If schools taught what is really needed in life..

If Schools Taught What Is Really Needed In Life..

Let’s test your general
I just finished covering my son’s school books for the new academic year, an exercise all Indian mothers are familiar with. I browsed through the shiny crisp pages thinking about how much of this learning would help him in daily practical life. These were the very same things that I learnt as a child and was now passing on to him.

Trigonometry, algebra, geometry, sets, chemical symbols, converting
centigrade into Fahrenheit and vice versa, samas in Hindi, historical dates
and how much coffee is produced in Australia?
Most of our current school system revolves around the above kind of learning, and yet, I think it falls miserably short of what children need. To be honest, I think our academic system of education is highly overrated, at best. At worst, it destroys a number of our kids.

Hear me out. I’m not saying that kids shouldn’t learn to read, or do the math, or develop other valuable skills. But too often, the focus of our kids’ school day is Content with a capital C, with little connection to why it matters. Instead of learning together, many of our students spend hours filling in worksheets or copying down lecture notes that they can now google in 30 seconds.

Too often the lectures they listen to are boring and irrelevant to their lives. And from my experience, most of this content is simply memorized, spewed out for an exam and then quickly forgotten.

School should be a place where kids can discover what they love. They should be able to ask the questions that matter to them and pursue the answers. They should discover what they are passionate about, what truly sets their hearts and souls on fire. They should discover they can make a difference now. Above all, they should leave school knowing what they are good at.

Today, I think most kids graduate only knowing if they’re good at school or not. There is zero curiosity or thirst to learn something new and unique. As Aamir Khan put it perfectly in 3 idiots, “Koi nahi sochta ki hum aaj kuch naya sikhe, bas ek race lagi hoti hai marks ki.”
Furthermore, our students need to be able to problem-solve, innovate and
failover and over again.
There are so many life skills that I wish were a part of the school
curriculum….Basic life-saving techniques-CPR, how to open a bank
account, basic defence skills, negotiation skills, money management, learning how to learn, time management and how to cope with stress…how to cope with life because it is not going to be a bed of

As Tom Bodett says, “The difference between school and life? In
school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson

It is difficult to change the system that’s been firmly entrenched for decades. More than the system, it’s the mindset that needs to change. The mindset that runs after marks, after prestigious colleges that produce money-minting automatons, a society that points fingers at people who dare to walk away from the beaten path of money and status.

As for me, I’ll just try to teach my son the joy of …learning, of being inquizzitive, of asking questions and working towards the answer, of sharing knowledge, of being a teacher as well as a student and of
never being scared to chase his dreams.

Featured image: CDC/Unsplash

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