A Child in this Education System

By Ishveen Narang –

I wonder what it must be like, studying under an enormous, canopy-like tree, hands free of notebooks and heavy textbooks, sitting in the cool breeze, your mind fully concentrating on the things you were studying about, not the dull lines of your NCERT textbook.

Long ago, I reckon, absorbing knowledge would have been the easiest since the students’ minds weren’t sagging with the weight of countless essays, word-meanings from Shakespeare’s sonnets or various combustion reactions. They only had to concentrate at one thing at a time, not soak up Physics, Chemistry, Geography, History, Economics, Maths, Civics and Biology in forty minutes period.

And I don’t think children then missed on their play time; they must have played games, interacted and whatnot. And I’m sure they never experienced the disappointment of being told that their only forty minutes of being outside for sports was being taken away by their teacher because ‘playing’ wasn’t as important as studies.

Education System, to me, feels like a huge pair of hands that are holding me down from exploring my surroundings, or doing what I really want to do. It’s like I have wings, but I can’t use them just because my brain is too heavy with the load of the things school makes me do. Birds’ bones are hollow, are they not? They wouldn’t be able to fly if something was dragging them down. And that’s exactly what’s happening with nearly every student, not just me.

Our present education system, that I believe was introduced by the British, kills imagination and makes the mind stop questioning. It has made us think along one line of thought. It doesn’t challenge us enough, and there’s no point of school when you don’t even have the desire to do the tasks that are set for us.

I try to care less, but the thing is, it’s not just system, it’s the teachers too. They don’t care if the student understands; all that matters to them is finishing the syllabus.

I may sound tad ungrateful, but it’s true. I’ve had teachers who pick students who they think are brainy and ignore others if they want to give a shot at answering a question. It lowers others’ self-esteem, makes them less confident.

About accepting facts- I still try to keep my brain alive by questioning things that other people think are bound to be true. I think NASA could be a fake association. What if they never went to the moon? It’s not like they bought a piece of it back to Earth, did they? What if they just shot the Lunar Flag Assembly on a camera on Earth? It could happen, couldn’t it? If movie artists could do it, if our school can make a fake moon base for school plays, it wouldn’t be hard for the largest science tech association ever, would it? And if you want me to believe it, I want to see the evidence. Make me see, touch, experience things if you want me to believe.

If I ran a school, I’d have at least two field trips every month- perhaps to Agrasen Ki Baoli, Purana Qila or Feroz Shah Kotla’s Fort. I would let them experience everything they learn, make them do role plays on what they learnt. I would take them on nature walks and for camping. There would be more practical learning than theory. Imagine what fun it would be, visiting a sewage plant, seeing how waste gets treated!

I want a school where every child is free to explore, himself and his surroundings; a school where the students can learn, learn how to be assertive, caring, kind- all those traits that no textbook can teach.

Ishveen Narang,

Grade VIIIth. DPS R.K.Puram