Learning becomes a burden when the same yardstick is applied to students to measure their capabilities. This approach chokes creativity and tramples on inherent qualities of students, Syed Mustafa Ahmad writes.
Rethink Education. It is universal that no two persons are the same on Earth, and everyone is different from others. There are many aspects in which an individual differs from others, like social, economic, political and ethical. Still, this rule doesn’t fit there when it comes to education.
Let us try to understand it with a simple example. If students are suffering from many diseases in a classroom, a doctor is asked to treat them. Is it possible that a doctor would prescribe the same medicine to everyone? If it happens, it will result in destruction, and many students will die without their fault.
In the same case, a teacher can’t teach the same lesson to students who are present in the classroom. They have differences in social, economic, political, psychological, physical, mental, ethical and other respects. But will teachers still apply the logic of bygone eras in teaching their students?
“When students realise that there is no one to understand them, they think that it is better to do something else instead of wasting their time in ‘useless pursuits’ like education.”
In this situation, how will it affect a child and society in general? Will this educational system deliver? What will be the outcome of such an educational system? Will the students be happy with their capabilities? Will they ever allow any other student to join this educational system? These are the fundamental questions that come to my mind every day.
Firstly, a child’s inherent talent gets wasted. They may earn some degrees, but they are never satisfied throughout their lives. Studying becomes a burden for them when they cannot do whatever they like to do. They are dictated by others what to do and what not. The system doesn’t think about what the child wants.
Moreover, a child is compared with another child, which is the biggest mistake of our time. As discussed above, how can we measure the capacities of all human beings with the same yardstick? Interests, abilities, capacities and propensities differ from one child to another. So, how is it permissible to thrust upon the child those things that they may not want?
Secondly, such education produces donkeys. In place of a donkey, a monkey is working and vice-versa. Just imagine the situation. In place of a doctor, a teacher cures people and vice-versa. When individual differences are not considered, the pressurised students become one thing in place of something else. The result is that there is nothing tangible in their lives. The situation goes from bad to worse. Ordinary people never get satisfied, and eventually, such a society never progresses.
Thirdly, such education is never compatible with society. Neglecting individual differences produce those persons who work unwillingly. They never think about caring for others because they were not cared for. When they were not cared for, why should they care for others? In this case, society embarks on the path of chaos and confusion. This incompatible education is very dangerous. When students see themselves as aliens in their society, it becomes clear that education has ruined them.
Fourthly, students leave their studies. When they find no one to understand them, they think it is better to do something else instead of wasting their time in useless pursuits. Why should a student go to school, college or university when their wishes are not considered, and their talent remains unexploited? Their mind is stuffed with something incomprehensible. Those things are taught that is not found even in a vacuum. They believe that it is better to find alternatives rather than die in this disgusting atmosphere.
Fifthly, it sets the stage for their involvement in anti-social activities. Seeing their dreams getting shattered, a child finds refuge in drugs, and they become addicted to different contraband substances that harm them.
Lastly, society loses in the race of development. When the students are fed up with the teaching system, there is no chance for growth. Other nations take the lead while this society falls into an abyss wherefrom there is no escape. Other countries begin to rule over this society while this society falls like a pack of cards.
There should be a proper mechanism in our educational institutions where students’ individual differences are considered equally. We cannot go on losing our brilliant minds. Albert Einstein said that everybody is a genius, but we set the same criteria for different persons to measure their capabilities. What have we achieved so far in academics? Population explosion, poverty, environmental pollution, social inequality, economic inequality, chronic diseases, etc, are haunting us day in and day out.
But there is some hope on the horizon. It suggests that a good intervention in the curricula can be beneficial in the long run. Let all the members of society come forward and devise a proper mechanism for sustainable education.