“I don’t want to study Maths. It scares me like hell! Why should I even bother to study history? I am going to be a scientist!”
It’s very common to hear Indian teens complaining about their subjects and their absolute dislike for a few which just don’t seem to interest them. For some, Mathematics is nothing short of a living nightmare while for many History and Geography are major mood dampers. In fact, for a number of students nothing is more joyful than passing the 10th standard because that finally gives them the opportunity to choose and study the subjects of their choice. In these circumstances, I enlist a few reasons why specialization should be introduced earlier in Indian schools.
1)Varied talents and interests: By the time a child of today enters his teens he is more than equipped to understand his areas of interest. For some it may be music, for some it may be science and for some it maybe journalism or something else. Today’s job market provides ample opportunities for one and all, so every child should be allowed to follow his dream from an early age.
2) Less time to focus on area of interest: In an academic system where every teen has to read no less than 7 or 8 subjects it becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate solely on the subject of your interest because one has to pass in anything and everything that’s in the curriculum.
3) More number of subjects, more number of tuitions: Private tuition has become a part and parcel in the life of today’s student. Very often students, especially the first generation learners are provided tuitions in each and every subject for better grades and scores. Thus, more number of subjects implies more number of tuitions for these poor souls whose spend their evening in tuition classes rather than hitting a ball or two in the field.
4) Stress: It’s now very common to find children with dark circles under their eyes and tired, sunken faces. It’s all a result of their increasing workload and packed schedules which leave no time for any fun activity. Excessive number of subjects only adds to their burden and leave no time for any fun. In fact there has been a widespread increase in the number of students who have to visit psychologists on a regular basis for stress management.
5) Too expensive for the economically backward classes: For those coming from not-so-affluent homes it is but a luxury to spend so much money on a huge number of books and equipment like laboratory tools and coats. If a student goes on to study Commerce or Humanities it is also a waste for their parents to spend on science lab equipment, because it would never really help them in the long run.
6) No retention of knowledge: One does not really remember what one studies if there is no interest in the subject. It’s impossible for a scientist to remember Akbar’s land policy or a historian to remember each and every Mathematical theorem. Most students who don’t feel interested in a subject tend to mug up and vomit the content in their upcoming exams, a tradition that has passed on through the ages. Is it really an encouraging side of our education?
I know that in spite of these reasons a lot of my readers will continue to feel that every child needs to study all subjects ranging from History to Physics till his first board exams for a well-rounded, comprehensive education. But is the objective really fulfilled if one simply mugs up the subject of dislike, only to forget what they learnt, in the long run?