Last week, someone wrote a blog about her 2.5 year old child and putting him into school. It was a Well written blog. That blog compelled my thoughts to move into the room of my ‘mind palace’ which I’ve labelled as “Education system”. A place in my head where I had dumped numerous such thoughts and memories. Everything from Kindergarten to Graduation, Taare Zameen Par to 3 Idiots…
In that blog, a mother was sharing her concerns on whether to put her child in school or not. At such an early age. And I feel, that’s a very valid thought. C’mon! At just 2.5 years? The life has just landed in the world. And we are putting it at the starting point of the ‘unending’ Rat race. Now people may argue: That’s just a “play” school. That is not for “serious” studies.. (If so, why pay kilos of money?) And even in those “play” rooms two things will surely follow. Competition and Pressure. Not intentionally. But inevitably.
Okay, let’s assume that up to five no kid is pressurised. No parent rebukes their child because they can’t count till twenty while neighbour’s kid can do it till 50. Fine. But what after that?
Why you do you think we go to the school at the first place? Admit it or not it’s all about making hard cash twenty years down the line. It is Not about Knowledge. No Wisdom. No Life Values? We all have heard these lines : “If you don’t study well you won’t get a good college; If you don’t get good college you might not get a good job; And if you don’t get a good job then…” So basically its all about reaching on the zenith of the invisible corporate ladder. Now your curiosity (if at all you have some) for Gravity, Planets, plants, animals, history or anything… is just a complimentary thing.
Now just imagine. A kid, hardly three years old, is pushed into a colourful building called School. Well and good. Now as he grows up, beside playing games and having the fun part, he inculcate an externally imposed purpose : To score good in the exams. Why? Because then only he gets love from the relatives. The candies and gifts. With every class this “Purpose” seems to get harder and harder. In class 7th or 8th he discovers that there are few subjects he can’t score good at. Rather he don’t like them much. But there’s no turning back now. And he reaches the First Decider Of Fate in Indian Education : The Tenth standard. Now even though the boy have excelled in most of the subjects, but suppose two were just above the redline. That’s it. The First sieving. Suddenly the boy is behind few million other. Any way, he still continues, and in two year comes the Second Decider: The Twelfth. Now whatever he had mugged and studied in last two years would be meaningless if he don’t vomit them out properly in those three hour exams. Now according to the results, he would get a certain college pursuing a particular coarse, entry in which would be decided by his average performance of ALL the subjects including those which he won’t be seeing in the upcoming years of his life.
During these twenty years of Education, why do you think he studied so hard? He wanted to know about Egypt’s Pyramids? Or he wanted to be in some Space research organisation? Or wanted to build something? Or wanted to create or write something new? The reason that is the most prominent is : He wanted to Excel the exams. Why? The same reason. But in bit different forms. Candies and gifts were now social respect and future security.
In these twenty years do you think he ever got the time to stop for a day and think,…Why? Or was he even allowed to ? Or would that have changed the orthodox tunnel of the system?
It could have possible that he was great in sports. Or music. Or art. Or theatre. But…those were Extra Curricular. He was not supposed to devote full… Or even 50% of his time in those. Moreover the opportunity of this realisation itself is a rare thing.
I read somewhere that nowadays, students of SIXTH grade are being sent to coaching centres to prepare for IITs. Really? Sixth Class? I don’t think even Albert Einstein had known what he’ll do when he was twelve years old.
I won’t say no one takes interest or don’t excel in this traditional system of Education. There are people with the “Resonance”. Whose natural frequency of “Interests” beautifully Overlaps with the system’s frequency of ” requirements”. I have seen such people looking down at some other person : “Why don’t you study well like me?” And the other guy desperately wanting to answer : “Why don’t you play cricket as good as me?”, remains silent because according to the system’s code we don’t make fun of poor athletes, but only of poor students .
I have seen people who have mediocre result in schools, but later, once they pursued their preferred path, they were very successful professionally. Irrelevant of what they read in past twenty years. Then why the fuzz?! Why pulling the hairs for eighteen years? Why labelling them all these years ?
Some friends of mine told me that in Western Universities they primarily ask two things for their higher studies: What precisely you want to Study? Why you want to study?
How many students here ask the same questions? Most of them are forced to take lectures in order to complete the quota of minimum attendance. Purpose of study: to secure a job. A job most of us would monotonously do till we are physically fit. Mental wellbeing? Not Guaranteed.
Mass Education, as we know today, was an incredible social engineering aimed at producing a specific category of workforce for running the industries.
But are we meant for only that?
Wealth is definitely a reality. But before jumping into the race, if one should take and choose the right track, I believe he will go a longer way. A Happier way. And another thing that should be seeped into the minds of the people is: All tracks are Good.
As Einstein once said:
Everyone is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.