Nazreen Fazal has a post which I am sure is the story of most people who studied in Indian schools. After intense toil and labour in our schools, we realise most of education is actually not of any use.
Most people are surprised when I tell them that by 12th grade I’d studied in 10 different schools. Yes, 10 schools. From fancy Air Force schools to Kendriya Vidyalayas that have students from all classes, religions and backgrounds to a state-syllabus school in Karnataka to an Indian embassy school in ‘the Gulf’, I have seen most of what our system has to offer. And I’m sad to say that it is not enough. Our education system is flawed.
In school, history was firmly contained to rote learning of dates and places. We were forced to learn the dates when wars started and ended instead of why they happened or what could have stopped them. Mathematics was about Sonu having more apples than he could eat, or finding angles of triangles without being told how doing so was useful, or calculating the speed of trains going in the opposite directions. English was about memorizing select poems and writing down the notes the teacher dictated instead of being asked what our interpretation was. Scoring more involved writing the longest, most convoluted answers for simple questions. (As students all over India are taught, answers for five mark questions should have more words than those for other questions.)
I’ve had my books thrown at my face for not completing my homework, had subjective answers marked down because they weren’t what the teacher taught us…
Why did our education decline the way it did? Being a teacher was a matter of pride for most but has become such a unwanted profession now..