more about memorizing than learning or understanding the concepts. That is a stark reason as to why Indian education doesnt produce excellent scientists and there is a huge dearth of talent in the research domain in any field in India. The education system in India is extremely mark based and exam centric which pushes the students to a false perception that obtaining high marks is the ultimate goal in school life and added to it the high number of subjects and higher number of topics covered in each subject only augments the problem by pushing the students into bad habits like memorizing. There is no emphasis on the application of a concept which fails to trigger the ability of student to relate what they study in a real-world situvation.
There are quiet a few reasons as to why this happens in education in Indian schools, the primary reason is that there are a millions of youngs minds in India to be educated and not many teachers to cater to the intellectual needs of those students. This results in a single teacher being assigned to teach atleast 60 to 70 students in a class which makes it close to impossible to cater to the needs of all those students. To further more compound the problem the teachers are paid a meagre sum even in good schools which declines the already depleted quality in teaching and drives away people from picking up teaching in schools as a profession.
But even the above mentioned reasons is no excuse for having such a faulty education system. The core problem is the objective of the school education which happens to be marks and only marks. As long as this happens to be the objective we will only be grumbling, like you said "of our fault-plagued school education system".