111. Teach students to be rebels

Right from the pre-school, teachers tell the kids to confirm and abide. In the school, teachers feed the students with standard answers and drill those into their head. If you write ‘in your own words’, you are in trouble (even though the question paper always starts with – Write in your own words – instruction).

We have been a part of this system for so long that we think it’s normal to follow the predictable route. Everyone knows 2+2=4, and if you get the answer, you score.

Being predictable is safe. Once you cram up the formula, you are fine. Everyone else comes up with the same answer, going through the same steps, using the same formula. There’s no risk in it. There’s no pressure to break away from the chains we feel comfortable to be bound with.

Schools are conditioning centers.

For over a decade, schools and teachers mold students’ belief that into accepting that being different is risky. The whole class has to speak aloud the same words, the same sentences and the same thought. Ram eats rice. Ram is eating rice. Ram has eaten rice. Ram has been eating rice. Students may not know exactly what ‘gravitation’ means but they memorize the definition to perfection. They may never know why we need to study algebra, but they can spit out the formula (a + b)2 = a2 + 2ab + b2.

Schools have conditioned students and teachers into becoming normal, obedient and boring. Teachers don’t want to take risk. There’s the result to worry about. The SLC pass percentage is the yardstick. Schools won’t let teachers take risk. Schools are just following the trend because the education policy demands it.

Students are clueless. The schools want them to get distinctions and want to print their photos on hoarding boards. It’s a matter of pride. Students aspire to be the winner of the rat race. They remain clueless and conditioned.

Parents, please start questioning.

Teachers, please start questioning.

Teachers are the hope.

Teachers, please start taking risk.

Teach the students to be different. Teach the students to be rebels – not the ones who destroy school property or assault teachers. But teach them to be critical, compassionate and caring. Teach them to question everything: the authors, the books and the system. Teach them to speak up and not to hold back in silence.

Teach them to hope, to preserve that hope and to fight for it.

In the meantime, this video is just a slap on the face !

“In just 30 years, Finland transformed its school system from one that was mediocre and inequitable, to one that consistently produces some of the world’s best students, while virtually eliminating an achievement gap. And they do it without standardized testing.


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