“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
The above mentioned is a very famous quote which is on the internet and as claimed by many that it is said by Albert Einstein. The present-day education system is the manifestation of what is said in the quote.
Every child is unique in itself and as we all say “children are gift of god” which means that god has gifted each child with some unique qualities and talents. However, the education system in India doesn’t nurture the child’s hidden talent. Children are expected to learn six to seven different subjects and then are assessed through an examination system where they are marked on the basis of their capacity to assimilate colossal amount of information.
Their ability to question, think and explore are curtailed by the education system where teachers clog their brains by drilling information at a very young formative stage.
Instead of using common sense, the child’s brain is trained to learn and understand complex concepts which may or may not be relevant in future.
The pertinent question is how much of it would the child apply in his/her career which is not yet undecided, nobody knows? Can it be defined at a very juvenile stage? But all the teachers will force each child to learn all the concepts and theories of each subject and then brand the child as weak or dull or incompetent if the child is unable to come up to their expectation level.
There is no room left for children to think on their own and attempt something different from the normal. If a child attempts to do it he/she is immediately discouraged. A feeling of fear is instilled in the child’s mind, mulling over the future prospects and undefined career if the child dares to do it.
The seeds of this fear are sworn in, the day the child steps into the world of four walls of a classroom, i.e. school and from there the child embarks on a journey of nightmares.
Who should be held responsible for playing with a child’s life?
A virtual war begins!!! Classrooms are converted into battlefields where students are pitted against each other through constant comparison and competition at school as well as home. Schools compartmentalized them into average, below average, good, very good brilliant, etc. Virtues of compassion and cooperation become insignificant.
Who is to be blamed for this mess? Who should be held responsible for playing with a child’s life?
Teachers, who are expected to complete the prescribed syllabus within a given span of time and produce outstanding results or the management whose school’s reputation and future admission depends on the results or the parents who are overly ambitious or the education system, which has not come out of age and sticks to its old norms !!!
How much do we remember of what we studied in school once we are into our professions? Do we allow the child to discover his/her unique qualities which nature has gifted him? Or have we made them slave of redundant education system which kills them rather than nurturing them like a plant? I leave it for you to ponder on these questions!!!
We don’t teach a plant how to grow? We just provide the right environment for it to grow by itself!!!
(The author is an educationalist and a soft skills trainer based in Thiruvananthapuram)