By M. Qaiser
Of late, India has improved well in the literacy rate. Every year, millions of children enroll in private and government schools, strictly following a set-out curriculum. This is normal, as every country sets up a curriculum that every educational institution has to follow.
However, the issue in our part of world is not what children are being taught, but how they are being taught. Hence curriculum isn’t the issue but the teaching methodology is.
As per researches, schooling system here is more focused on memorising rather than developing learning attitude. It is found that our education system is set out in such a way that children are constantly memorising dates, lessons, and various other pieces of text or information that they must recite. There is no creative or innovative thinking involved.
As a matter of fact, the Indian education system overvalues memorisation over innovation and originality is its biggest limitation. Memorising material simply may help students score good marks in exams, but it can’t teach them the skills they require to confront real world challenges.
I would like to put in here my personal experience from a casual interaction with a class 7th student of a reputed private school. Actually she requested me to help her in solving a mathematical problem. Before helping her I started investigating about the way they are taught mathematics in school. Her answer was simple, “Madam writes solution on board and we copy.”
I could well understand how complex the matter is because I have myself undergone the same teaching methodology during childhood. Without explaining concept and clearing conceptual doubts about the problem the student is shown a method to solve the problem.
Rather than learning problem solving, students end up just memorizing the method fetching them a good score in exams.
Now, consider science subject. Students simply read and memorise theoretical part of an experiment and practical is mere a formality, where teacher performs experiment and students are mute spectators.
I am sanguine that most of you will agree with the statements that “school isn’t just about academics” or “creativity is an integral part of everyone’s life” and rarely any person would question the importance of creativity.
Thus, we can say that along with real and hard academics, creativity is a necessity that don’t just keep children engaged in school but also make them feel like learning something meaningful.
One of the best methods to imbibe creativity in children is to allow them to explore. Schools must encourage their students to explore and get answers to the questions. Here a teacher is expected to answer the question and students are expected to store it in their memory and story finishes up.
There is a little scope for exploration. By allowing children to explore, they get actually engaged with the problem solving method and this involvement can boost their confidence level to solve any academic or non-academic problem.
Spoon-feeding methodology that most of our schools adopt is a killer to creativity. This teaching methodology prevailing in our education system has to be put an end. Let teacher guide pupil, but let pupil walk himself on this path. It will surely give us a generation full of creativity. Without developing creativity, our society would be without change and hence may become stagnant. Such a society wouldn’t be able to move forward.
(M. Qaiser is commerce post-graduate)