The concept of schooling is propounded to be the best way to formalize children. They learn to play, make friends, read, learn about behaviors and manners in school. It all feels good until the concept of employment enters the stage. If you have a job or doing something to earn a living then you can say that you have justified the 15 important years of schooling but what happens if you find yourself in a space wherein even after attending the school, and scoring good marks and getting admission in good college, spending lakhs of rupees on schooling and after, you find yourself unemployed.
Right now, schooling is not criticized and even regarded as important for children. Government launches schemes and programs to attract poor children and their parents towards school. But, as the number of unemployed youth increases, it is inevitable that in future, someday or the other, the parents along with the large number of unemployed youth will start questioning the very idea of schooling.
This piece of blog tries to re-establish and idea of schooling and what the children and the parents must and must-not expect from the school. It also tries to establish why schooling and even attending college doesn’t mean job ready. Educational learning and money are two very different and important aspects of personal life and one must not try to overlap them.
The basic idea of schooling in the minds of Indian Parents is: As the child will grow and reach the age of 4-5 we will admit him in a pre-school or play school where he would meet other kids like them, make friends with them, share their lunch boxes and even fight someday.
It can be said that it a process of giving the child, an idea of what community is, where he learns that the world is not just his mother and father. The child gets the idea that there are more people and some are of the same age and very cool and playful like them as well 😊
It is a very important phase in one’s life as for child it means that it is first time in their life they have to live without parents. Try someday visiting a school for the very first-day of nursery class and witness how hard it is for the school management to take the child inside the school premises, leaving parents at the gate. Every child will not behave specifically but generally this scene is quite common.
Pre-school is mainly about the companionship and get a feel of outside world, while formal syllabus starts from the nursery. A routine is being followed and the child gets to feel the homework pressure for the very first time in his life.
I to VIII
This phase of I to VIII can said to be the understanding phase of child where he learns what the world is, what his country is. Different subjects get introduced to him. The subjects Math & Science introduce logic and reasoning to him. Subjects Hindi & English introduce language and literature and subjects like history, geography and others teaches how the world has shaped over the centuries.
These subjects are the basics of education. School has a very huge responsibility on them to teach students why these subjects are important along with the syllabus of these subjects. series of examinations are conducted in different formats in different school viz. annually, semi-annually, quarterly or even monthly basis. The idea is to test students how much they are grasping in class.
When the concept of marks, percentage and ranks gets introduced to a child, he get a feel of what competition is. Competition is very necessary to improve oneself. Competition is good until the point when a student is enthusiastic in improving himself, but if he is only focused on getting marks without seeing the bigger, he tries to score more by hook or by crook, that is the very point, he gets introduced by shortcuts. These shortcuts, more or less are the reasons of ones shortcomings.
Computer as a subject
Over the years as technology progressed and use of computers increased in our lives, computer was also added as a separate subject in the curriculum. According to the New Education Policy even coding will be taught to students from class VI onwards. This highlights the seriousness of computer as a subject in school and its importance.
Moral Science and Ethics
Even after inducting technology to the curriculum, government still felt that something very important was missing in the attitude of the people and this missing subject was even more important than the core subjects’ math, science and social science. This important subject was non other than ‘moral science’ or ‘ethics’.
Consequently, ‘moral science’ or ‘ethics’ was also added to the curriculum. It was based on the idea that without moral values the need to educate is of no use and will not serve the purpose of education. Now you must know why Ethics is a paper in UPSC exams.
Schools have a big responsibility on them. It just can’t be similar to any other business in the market. Extracurricular activities means those activities which is not primarily defined in the curriculum. But, over the years education policy makers realized that these activities are very important for the development of the students. Extracurricular activities gives child the opportunity to explore himself beyond subjective limits.
Functions like annual sports meet, inter school competitions, annual functions, quizzes, elocution and debate competition along with science and arts projects give students the chance to test themselves in other walks of life. It just not only helps them to understand the importance of physical well-being but also helps in building the confidence of the child.
It can be very much possible that a student who is not showing interest towards studies have keen interest in drawing or playing a particular sport. In the following portions of the blog, you would find how this exploration can be game-changing and career setting for many students.
IX and X
As a student is promoted to class IX, the pressure to score good in the board exams in the next year intensifies. Parents and relatives create an environment that your marks will decide your future and if you didn’t score good you will become worthless for the rest of your life.
This is mainly done due to the fact that the admission in reputed institutions for class XI and XII is taken based on the percentage of marks in matriculation. The better you score, the better your chances are to get admitted in a recognized institute.
The Science Vs Commerce Vs Arts Dilemma
This is one of the biggest dilemmas which haunts every student as soon as he is nearing boards or has just passed the boards. The marks become the certification of which subject he should opt. Generally, as the trend is, if the marks is greater than 80%, he is liable to opt science otherwise he has no right to (according to the popular perception).
