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  • Writer's pictureVinayak Jawalkar

Why are we stuck in the rat race today?

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

A perfect textbook knowledge has zero usefulness in life

My school, like many academic schools, drove my attention to one aspect -scores! That was a priority and the most important word to remember in my school days. My school’s target was to teach me to get good scores. That is what made my teachers happy. Scores also meant a lot to my parents who believed in an academic education system full know textbook knowledge.

Rat race recap:

I followed my teacher’s instructions with the utmost respect. They offered me the best education to make me knowledgeable. Undeniably, I gained knowledge and scores. But, one question was recurring in my mind. Am I using the knowledge I got in school? Probably, less.

I appreciated my academic subjects and their importance. The problem was I didn’t know where to apply them. The only exception being language subjects.

Like many aspects of life, education, to me, was a blind rule to follow. I never blamed my school for academics. They were fantastic and served its purpose. After working for years, I realised what missed in real life — the basic application of knowledge. That made the whole difference.

What did I wish my school had taught me?

Apply what you learn

Take any subject for instance. A school should let the students know why they learn it. The teachers must encourage students to ask questions. Practical application of knowledge is missing in education system, which purely focuses on academic ranking system.

Be healthy

You know that sports boost our morale. Many academic schools have physical education as another subject and don’t give importance beyond it. Be it yoga, aerobics or any sport, fitness should be part of our education system.

Learn life skills

Students should learn swimming and basic first-aid. Not many schools in India makes swimming mandatory for children. These life-saving skills are in high demand in times of emergencies.

Learn creativity and decision making

Children should be let free to explore new paths along with a teachers’ support. Instead of scoring for the the sake of society, children should be allowed to create their own path. Teachers and parents must help a child to make matured decision while knowing its consequences.

Attention for children with special needs

Research shows an alarming growth rate of children with ADHD, Aspergers and Autism in many countries. Children with special need to be handled by trained professionals. This demands qualified teachers to look after children with special needs.

Respect compassion

In a battle of academic scores driven towards high-paid jobs, often, children forget to be compassionate with friends and family. Love for humans and other living beings must be inculcated in children from the schools.

Be happy

This may be out of the box. We should drive our goals that result in happiness. A person should learn to be happy regardless of the job. Material goals only make one happy temporarily. Doing what we love is important. Children should be taught to find a job that makes them happy. Parents should also become aware their children cannot be peaceful in any money-making job.

The solution — A new perspective of life

We can’t change the education system overnight. We are talking about a huge change that requires the drill. Parents should stop expecting high academic results from their kids. It reduces a lot of stress from the children. Parents can consider Montessori education — a highly practical methodology — for their children. Schools that provide an equal blend of academics and sports is another option.

Regardless of the school, children should be allowed to make choices right from childhood. This helps the parents as well as their children to live towards a happier life. This approach helps the kids choose a career with confidence.

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