An Ideal Schooling System — My Humble Opinion
With Nauman (my son) just about to get six months old, need of his schooling is ruminating on my mind. I do realize its way too early, but understanding of what wrong the current education system could do has made me concerned. With worry, my mind was also pondered with the ideas of what an ideal education system should be like. These thoughts has kept me engaged with since last couple of weeks, while traveling, working, in breaks, when am around Nauman, and when doing nothing. This write-up is about my humble opinion on what changes in schooling can make it more efficient.
Attitude above Intelligence
Learn a chapter, mug-up the answers and write it well in the exam. Broadly, this is all our current education system is about. Is this sufficient to achieve objective with which we admit our childrens to school?
As advocated by the education revolutionaries, the syllabus we learn at the school is compiled to cater to the requirement of industries, whom they prepare us for. Ideally, developing a good values and Problem Solving Attitude is what should be my primary objective after getting our kids educated.
We send our kids to school with such a narrow vision, to made him a doctor, or engineer or a Pilot. Did we ever thought of us growing up with a passion for making a plastic goods or stapler or furniture? Developing an attitude of problem solver is what ultimately will make our children creative and thinker. Eventually, If nothing good comes out, at least our kids will not have an attitude of problem creator, which is indeed very good quality to possess for a person.
Democracy in School
In the name of maintaining discipline, one worst thing our school does is to not let students express their demands and ideas. This suppresses the very important value of voicing one’s opinion.
Schools must provide a platform where students can put-forth their suggestion and have it implemented. This attitude will greatly facilitate students mature as responsible citizen who has courage to raise their voice against irregularities in the each department of society, and be an catalyst/agent of good change.
Need of an Hour
While most of the countries in the world are posed with the challenge of power and water scarcity, do we have school educating students about it? I ask what good just lecturing will do, if we don’t educate students on how to tackle these challenges?
Having solar power generators, wind mills and rainwater harvesting system is what I see as must-have for every education institute. With these systems in place, we will teach students how to put your ideas into practice and tackle the crucial and life threatening issues.
We have our teacher employed since decades. With due respect, one bad thing about this system is that the tutor is disconnected with the real world, and unaware about the implications of teaching subject in real life.
A system where alumnus/alumnae take guest lecture on the syllabus can bridge this gap. This system has dual benefit. A former student who has practices learning from school can share their experience with students. It will help them understand the subjects better. Also former student will get opportunity to get through basics once again, and come up with new ideas on the same basis.
Same way, we should have student from higher standard mentoring kids from younger standard. This will also develop a value of mentoring within students.
Self Reading and Writing
In the current arrangement, correctness of answer depends if it matches with answer tutor has dictated. If someone answers same question correctly in his/her own words, that is not appreciated by the examiners and at times student get punished for it.
In ideal education system, student should be encouraged to answer the question in a way he/she is more comfortable with. This will let student spend his/her energy on understanding the concepts more, and not on mugging up the words dictated by tutor. Even more than that, (I guess) writing our thoughts and an idea is how we realize what a mighty pen can do.
To develop reading habit, student should be encouraged to make their own research on the subject and compile notes. Reading off-the-syllabus, like comics, fiction and history books should be encouraged as well.
Yes, it does happen in the current education system, but only a student with some confidence gets chance to face all school members from center stage. Student who can never gather courage to raise hand for public speech is left unnoticed. An student could be introvert and shy to face public, but that should not stop one to practice something as important as public speaking/debating.
We do have a subject called drawing which connect us to arts. But craft book and colors is where this subject gets over.
Arts is one powerful subject with touches each aspect of life. Irrespective of which industry we work for, understanding of arts gives one a power to design, deliver and present things in correct manner.
Employees from arts field are to whom Steve Jobs always credited for world class design of Apple products, which are hardcore technology products.
A plant a student! This exercise got more to do with global warming. This is for making students a caring guidance for one’s plant. This will allow student to connect with nature, and observe the life cycle of living thing. Watering a plant everyday should give him an understanding that we as living being needs to be nourished with good on continuously bases. Also I can visualize students discussing about how plantation can be done in better way. This will develop the value of sharing and caring within students.
We have often seen students rallying around with placards making people aware about current challenges. Going as per the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, “be the change you want to see”, schools should conduct public drive to take action and fix the problem, and not just make people aware about it.
I might not join public drive if the ideologies of political or social party conduct doesn’t satisfy me. But I will certainly participate in a public drive organized by my kids school, where my kid himself is excited to get this hands dirty.
Going Back to My School
The vernacular medium schools in India are in the state like drowning fleet. Only a poor man, who can’t afford expense of English medium schooling, has vernacular medium school for an alternative.
Contrary to what looks so obvious, I am very much interest in getting Nauman admitted to school I am coming from. Bandra Urdu High School in Bandra, Mumbai. This school knows no sports, no cultural activities, no science exhibitions and not even Computers! The only place we have left our name is Essel World, an amusement park in the outskirts of Mumbai. Few decades ago, our teachers decided to trip notorious bunch of batch there. It was only mid-day, the speaker at Essel World commanded us to leave the premises, with the charges of asset destruction and mis-behaviour with staff to our credit.
Even with the quality of education my school offered, when I look around today, pass outs from my school are doing fairly well. After completing school, we in-common had to struggle a bit to be able to make sense of what our very fluent college teacher was imparting on us. But that struggle is what makes us feel good for ourselves. We survived! Certainly I would want my son to get the flavor of it.