Pragmatic approach to school education

A careful look at the education system, particularly at the school level, makes one wonder how much of what is being taught in schools is worth learning. I am sure many would agree with me that some of the subjects taught in schools today are of no use to the students in their practical lives. Just think how much of the algebra in Mathematics and the dates and names in History that a child has to learn would be useful to him in life, unless he or she wants to specialize in that subject. I, as a parent, believe that there is an urgent need to restructure the school curriculum, making it more beneficial, interesting and student-friendly.

For this purpose, the educational policy makers must put their heads together and frame a curriculum that targets students of all intellectual levels. The curriculum should be simplified in such a way that even children with weaker intellectual capabilities are able to comprehend what is taught to them. It should include subjects that have practical relevance in the life of a person, while doing away with subjects that are irrelevant in practical life.

Education must not be aimed only at acquiring a certificate or degree. School education should be aimed at the overall development of a child’s personality. It must prepare a child to face the realities and challenges of life with self-confidence as he or she grows up. It should also inculcate in the child the essential values of life. It must primarily help their development as good human beings and responsible citizens. An educational system that is centred on books and books alone would not help the intellectual, physical, social and psychological growth of a child. Hence, the need for co-curricular activities that would help children to bring out their hidden talents and increase their self-confidence.

It is a known fact that most school-children today depend on private tuitions for their success in exams. This only indicates the inefficiency of the teachers in schools. If the students understand what is taught in the school, there would be no need for them to depend on private tuitions. While this calls for serious introspection on the part of teachers, it also necessitates engagement of qualified and well-trained teachers in all the schools.

The pressure to do well in exams makes children tense, irritable and even desolate. There is, therefore, a need to understand them and provide proper counselling. School authorities as well as parents ought to realize the stress and strain the students undergo and adopt a sympathetic and understanding approach towards children. Teachers must take parents into confidence in the onerous task of moulding a child into a good human being.

Therefore, along with the coordinated efforts of the ‘team-triangle’ comprising Teachers–Student–Parents, an immediate overhauling of the educational system including the school curriculum is necessary to make school education complete, coherent, pragmatic, student-friendly and, above all, beneficial to the student.

P.C. John
Agri-Forest Colony, Kohima