Our education system encourages learning by rote

By Darakhshaan Parvez 
I have always studied for education and never for the sake of securing marks or topping in the examination. Very few people realise that education means to know how to live your life; and a majority thinks that education is needed only to get a job. We should be not just literate but educated as well.
Education teaches us how to live with discipline and moral values. Literacy just gives you information but education gives knowledge and wisdom. The difference between the two is that information is technical knowhow of anything or a subject whereas knowledge and wisdom awaken us about how, where, when and why to use what information. Our education system should encourage creative learning methods and forget about the old methods of inculcating rote learning. Yet unfortunately, if a student doesn’t cram, s/he will be among the low scorers in examinations.
Our education system encourages rote-learners for its own convenience. For a whole year, teachers don’t bother to educate students in creative and scholarly ways and just stick to the prescribed guides, references, and age-old tutorials and notes, thus boosting the business of booksellers and the Xerox market. Our educational institutions ready us for the sake of examinations by completing the syllabus. Teachers ask us to mug the answers and we are expected to fill our answer books with the same mugged-up things. Those students who deserve to be on the top mostly remain at the bottom. Student’s personal ideas, opinions and even the language and expression in which they write are discouraged.
Many students spend their parents’ life savings and still they are not able to get quality education. The school infrastructure of the government schools is often in an extremely bad condition and is crying for renovation. And exploiting this state of affairs are private schools.  Students who pass out of government and private schools develop a dichotomous relation with each other in society. The mismanagement, poor productivity and poor performance is seen everywhere. Our education system is not properly managed. The student teacher ratio in our government schools is highly disproportionate. The more-teacher-less-students situation should rather strengthen the education in our state because of more mentors spending more time and energy on a few students. But the opposite happens.
In our colleges, where authorities are supposed to provide permanent, experienced teachers, they massively exploit the services of contractuals. And before completion of academic sessions, when students need their help, they are informed that contracts of the contractual teachers are already over! At the end of the session, this means a mess. We don’t know what we were taught throughout the year. Students are forced to attend classes because of their attendance. If teachers are not creative in their outlook, student’s will naturally seldom turn up to in classes.
Our education system should focus on creativity and skill oriented education rather than be exam-oriented. There should be discussions conducted in the classrooms and innovative ways to explore knowledge. An atmosphere must be created where teachers and students encourage each other towards creativity and criticism. I believe if you teach a man a skill, you enable him for life. You bestow on him such rewards which will always be with him. Aren’t we otherwise destroying a generation by a flawed education system?
We have to remember that if we have to build a strong base of our coming generations, correcting our educational system is a must. Likewise, if we have a better and fertile education system at the basic school level, only then is it possible to have a healthy set up at college and university levels.
—The author is pursuing BA from Govt. college for women, MA Road, Srinagar