The brouhaha over recent exam paper leaks, yet again, brought to fore the rot in our education system. But as usual, the discussion is about controls and systems to not let such leaks happen in future. No one really discusses the overhaul this obsolete education / school system requires.
"What are the things that education kills?"
When I posed this question to some of my colleagues today, they responded with the following answers:
While I totally agree with the first two, the third one was surprising. I think, killing of innocence (if this phenomenon really exists) must be an output of growing up rather than the education system. But is that all? A country which always puts conformance on a pedestal and the world which increasingly is moving away from appreciating differences (of opinions, color, race etc.) of any kind, isn't it expected that creativity and individuality will suffer?
I believe educations kills Creativity, Individuality and few more things. It kills:
1. Curiosity - Our education system is designed to answer standard questions, not to ask new ones. (Why apples fall from the tree, wondered Newton)
2. Passion - Our education system is designed to feed the job market and thus kills passion for anything apart from conventional. (Anything apart from science, maths and literature, is still called extra curricular activity in schools)
3. Creativity - Yes, our schools kill creativity too. The focus is on the right answers, and the speed at which you give those right answers and not on the right approach. (Do teachers encourage students to think about problems or do they ask them to find answers from a text book written decades ago?)
4. Individuality - Education kills the spirit of the child by killing his / her individuality. Known by their roll numbers and standardized by their uniforms, they all are expected to behave the same. (When everyone scores above 90% and still don't get admissions in colleges, what are they supposed to do?)
5. Learning - That is the biggest sin our formal education is committing today. Killing the very reason for which the schools exist - Learning. Yes, kids learn things that are prescribed, but the system kills the fun in learning. So they learn only for exams and that too near exam dates. So learning gets associated with stress. (When was the last time you picked a book on your favorite subject and read it just for pleasure?)
It is high time, we do the following things right:
1. Invest in good teachers. Ensure teaching becomes a high paying profession. I have seen too many teachers, who actually are not that great in their subjects.
2. Teachers shouldn't only be qualified and well paid, but they also must be evaluated for their sense of duty towards building a better future for the country. There are too many teachers, who are knowledgeable but are not good teachers.
3. Schools should promote diversity of all kinds, including diversity of ideas. The pedagogy should include lot of debates and discussions on varied subjects. Instead of asking students to solve 10 math problems for homework, wouldn't it be great if they are asked to manage the expenses of a class trip?
4. Travel as a tool for education should be encouraged. Nothing opens a child's mind more than getting out of school.
5. Scoring mechanisms need an overhaul. Instead of scoring on subjects, can their be scores on cognitive, emotional and technical skills?
I am sure given the state of affairs, some of the ideas given above, sound far fetched. So can we have a larger group, doing something about this issue seriously?
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle
My last year's challenge post from letter E was about life experiences during my Engineering. Read it here.
---My theme for this year's #AtoZchallenge is all about writing stories, anecdotes and observations from my life in form of easy to read listicles. You can read the theme reveal post here.