Recently I came across an article on ‘Ancient India‘. At first glance, I was totally put off by it, but on a friend’s insistence I went ahead, and to my astonishment, I loved the piece and ended up reading a few more books on the topic. Back in eighth standard, I hated everything related to history. Today I can come up with two solid reasons for my disinterest towards the subject:
2. Everyone talked only about marks. They were all that mattered to us, our parents and teachers. Also, we were told that science was the only real subject; arts and commerce were for the weak students.
A few months back, I was having a chat with a cousin of mine and his friends; I was surprised to know that the situation is still the same. They hate history, geography and other theoretical subjects, were bothered about only marks and planned to take up science after tenth standard as commerce and arts are for the weaklings as per their teachers.
What I am trying to say is that despite the attempts by NCERT to come up with graphically appealing books, introduction of grading system by the CBSE, etc., there has not been much change in our learning methodology. Every child today wants to get good marks, for which they resort to cramming (sometimes even in math) as teachers expect exact language of the book to be written in the answer sheet.
Children are not introduced to the practical aspect of a subject right from the start. They lay most emphasis on the theory and thus become rote-learners. Learning should be fun but that is not the case; every child dreads the exams, they have been taught to take it very seriously, especially the board exams. Even parents want high scores like 90% or above from their children. Sometimes children are not able to cope with the pressure and try to commit suicide. The suicide rates have increased manifold in the last few years owing to the ever- increasing pressure to perform the best, consequently, leading to stress becoming usual for children.
To ease the unnecessary pressure, the root cause has to be targeted. Children should be made to enjoy the process of learning and once that happens, the fear of appearing in exams will automatically fade away. To make the learning process interesting it is the responsibility of both the parents as well as the teachers to make learning a fun experience for children both at home and school respectively. Many schools are catching up with the idea of using visual aids to make children understand the subjects better. The creative side of the child should be explored and encouraged. Schools should not only provide the children with facilities like sports, arts, music, etc. but also make sure that the children utilize the facilities to the fullest so that their personality is nourished in a wholesome manner.
A very successful campaign by NDTV, Marks For Sports, has really helped people understand the importance of sports and that its inclusion in our curriculum. But above all we would have to change our notions that marks are all that matter and that they are the proof of a child’s success. It has to be both the parents and teachers who play a very important role in a child’s academic life to make sure that they don’t put the children blindly into the fire of competition. They must let the children free to learn in their own way and once a child is let free to think on his own, there is no stopping as every child has a special hidden talent which can only come out if it is not obstructed by the stress of getting marks and outperforming others.