By Hakeem Aaqib
An abstract of major Education Charters would read “Education develops personalities, talents and abilities and enables the beholder to live a full and satisfying life within society. The aims of education go far beyond acquiring numeracy and literacy skills. Education should endow students with the ability to make well-balanced decisions; to resolve conflicts in a responsibility, critical thinking, creative talents, and an attitude needed to pursue their options in life.”
Is our education system in line with the purpose envisioned? Absolutely not! We have mini industrial bases, preparing students for industrial slavery, set up to masquerade as Schools and Coaching Institutes. These are not driven by anyone’s vested interests but by the apathy our leaders’ resistanceshow towards change. We need Education Farms and not Knowledge Factories! We need to Cultivate Genius and Harvest Dreams. We need Knowledge Farms- Cultivating Genius!
Our Factory Model
The factory model of education reflects the idea that schools were originally built to train future factory workers during the industrial revolution. The belief was “the back door of the school lead to the front door of the factory”. Students were not placed into groups based on their abilities, but rather their chronological age.
This factory model continues to be in practice in one guise or another. Our schools and coaching Institutes have become nothing more than test prep centers/ test prep factories. Teachers’ job is to ensure that the students memorize as many facts as possible, as quickly as possible, and hopefully remember as many as possible for the test. Everyone is expected to memorize exactly the same facts and acquire exactly the same basic level skills in exactly the same way, at exactly the same time.
How can anyone expect students to become independent, interdependent, self-directed, creative, critical thinkers in this environment?
So , essentially we are force-feeding children information, with no regard to their interests, skills, experiences or even the fact that they are human beings and not machines!
Instead of putting the students through a year’s worth of grinding through a boring curriculum, we could be creating schedules and educational experiences which are relevant, rigorous, real world, engaging and motivational!
Education must not only be available and accessible, but also acceptable and adaptable.The right to education is not only the right to education but also the right to receive high quality educat ion.
In this direction, let us begin not by assuming the current model but rather by calibrating new measures of success and realigning the model with the contemporary purposes of education. Re-imagine new combinations of educator expertise, time, instructional materials, research, physical space, parental support, and (yes) technology in ways that achieve optimal outcomes for students. That is, our focus should primarily be to design new classroom models that take advantage of our knowledge about human psychology while simultaneously making best use of the tools provided by the factory model.
— The author is a B.Tech from NIT Srinagar and a Business Consultant for Frost and Sullivan, Malaysia. He can be reached at: [email protected]