A blunder is committed when a child is burdened by the parents with the future plans.
What career is best to opt for? How to prepare for that specific stream? Which subjects to be focused on to score more? What should things be removed from the lifestyle in order to ensure that the child does not deviate from becoming a doctor?
It is quite evident that the parents are always worried about the future of their child. But, loading those worries on tiny shoulders will limit the children to explore different fields that they might excel in unexpectedly.
A broad education should be the foundation of each child. With the evolving sectors in the world, many things are undergoing changes at a lightning speed. Jobs are going to alter, careers will be evolved and specializations might not be the existing career option. It will be dangerous to streamline the children from a narrow perspective.
As a new phone comes with updated facilities, we need to unlearn previous methods and learn new settings. Similarly, all fields are subjected to adopt the new methods as we step into the coming era. It needs us to be wise enough to empower our students with the strength and breadth of knowledge tied to the strings of required skills.
It is surprising how students are encouraged to choose subjects that imaginatively will ensure a stable future. A class 10th student is expected to make choices. Is he/she matured enough? Does that 14-year-old have enough knowledge of the fields and future?
Such young children haven’t explored the possibilities. With the pressure around, they forced to make choices they are not sure about. As a result, certain narrowness is infected into their education. This narrowness eliminates the possibilities of creativity and thinking out of the box. They are forced to run in the race of traditional competitions.
Few people still emphasize the term – “all subjects are uniquely valuable”. The students get the bleak light of the fact that there’s no such thing as a “useless” subject. But the superstition of getting the best job and best career through pursuing a particular range of subjects is still grounded in the belief system. As a result, they stress themselves with the focus on achieving high scores and top ranks in order to get into the best universities. Irrespective of their interests and expertise, the students opt for “scoring” subjects. Their aptitude is considered a secondary aspect to measure the options around. Since the purpose is just scoring high grades, students are unlikely to develop their passion for subjects. They will rarely master the subjects.
If we perceive the scenario today, students are not much interested in even knowing about the different disciplines that are available for them. They are sighted on the ones which are being suggested to them. Teachers are also emphasizing on the examination course serving to their single-minded aim of high scores. Learning is not happening. Memorizing is being practiced. The extent is such that some teachers even leave out the previous year’s syllabus in order to save time for topics that will earn more marks. Learning is studded with gaps. Practice papers, hints and methods are being practiced thoroughly. The aim is scoring the highest.
With this kind of approach, are the students career-ready? Are they equipped enough to reach the best colleges bagging required skills? Many university professors are astonished to find the eligible candidates who have even cleared the entrance examinations aren’t equipped with basic skills. Research, making one’s own notes, academic and creative writing, presenting original comments on texts, synthesizing and most significantly constructing knowledge, and not merely consuming or reproducing it is alien to them.
An unhealthy division in different streams is being observed. Science students look down on the children who are pursuing arts. The mindset with only science being an intellectual’s subject overpowers their belief system.
The cause behind ruining the bright minds is we, the adults. Parents and teachers are failing to help them explore the varied branches and opportunities they have. Policy makers are unable to direct their mind into understanding that all the streams are equally beneficial and possess the potential to unfold a stable career. Each discipline needs the child to think, reason, reflect, process, analyze and imbibe. Employers today are observing a trend that varied skills are missing in the candidates who apply.
According to the book ‘College – Pathways of Possibility’, by Saikat Majumdar, we need to develop students into T-shaped individuals. Elaborating the idea, he refers T-shaped individuals with those candidates who have both depth and breadth of knowledge. In the current scenario, the education system is creating a flow of I-shaped individuals who have the ‘vertical expertise in a single discipline’.
The serious need today is for the policy-makers and educationalists to improvise the curriculum into a process that refurbishes our youth into employable T-shaped individuals. After all, it is wise to change the curriculum to address the present-day needs.