Against Back-Breaking School Bags

NOTE: This article is particularly in context with India. Other nations have not been taken into account while talking of how the education system is wrong.

Knowledge and Education. These two terms do not go hand in hand in India, which is very wrong. The fact is, that in India people do not respect quality education, but quantitative education. The number of books in one’s bags determine his knowledge. The truth is just the contrary. Knowledge cannot be associated with the material in the bag or by one’s internet history. But, by the urge to attain knowledge. One may be poor, but more knowledgeable that a rich person, who is generally more educated that his poor counterpart. It is an unspoken rule that if a person has read hundreds of books, he is knowledgeable. But NO.

The education system in India (except IB schools) goes like you study from heavy books for six months or so, mug up the content in them and write a paper. Education is never out of books. It is just going on and on. There is a fixed syllabus. The teachers come into the classes, teach, and leave. The students go home, revise the same done in class and at the end of the year sit for an exam.

This is WRONG. I have been through school, and no matter how good my school life has been (bless Rajkumar College, Raipur), I knew that though I am being educated, I ain’t attaining much knowledge, because I had a heavy bag. A really really very heavy one. My Math book alone would have weighed approximately two kilograms. Imagine carrying that heavy stone to school. Thank the Lord I hadn’t taken Commerce, or else I would have had an Accounts book weighing the same. And Science would have three books of the same weight. You guessed it. I was an Arts/Humanities student.

Being 18 year old grown-ups we were capable enough to lift the heavy weight on our shoulders, but where did that algebra take me? Have I put it to any use after my 12th grade? I agree that when you go on to do something in Physics, you need algebra. But why on the face of this earth will I need algebra if I am to do something in Economics, English or Psychology?

Though the title of my article is ‘back-breaking school bags’ and I am talking less of that fact, but this is directly related to it. If I am to study English, Math, as a subject is not something that I will need. I agree that 17 or 18 is too young an age to define our career, but we do choose a stream, and subjects should be categorized stream wise. Like Math for Science students should include Algebra, Trigonometry and others, for Commerce students it should be more statistical, and there should be none or very little Math for people opting for Arts.

Though our back-breaking school bags have got us admission into the most prestigious colleges of the country, be it Stephens, Xaviers or Jai Hind (I am from Jai Hind ;p), but where have they brought us in life? I still cannot, from a heap of 5kg rice, take out 1kg without weighing it. This is an after effect of the rote system.

Education in India is nothing but just another rat race, which we should eradicate. I am not talking of removing education and making everyone illiterate. But, the least we can do is that we can introduce certain policies, whereby students are taught outside the books, in fact, if I were to make a policy, it would be like – Students shall not be given books, but topics, which they can research upon with the help of libraries and internet and they should be then tested upon their knowledge of the subject.

And like I have been saying in my past two articles: AWARENESS IS IMPORTANT. 

YOU NEED TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP!

(P. S. Sorry for the delay)

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