Primary schools usher children into a new world. A world of learning, discovery and curiosity. It is that time of a child’s life when their brains open up to absorb information and hence, the questions begin. Now going back to my supreme faith of following the laws of nature – the natural way in which children learn is by questioning. The whys, whats, hows and whens are their natural instincts in which their brains register information and convert it into knowledge. But are we really promoting this behavior in our children? When a child asks too many questions, does the parent or the teacher really appreciate the child’s inquisitiveness or do they rather curb this wonderful habit by telling them things like shut up, do not disturb, irrelevant question, etc.? In schools, who’s on the questioning end? The child or the teacher?
God has created each one of us differently. Each child has his own unique qualities, skills and abilities, then why do our schools not have different ways, curriculums and paces for different children? Why are the teachers asking questions and children simply cramming the answers given by their teachers? Why are we deliberately going against the laws of nature, mediocrising each child, turning each child into a product and creating children who have the same answers. We are killing the thinking, logic, creativity and uniqueness of each child, making them into robots, programmed to answer the same questions.
Consider a child, sitting down to fill colours in a picture that has a sky in it. If the child chooses to pick any other colour than blue, the teacher or parent’s generic reaction would be to tell the child –“The sky is blue!” This is a command, an information that has been passed on, which the child will cram for the rest of his life and without a thought will pick up a blue crayon and start coloring the sky blue. Rather, if the teacher/parent would ask the child – “What colour is the sky?” or maybe “why is the sky blue?”, it would force the child to think, make sense of what he is doing and learn from his own interpretations that the sky is blue in colour. But are we really doing this with our children?
In this era of cramming-vomiting and answering questions, and inspite of all the rote training, if a child manages to save some part of his cognitive skills and dares to raise questions, we start naming him to be a rebel, disobedient, and mis-behaving child. Their brains are losing its power because we are constantly curbing any questions from being raised in their minds and forcing them to simply gulp in what we say and leave behind any logic, concept or cognition that might spring up in their budding brains.
Sad, but true! This is the state of our primary schools and this is what each one of our children are going through. It is now upto us to decide, if we want our children to score good marks or to score high on skills, abilities and knowledge, which sadly aren’t counted when giving scores in schools.