I wonder if I would ever walk towards a building, and of all the problems in this world would have the mind space to think about what could possibly be the height of this building. Maybe, not in this life, but as per what we had been taught as a student, if you do not know trigonometry or maybe how the 2nd law of motion operates, you are pretty much a useless student, at least that’s what we had been made to believe.
As a student, we have been taught a variety of concepts, about studies and extra-curricular activities, out of which an inconsiderable fraction is what defines or has helped us gain something. The rest of what we have been taught determines nothing, but our grades.
A child is more or less like wet clay and the environment is the potter. A child’s future would be beautiful only if the right potter contributes to it.
There’s been plenty talk about how our incredibly flawed education system gives us very little knowledge, but an abundance of self-doubt, anxiety issues, and other unhealthy attributes, but we rarely talk about what we actually require from it. Every serviceman serves the audience what they buy and if we keep on buying their narrative which sells merely grades, and very little knowledge, then we’re nobody to complain about it. We need to acknowledge our need and then work towards it if we want to make a change. Here’s a list of things which our schools must be teaching us, apart from our syllabus:
“You’re so much more than your grades”
My 8-year-old nephew doesn’t have a lot of friends because he scores 7 and not 20 out of 20. How come an 8-year-old child does not have friends because of his inability to score? The thought troubled me and I visited his school once, only to discover that kids only like kids who are teachers’ favorites and teachers only like kids who score good marks.
It’s not just the fault of the faculty. The faculty might be trying to treat every child at par, but then parents do not want their kids to be associated with academically poor kids as they’re a bad influence on their child. A child, so little, is made to believe that he isn’t worthy of friends because he couldn’t get the perfect score. Where are we advancing as a society if we burden our barely grown flowers to excel when they’re still learning how to breathe?
Marks are too narrow to define what wonders a kid can do.
“Even if you lose, you are already a winner if you tried”
Competitions - winning and losing, failure and success are a part of life. When a person invests their 100% in achieving something but isn’t successful, grief, pressure, disappointment, and expectations of our confidantes’ hovers a child’s mind like a thundering cloud.
It is very important to tell our kids even if they couldn’t clear that entrance exam or the basketball match or couldn’t win the debate, they’re still a winner if they gave their 100%. We need to unlearn what we have been taught, for the definition of failure can be redefined in multiple ways. They might have not won materialistically, but they won perfection and betterment in their skills and that counts as well.
“Empathy and kindness are free.”
As human beings, we face numerous circumstances where life gives us dejection, be it because of our personal, or professional reasons. When life gives us lemons, and we’re struggling hard to make lemonade, an extra pinch of salt by others can really make things complicated for us.
When things aren’t leading the way we want them to, all we need is support and kindness from others. In such delicate circumstances, shaming, humiliating, maybe, back-bitching about others is only going to make it worse for them. Let them be and let them breathe.
“Kids, don’t do things to others that you don’t others to do with you.”
“It’s okay to not be okay, but seek help”
As per the statistics, over 32% of children are depressed owing to puberty, parental or peer pressure, trauma among other reasons. The peculiar thing about these statistics is a significant percentage of the fractions of kids facing mental health issues aren’t aware of their illness. Mental health is equally as important as our physical health.
It becomes imperative to address mental health in order to recognize mental health issues. Anxiety and depression are normal illnesses that sometimes our mind goes through, but tossing them with the air with neglect isn’t a wise choice. Our kids should be taught that it’s okay if they’re feeling unhappy and dizzy at a pace, but what’s more important is to accept it and seek help from your confidantes.
When we talk about mental health, it is essential to discuss the impact of puberty on a child’s mind. As and when puberty hits, an adolescent goes through a plethora of physical, emotional, and psychological changes which is likely to cause a feeling of anxiety, self-doubt, and uncertainty.
Therefore, an effort should be made to educate our adolescents about puberty, so they’re able to come forward and discuss their issues, and ultimately come to terms with puberty with ease.
Kids, especially adolescents, are inquisitive about sexual activities. As their puberty hits and they begin exploring their sexual desires, they may be misguided and might end up doing something which could land them in trouble. As a matter of fact, only 45% of young men and about 28% of young women are familiar with HIV/AIDS, which makes the lack of sex awareness evident. Thus, sex talk is important.
In addition to it, sex education shall clarify the meaning of terms, like express consent, denial or refusal, the definition of rape, gender identity, LGBTQIA+ among other things.
“No replacement for hard work”
Human beings take things for granted, especially when you’re not supposed to go out and earn your bread and butter for approximately 20 years of life. Owing to lethargy and irresponsibility, some people forget that nobody is waiting outside the four walls of the school with a million-dollar paycheque. Nobody is going to pick you up from the rags and make you the king. One has to shred sweat and tears to earn goodwill, power, and success.
Thus, our kids should be educated on how their lives will go in vain if they refuse to put in their souls in the work they do.
Human rights, Feminism, and Racism
Human rights, Feminism, and Racism are topics that are directly associated with subjects like Political Science and History. However, the requirement is to educate our generation with these concepts outside the purview of textbooks.
These aren’t exam topics. They’re sensitive and crucial topics of social struggles that one may (or may not) face in their lives.
The world outside the internet
Technology has gifted us great things but has taken away little yet more precious moments. With our world getting dependent on the internet, we have somewhere started to forget the world outside the internet. Maybe the moral values lecture isn’t supposed to merely comply with the education board’s requirement.
Maybe it shall include teaching our kids honesty, truthfulness, nurturing relationship, joy, laughter, dealing with sorrow, jealousy, pain, and everything about life in general.
..and the list goes on.
Our education institutions set up the foundation pillar of our knowledge, but apart from textbooks, there’s much they need to empower us about. The above list is the most fundamental, yet the ground-level elements that students must be educated about. However, there are more things like managing personal finance, how to apply for education loans and state and central scholarships, managing events, networking, and building references, how to apply for college and the list goes on.
Of all the things our educational institutions shall do, the first should be accepting their backlogs and faults, because acknowledging a problem is a half-way solution.
Edited by Annanya Chaturvedi