"Everybody is genius, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein
Today, everything has evolved so much that from the times of 1850s where telephones used to be big and heavy to carry are now transformed to portable and wireless phones, then during the 1950s where computers could hardly have 8 bits of memory ram are now transformed to convertible laptops that could easily own 16 Gb Ram, but during this period, our education system, which was proposed during 1800s remains unchanged, even when the world has seen many revolutions.
So, what is it that bounds our education system to remain conventional, and not develop with the progressing society?
Let's talk about the Indian scenario, where rote learning is still in process and marks, which strictly defines the growth of an individual.
Indian Education System was formulated during British Era (1800s), which is still being followed even after 150 years. It not only restricts nurturing of an individual to face global level problems, but also limits their creativity. Yes, the way schools treat and teach their students, who have different strengths, different gifts, different dreams, are bound to limit creativity, right from their childhood.
For example, In a class of 30, if one likes the subject of Mathematics, while the other finds an interest in drawing and music, the later one will have to, forcefully, attend the mathematics class, irrespective of having any interest in the subject. This is the catch, where our system fails to provide any solution to diversify the schooling subjects for all those 30 students and make them creative by learning subjects of their own choice.
The school education system is so conventional that things that were taught during 1980s are still being taught with no changes proposed. Also, the procedure followed to teach a student is unethical, which bounds the students to fear about their future, rather than enjoying the present and learning something to utilize it for future. Like the quote stated above, where Albert Einstein claims that judging a fish by its ability to climb is very lame act. Every student is genius, having their own interests in life and an ability to do it determines his level of success, but if he is judged by doing something, which he is not made up for, he would end up believing that he is stupid or an under-achiever.
What happens when a student pass out the matriculation in India?
This is the worst case scenario in the country, where people unemployed are more than that of those who are enrolling for degrees to colleges. The clear reason behind this is the choice of streams, lack of support from families or teachers and the poor quality resources.
When a student pass out his tenth class board exam (be it state board or CBSE), he is bound to take either coachings for Medical Entrance or for Engineering Institutes. The most specific reason behind this is the parent pressure or lack of scope in other streams, and for the students who dream to become singers, sports persons, actors, models, writers etc. are diverted from their dreams to get a degree first then pursue passion. This restricts an opportunity for students because of growing competition in this densely populated country and thus, convincing the student to stop pursuing the dreams and focus on studies so that they can take a job for a secured life ahead, irrespective of developing skills for that job, which leaves them unemployed as well.
This situation arose because majority of crowd is rushes towards the same well where the water is limited, while the other wells are yet unexplored and people fear to run towards them because the roads leading to those wells are less traversed and then there is a fear of risks (no water) involved during the journey.
US President Barack Obama said, "The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create." But by restricting them to fly high and dream ahead, are we preparing these young student for the future?
Peer Pressure leads to Crime
Our unaltered system involves an emotional. but dangerous factor, called 'Peer Pressure', which could result in negative attempts like suicide, depression or being an under-achiever in life.
It is evident that students who are facing intense pressure during their education period, becomes mentally and emotionally weak and thus provoking gloomy thoughts of suicide or loneliness.
A report from NDTV claims, "More than 70 students have committed suicide in the past five years in Kota, including 29 just last year - a rate much higher than the national average of 10.6 suicides per 100,000 people in 2014, reported by the National Crime Records Bureau." This is the scenario in the well known city of India, which is also an educational hub. Then imagine what happens in the other parts of the country.
Also, no new regulations are proposed, that could make an individual to study merrily during their graduation or schooling.
Test systems and Under Paid Teachers
Frederick Kelly, the man behind standardized testing, quoted, "These tests are too crude to be used and should be abandoned". But irrespective of what he said, our schools are bound to judge a student based on their scores in these tests. This makes their mindset to study hard for scoring marks and not learning, which won’t help anyhow to build a better future.
Also, it is seen that teachers who are creating future of the world and inspiring leaders of tomorrow are not given worth, which they deserve. Like any doctor or a top class executive, teacher deserve to earn more because they are building foundation of this world.
Although, government teachers are paid fine, but the resources and planning in the schools lacks development, whereas it is an opposite case with the private schools, which provides proper resources and has a good management, but the salary of teachers is so low that they are demotivated to work ahead.
How Finland has reformed its education system
Finland, being at the top of world league table for the literacy rate and numeracy, has radically reformed and created a diversified system of education for betterment and nurturing students. Our policy makers should take a lesson from this enhancement of school system.
The school days in Finland are shortened, teachers get respect and are paid decently, home-works for students are eliminated and they have started focussing on collaboration and joyful learning. In an interview, Marjo Kyllonen, the educational manager of Helsinki, while presenting the blueprint for the change in system, said,
"We really need a rethinking of education and a redesigning of our system, so it prepares our children for the future with the skills that are needed for today and tomorrow. There are schools that are teaching in the old fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginnings of the 1900s – but the needs are not the same and we need something fit for the 21st century.”
In the end..
It is fairly visible that from electronic systems to healthcare, everything has been customized and updated on a regular basis ( like an android update that fix bugs or security issue or a car is customized to provide comfort and use fuel efficiently), our education system finds no such update, thus creating a lag of imagination, understanding subjects, academics, creativity in the young minds of new generation. Following the same trends of past, the schools of 21st century are turning millions into robots by not letting their students to think beyond.
Don’t you think of creating a change?
So, let’s create a world where a fish is not forced to climb a tree or a bird is not forced to swim the stream