Twenty-First Century is marked by the tremendous growth in modern science and technology, manifesting much difference in advancement between developed and developing nations in almost every aspect of life. But the Education sector of many of these nations still stands to be much behind everything else. Unfortunately, the quality of education provided in our country is also far from satisfactory, leave alone excellent.
This period we are in now is the most exciting and the most changing time in our world’s history. Generations from now, people will look back at this period of time and wonder what an exciting era it must have been. It is the death of the old and birth of the new. The death of the old system of power of wealth, lands, and the birth of power of information and technology. Today, timely information is the new wealth and power. So for surviving and excelling in this modern era of time, and to be remembered by the upcoming generations, we need to keep pace with modern methods of learning and knowledge.
But today, In Pakistan, in a world filled with radiant colors for everyone, the students remain black and white, stripped of all personalization. Confined between four walls and a closed door. Forced to follow already set principles. In our education system, the key to success is memorization, not intelligence. Conformity, not diversity.
Our Education system strives to become similar to other countries. The attempt to copy and paste certain techniques into our own system is not a practical way of learning. Students around the world learn differently, and therefore we should not be motivated to change our system to fit into the mold. Instead, we should utilize the skills that our young adults possess and in that sense, customize our own way of instruction.
But the worst thing is that we do not even copy them properly, we are not focusing on their methods, the principals that are making them excel in education and information. Instead, we think that following English as a medium of education makes our children more educated and genius.
First of all, the biggest school of any child is his home. And in that home, parents are educating them wrong, because they do not know themselves. They do not want their kid’s wrong, but they, with their mindset at the job and from the pressure of fear (I personally believe people do many things just because of fear of people, what will people say, what will society think?), do not want risk for their kids. They want their kids to play safe. But what they know about life may be valuable yesterday, but that yesterday is gone. They need to embrace change. They just think that getting good grades, getting a better job will make their kids live better at once. They do things because everybody else does them. They conform, rather than a question. Often, they mindlessly repeat what they have been told.
Many people are in a specific field, not because they want to learn, but because their parents want this, or that specific field has more respect in society or they want a good degree to get good “Rishta” etc. We need to embrace change, look into ourselves. Discover, what we want ourselves. New trends must be set for a better society.
Moreover, most of us have the wrong perception of education. Education is not just a piece of paper, called a degree in your hand. But in reality, education is the set of very skills you actually learn.
Second, comes the educational institutions, where teachers want you to become like them, like everyone else. Follow the trend. The teachers, which you meet in educational institutes are book smart people. But they may be illiterate in the real world. They just teach you to follow principles, do specific steps, get good grades, and get a degree that is just a paper. And make you believe the illusion that if you get good grades, you will be successful. Just keep in mind that if they are smart in the modern world, why they are the least paid professionals? They just know one thing, “If you do not get good grades, you will not be successful in life”.
Every person is skillful in his own aspect, yet in the event that you judge a fish by its capacity to climb a tree, it will accept that it is a failure; we are losing on the potential that the fish have. Then you can just say that the fish is a failure because it can’t climb a tree.
The educational system we follow, the books we study. They are already outdated. We are just preparing our youth for the world that no longer exists. We are focusing our youth on that piece of paper instead of mastering the skill. That is why many are people maybe graduate in the paper. But they are illiterate in real life.
Plus, there is a time set for each skill to prosper. In past days, it maybe 20 to 30 years. But with the fast-growing society, that period has cut short to maybe 5 to 10 years. So that means, after 5 to 10 years when you will master a skill. It maybe already out of the market. So you need to be smart in choosing what to do instead of following the crowd.
But instead, the people in our country are just focusing on getting good grades. Just like we program a certain machine to do a specific work. They are well trained, not well educated. They are generally taught to follow a defined set of principles and not deviate from them, to get good grades, not knowing what to do with them.
The children of our age are spending a lot of time at school, just to get good grades, study outdated books, master professional skills that are outdated in real life, preparing for a world that no longer exists.
The school has extinguished the desire to learn. Instead of opening the growing adolescent’s eyes to the world outside, the education that we are providing sheds minimal exposure when it comes to understanding material. When students enter high school, they are immediately stripped of their personal styles of writing, art, and expression. If we do not succeed in a certain area or subject, we spend the rest of our years believing that we are failures and begin to believe that we will never accomplish anything in our lives. Every person is a unique individual; however, the school attempts to make all of the students the same.
Teenagers struggle with mental health issues and anxiety but are ignored because this is not considered a “valid” reason to not attend class. Mental health issues have been grouped and shoved into a corner, and labeled as just stress when there is so much more to them.
But to all that, I recognize that it also is excessive fear and self-doubt that are the greatest detractors of personal genius. Students know the answers, yet lack the courage to act on the answers. Often in the real world, it’s not the smart who get ahead, but the bold.
And now to the ethical aspect, In the prospect of following west, we have also thrown away the teachings of Islam, the best code of life, and of our elders. We neither study religion, nor ethics. We just focus on a degree paper. Neither do our nation officials know to make rules nor do the people know to follow rules. We are just following the principle of “survival of the best” that may be applicable to a jungle. But to a nation it is disastrous.
That is the reason we have an increasing number of rapes, murders, divorces, and other wrongdoings. Then after all this, we wonder, how such an educated person can do so. My dear, they are not educated, In reality, they are illiterate holding a stamped paper.
In a society, every person has a specific work for him/herself. And we are creating a society in which men are babysitters, while women are workers. And if they both are workers, the child grows useless. We are teaching men and women, not to understand and cooperate with each other, but to compete with each other.
In the end, to all the officials and the public, instead of banning and avoiding something because it is diverse and different from the norms, we should adopt to change and learn new ways to excel.
(This has some points from the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and some internet articles and rest, my views.)
Muhammad Ahmad Raza