As a child, I never did like school. To me it always resembled some sort of juvenile prison, where we as unhappy inmates were hoarded around like cattle. We would be stuffed together in a classroom where a visibly bored "teacher", who was probably a dissatisfied house wife would ask us to recite the alphabet.
It does not take a person with a degree in psychology to tell that the so called teacher is bored out of her wits and visibly resents your very presence. Its something a small child can figure out all by itself. High school wasn't all that bad, I did meet some wonderfully genuine teachers who helped me develop my talents. But for the majority of the time it was the same convoy of disgruntled educators.
Education makes a big difference in ones life. The ability to grasp certain things in the key moments of your life make a huge difference in the sort of person you become tomorrow. Failing to do so causes numerous hurdles in the life ahead.
I do not believe in the fact that someone is just born stupid. Unless you have some sort of congenital problem like dyslexia or autism. Even then, dyslexic and autistic children aren't exactly stupid, given the opportunity, they can outshine even the well to do kids.
But that's how most children are labelled in some schools on account of under performance. Stupid, cannot learn, dull, etcetera.
Any person worth his salt ought to realise that the fault lies with the teacher and not the student. Its the teachers failure for being unable to get the student interested in the subject.
Then again teachers are not the only culprit. Parents aren't far behind as far as ruining the child's interest in education is concerned. Of late, they have begun to opt for the easiest option for correcting the child's bad performance in class. What's better than class? More class. Namely tuitions.
Of late, you have children studying in classes as low as the second grade, huffing and puffing carrying bulk loads of books on their bicycle going for remedial lessons after school. So much for the joy of childhood.
Its not a prejudiced or pessimistic outlook that I wish to portray, but on the contrary, something quite real and something experienced by a great deal of children.
Teaching and learning can be a wonderful experience if you ask me. There's nothing more wonderful in life than to learn and understand new concepts and material.
But the way they are introduced is of paramount importance.
For instance, in my own experience, we had this professor who taught us infectious diseases back in the fifth year. His method of teaching involved mutual interaction by treating us as equals. He gave us insightful details, and added relevant trivia to the subject in discussion so that we may never forget the topic. We liked studying for him, and even sought to impress him by trying to answer his questions. There was never any force, insults, boredom or aggression in his demeanour whatsoever. And as a consequence I loved the subject primarily on account of the professor.
On the other hand we have also encountered certain professors who can utterly ruin the subject, leaving you abhorring it for good.
Of course fortunately I am old enough to study on my own. So the after effects of being bombarded by mindless drivel are of little consequence.
But children on the other hand are not.
They have little choices to make when a particular teacher can make learning a literal hell for them. Besides they are too immature and scared to think otherwise. And as a consequence most of them end up suffering purely on account of the teacher's indifference and the parent's negligence.
What angers me more is when parents do not stand up to defend their children when they are subject to obvious harassment. My parents raked up all hell at a teacher back in junior school when they learned that she had been threatening us kids with chilly powder in the eyes as punishment for not doing the homework. The teacher was suspended and the principal offered a formal apology.
But not all kids end up that fortunate.
I was aghast when I read the news about a child in high school, who slipped into a coma after being hit on her head for not doing the homework. Obviously as gracious our judicial system is, all the teacher got was a suspension and nothing more.
In spite of all the "accidents" that have either maimed or severely affected children for the past many years, no one has taken the step to ban corporal punishment in Indian schools.
If this is the sort of trend that is going to continue, you might as well have your child home schooled rather than ruin his/her childhood by a sadistic teacher with the I.Q of a Neanderthal.
Even parents ought to realise and pay attention to their child when they begin to hate school. They ought to realise that obviously something somewhere is wrong. If one cannot stand up and defend one's child from the oddballs that hurt him/her, then one might as well not be a parent.
If parents cannot understand their children when they were young, they can forget about their children trying to understand them when they are old!
It really bothers me to see the sort of nonsense kids have to put up with in the name of education. Not all schools and teachers are bad. But there are certain institutions and teachers out there who can wreck the very basis of a decent education.
The purpose of education is to enlighten and empower a child.
Not to enslave and frighten it to submission under unnecessary parental and academic pressure.
For its the younger generation that will in later years shape the future.