Even after scoring good, if you show your interest towards Arts, you have committed a crime. A crime to undervalue your potential. Its funny how much we appreciate art when we go to watch movies, music concert or see a beautiful painting. All these subjects come under arts. Subjects like history also comes under arts as it is truly an art how a historian narrates the story of the passed events that had happened centuries ago.
Somewhere in the middle of Arts and Science, Commerce finds its place. There is always an element of doubt in student’s mind who select commerce, whether they should have opted science. The point is, science is generally considered superior to other two fields. This is truly a myth because stories like the following are only the outcomes of this perception.
You must have read this news article a few years ago : 94% of engineering graduates are not fit for hiring
You can always argue that the quality of education at the engineering level is not up to the mark but this blog ties to underline the mindset of the students and parents as to why such high number of students are pursuing engineering voluntarily or forcefully.
What to expect from schooling
The story that I have narrated above is more or less story of every child in the country. There is a meager percentage of student who are very sure about their lives right just after matriculation. So coming back to our question “what should you really expect from your school?”. The simple answer is “ to make us confident.” Give us the confidence to select our careers, the confidence to find our interest and the confidence to pursue it no matter what.
Focus on concept building
If you are a school going student and reading this blog, just try to understand what comes your way in the syllabus. The important thing is, if you are good in understanding the concepts then don’t care much about marks. If you could really understand what is the purpose of schooling then you would be in a very good space to decide what to do with your life.
Focus on subject matter, learn mathematical tools, physical laws and try understanding historical events, not for securing job or scoring high, but for understanding why education is important. Don’t study percentage because you can solve problem based on it, study percentage so that next time you go in a shop and offered a discount, you don’t need a pen and paper to calculate how much is the discount in terms of rupees. Next time you hear a news of a conflict between two countries, you have an idea of how the world has shaped to reach to this point.
Never study in school for job
You should never try to put job before learning. During schooling it is important that you learn, both in theory and in practical. There lies a great difference in degree, degree with knowledge and knowledge with the idea of turning it into a revenue source. The problem why the expectation to score good in school is very high because people try to mix schooling with employment. Parents must never impose engineering on their child even when he has not completed his schooling. If he feels attached he would definitely pursue it out of interest.
Schooling is for exploration, to find your interest and to try new things. When you move from school to college, you move from general to specific, meaning you get to choose your interest in class XI. You must have an idea of what to pursue just after matriculation, so that you can dedicate your important 5-6 years (from class XI to completion of bachelor’s degree) to your interest.
The Corona virus pandemic has certified the importance of digital education. It is quite clear that you must never underestimate it. Many parents even understood the importance of mobile phones after the pandemic hit the earth. Before it was mandatory for them to buy a mobile phone for online classes of their child, their thought process was mobile along with other gadgets are just a waste of time.
As a student, you must know how it can be beneficial to you. Time has changed a lot and you are not only dependent on the people around you to gather knowledge unlike the previous generations for whom their parents decide which subject and which course was best. Now, with the advent of Internet, sources to get reliable information have increased. So you must never hesitate to explore the options.
The Big Difference
There was always a difference between mega cities and small towns and villages in terms of the availability of resources. If your interest is something which is other than studies, then you had to migrate for opportunities or just forget about pursuing them. It is because the resources were unavailable at the local level.
As the digital world opens in front of us, it has bought with it, great opportunities, not just for the students in cities but for the students of small towns and villages as well. So, early as you understand it, that the digital world is here to help us. It is here to help us find our interest, help us to buy books related to our interest, help take coaching related to our interest and also help us in setting a carrier of our interest.
Although I can equally say that the digital world is here to disturb us, to make us indulge in social networks and to waste our time; but I will choose a more optimistic way.
It is ok to be confused early on, take your time, analyze everything, try different skills before selecting which one thrills you to the core. Don’t hesitate to take part in extra curricular activities as to find which activity engages you the most. This is where school can be very handy, never feel nervous in taking part in competitions. During this period of 12 years, not only you will make friends for lifetime but will also explore yourself. Maybe you find that you are a very good making other people understand things or your interest for Guitar or Harmonium surpasses every other domain.
The digital era is for everybody, not only like those top schools which brings out best in you only if you belong to that school. The only difference is that you are your own teacher and only you are your principal. It is evident that schooling cannot be replaced but is equally true that if anything which reaches closes to the activities done in school, it has to be the use of digital resource for your upliftment. Don’t worry, it is the period to be confused. The early you go through the confusion, the better you will be prepared for tackling the ultra-tough competition of employment in the country.