I come from a matric, FSc and a B.A. education system background, and I have now changed my system from the local educational board to the University of London board of studies. I have always felt that the local education system is doing no good to students who want to learn so much more than they study from textbooks, and its true.
Our local system:
It seems like the course of the local education system hasn’t changed for years. I studied the same novel called ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’ in my literature part of English during my inter that my parents, and shocking enough even their parents had studied when they completed their inter. Funny, isn’t it? How times have changed, how so much development in the field of science and literature has taken place, but our children are still being taught the exact same course that was taught to children their age some 15 years ago.
But that, of course, is not the end of it. ‘Cramming’ everything in your textbooks to an extent that you know every answer to a mathematical equation and know what word is written in what line on what page of a textbook is mere madness. This is simply ‘parhayi’ not education. This is ‘ratta’ not concepts. Half the students cram every step of solving a maths equation, while the other half cram every line of a 200 pages biology textbook. The end result? They of course, get a 10/10. But whats the point of this 10/10 if you don’t understand what you’re studying?
Moreover, what is the benefit of getting an education like this where you simply confine yourself in a book, isolate yourself from worldly education and affairs of every day life, hoping to top the Punjab Board? The practicals of Science subjects are absent, like the “practical experiments” of biology include studying the parts of a microscope, and children aren’t allowed to experiment and show uniqueness of physics projects themselves, so they don’t learn anything. Middle school and high school students should be indulged in different science fair projects, instead of having to learn practicals like Titration in Chemistry which are taught to us through paragraphs in books that we have to learn, instead of actually having to go to the labs to experiment.
Almost every student has the idea of becoming a ‘doctor’ or an ‘engineer’ or a CSS babu incorporated in their minds by their elders. Only because they are not allowed to find their hidden talents, their passions, and in return they quietly try to follow the career pathway chosen for them.
But what happens to most? Ah, yes. The entrance exams are mostly concept based. The SAT, MCAT, ECAT etc tests your skills to apply the rattay of your textbooks to answer concept based answers. Most fail to do so, and end up having shattered dreams of getting into their desired universities.
Other times, if these matric or inter students go abroad to study, they have a hard time adapting to the fact that attempting exams there does not mean filling up 44 sheets with utter nonsense. It does not mean cramming your textbook and replicating the exact same text on papers. Answering a question means writing an answer which is to the point, and supporting it with reasoning and citations.
Our country, where the exams are graded on basis of the quantity of the content, not on the quality of the content. This is exactly why, the education system is failing, and this is why students prefer studying the O/A levels system of education rather than studying under the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education.
When exams are graded depending upon the mood of the examiner, when there is no concept of rechecking, only recounting, and when an English teacher checks the Chemistry exams of students, I’ve always wondered, are these people really helping the students of our generation groom themselves into better and educated people, or are they merely doing their jobs for the sake of it?
Labeling students as nalaik:
We, in our society, call these students who cram their textbooks and top board examinations as ‘laik bachay’ of the nation. But those who study but get average grades because they write answers ‘in their own words’ instead of crammed paragraphs, and keep themselves involved in extra curricular activities are termed as ‘nalaik’ of the family.
This post goes out to those, who suffered depression, anxiety, and frustration because they worked really hard in their matric, inter, or bachelors, but never got their deserved scores. Your life is so much more than just a result sheet, learn to look at the brighter side!