What went wrong?
The literal meaning of the word student is “any person who studies, investigates, or examines thoughtfully” but for some reason the meaning of the word student went from learning to achieving, what I am trying to say is that somewhere along the line our society fashioned the learning process from being a way to escape illiteracy, a way to achieve a mere 9-5 white-collar job, learning is the only way in life through which you never stop, you are always moving forward, while now for some reason all of our studies are pointed towards only one goal which is to finally get a “stable job” which can be also referred to as “stagnant life”. My question to my dear readers is what went wrong?
The question is too obvious to answer I suppose, yet even after it being so simple and easy, it seems that not quite a few people are able to answer it, and even though the ones who are able to realize the seriousness of this question and are also able to answer the question don’t seem to do anything about it, and why is it so? Simply because it is too time-consuming, rather than doing something that has a long-term effect people seem to be more interested in doing things that have short-term effect but are easy to do.
I think it is not a few things that have went wrong in the education of our times, it is the entire teaching system that has gone from bad to worse. It is a scientific fact that a growing child of about 4-5 years of age asks about 300 questions per day, what a curious little being, but for some reason with the passage of time rather than these question to grow and evolve into some even giant and intellectual questions, they straight up disappear from this child’s mind. You go to 3rd grade, you tell these kids that we have discovered a new planet similar to Earth but in some other far away galaxy, each one of these kid would be baffled and amazed, they would want to know more about it, where is this planet, how can I travel there, how much time would it take, do we have humans there, and so on and so forth with these tiny little questions, at the same time you go into a materials engineering major class and tell them the same thing and I bet they would want their professor back in 5 minutes because they are there just for the sake of attending the lecture, making notes and marking their attendance because that is how our teachers have made us.
You see a child is like three states of matter, when he/she is a child you have to gather it around, don’t let them go, you have to be very careful hence the gaseous property, then when he/she is in early 10’s you have to give them a shape, a personality, an attitude and also some morals, hence the liquid property where you can put the liquid in any form of utensil and it will take the exact shape of it, and then lastly the teenage, where the personality, attitude and morals are now taking shape for the rest of their life, hence the solid property. Messing up any stage of life would cause a deep impact on the life of this child till the very end.
Our teaching system has never been about developing our morals or personality; it has always been all about passing the next exam with rainbow colors. Why is that we in our schooling times found some teachers to be fun and interesting, while we probably can’t even remember a dozen of others, it is solely because those were the teachers who connected the students on a personal level, those were the teachers who actually cared about students when they said they couldn’t complete their homework and rather than punishing them over it they heard their reasoning, they were the teachers who took time to actually hear student’s thoughts and made them realize what their talents or hobbies were, these are the very few teachers because of whom one day our country would be able to have our own Newton or Einstein , the teacher-student relationship has to be beyond our course books, it has to be the relation where the other person knows when to be strict and when to be kindhearted. It is also an alarming fact that it has been 71 years since the independence of our country yet we have not produced a child that would one day become Newton, Edison, Einstein or any other scientific pioneers, the next time you hold a new-born baby in your hands just imagine the fact that this kid can possibly be the next pioneer in the field of physics, astronomy, mathematics or this infant can possibly become the next president of your country, if we realize how precious the mind of this kid is, it is the point we would start treating our kids the way they should be treated.
Let’s just consider that we the generation of this era is the one who have finally realized how things should be with education and everything then how should we do what is right? I think we simply start over everything, consider that everything that was done before us is now nothing to us and what we do from now on will be considered as the most nascent stage of education. Let’s start by building our own set of moral values, then move towards our personality, and when we start feeling confident in ourselves it would be that point when we start doing things for others and start inducing our “newly born” cultural values into others, the even younger generations. Maybe it is the time to stop criticizing our past, maybe it is the time we actually grow out of our past miseries, maybe it is the time we do something and leave a mark, hopefully a good one! Pakistan Zindabad!