Crippling Education System
SCENE 1 — “The protagonist takes up the stage, audience gets settled and becomes quiet. The protagonist assumes his position and starts delivering monologue facing the audience. The audience believes what they watch, agree to what they hear, and learn from whatever perception the protagonist holds. Scene ends, the protagonist leaves the stage for the next to come and the audience imbibes all the preaching of his monologue without stirring their comprehension level and standards.”
This is not a scene from a Shakespearean play; it is a scene from every classroom in most of our educational institutions where a teacher like a protagonist comes and inculcates his concepts and perspectives into the minds of the audience, his students, who absorb the entire lecture without trying to comprehend or analyze it. The design of our curriculum is exam-oriented only, ignoring the fundamental aims of education. The basic purpose of education is to make students learn, and teaching them not only how to learn but it also includes inspiring a desire to learn. Along with being information-oriented, education should also be value-based, training the minds and intellects of self-reliance and self-learning. But, the normal practice in our education system is just imparting instruction. Students are trained only to excel in the skill of getting more and more marks, ignoring the ability to learn knowledge. Ironically, we are producing the students equipped with great scores but ignorant of knowledge. Teachers resort to the memorization formula only and try to cover the syllabus as soon as possible. Students then pass through the drill of tests and exams that don’t actually evaluate their knowledge, rather assess how well they have crammed the text and how long the answer is attempted. This has also rendered students unable to stir their imagination. They have now become used to this exam-oriented practice, and cannot understand a different method. They are unable to produce a single paragraph on their own on any given topic. They are equipped with bulky notes and substandard guides which make them dull. Whatever is fed into their minds, they reproduce that verbatim.
Educational institutions have now switched towards attracting parents with unbelievable marks of their ‘outstanding students’, and the parents – like prospective customers – are attracted to them, willing to pay huge sums of money for the sake of their children’ bright future. But, they don’t know whether a student who has got ‘outstanding’ marks is capable of self-learning as well. I don’t intend to negate the importance of marks but I believe if this is amalgamated with deep concepts and learning, the outcome can be long-lasting and productive. Only person is not responsible for it, the curriculum must also be designed as per the swiftly-changing needs of modern times, and teachers should also be well trained. The institutions should understand the true essence of education rather than jumping on the bandwagon of the marks myth. Students should be able to gauge the things and understand whatever they study and apply that practically in their lives.
Therefore, there is a pressing need and urgency for revitalizing our education system. The teaching-learning process should be based not only upon instruction but on the learning process as well. The students should be trained to observe, analyze, synthesize and apply concepts of whatever they have been taught or learnt to new and unfamiliar situations. It should make the students open-minded in regard to new ideas. Its aim should be character formation, moral and spiritual development, personality development and training in good individual and good citizenship. No doubt, our education system is mired in plethora of diseases but they are not impossible to be cured. The concerned authorities should understand the gravity of situation and come forward to revolutionize the education system as per the modern needs and with an aim to make the student learned and groomed person.
Hope is still there……