We’ve had a terribly heavy, dull and boring week since the beginning of August ! A month that we normally look forward to dearly ! Birthdays and festivals …and holidays and more birthdays ! But this time, we were bogged down by the single most feared thing of student life ! Exams !
Over the last 2 weeks, my son and I have not had a conversation ! It’s more a nagging monologue where I’m bleating away for him to “study” and he judiciously turns a deaf ear ! Then I get annoyed and he gets upset ! Then I complain to the father disgruntled, who in turn mildly and half heartedly lectures the insolent young man , who then glares at me with angry eyes ! And still nothing much comes out of it !
Coming to think of it, being an educator myself, I sometimes think that the whole system lacks common sense ! What are we trying to achieve with overloading these little young spirited minds ?! To what gain is cramming eras and eras of Mughal history at one go or memorising Iltutmish’s other name or differentiating between young and old fold mountains of America or by learning verbatim, a computers commands ?! Or for that matter solving those horrid Anal mathematical problems for eternity knowing fully well when you would need a practical application to find a square root of something , you’d probably pick up a cheap easily available over the counter calculator!
No – I am not against learning ! I learn something new everyday – from everything and every one ! Sometimes even my laundry man !
But what I’m against is taking the fun out of learning ! Unrealistic expectations with a completely irrelevant weighed down portion more often than not ! Read history through Amar Chitra Kathas and I guarantee your child will never forget it ! Absorb English from newspapers & novels and none shall better your diction and vocabulary ! Figure out geographical facts through travelling and delightful holidays and various journeys of wanderlust and facts remain etched in the meninges forever ! But this !? This is a flawed system which us mortals follow loyally with blinkers since time immemorial ! Cramming and vomiting it out on a worthless exam paper , which is being assessed by another stressed out bogged down overworked soul, who will try his or her best to be fair and correct to the best of their ability ! Nah! Not making much sense …
I owe a lot to my teachers and educators, I do! But there s not one person who doesn’t agree with me whole heartedly of how terribly overworked and ill planned the entire education system is ! Where carefree young minds have suicidal thoughts, spirited talented individuals are curbed and controlled and conditioned to exist, where childhood is fast becoming a punishment and parenting is at its toughest bend! And yet we can’t or we won’t do anything collectively to better our children’s world. Except maybe wish or pray hopelessly for some change …wonder if ever a messiah or prophet to change the educational world will ever emerge !
Until then , I’ll continue to nag and hound my son, secretly sympathise and empathise with his state of affairs , stare hopelessly as his dreams of playing a cricket match over the weekend will be over thrown by a maths class, watch him turn into a stressed out wired up 12 year old instead of a happy go lucky pre teen and purse my lip trying to convince myself I’m doing the right thing ! System bitten and nursing wounds !