12 January, 2009

Schools are producing asses - Can you Disagree?

These are the extract of Multiworld Newsletter.
Lets rethink what we are doing in Schools..

The news is official. Schools are producing asses. After an average study of 12 years (sometimes, 14) in school, children are turning out duds. The schooling system in the USA, India, Malaysia, Africa, everywhere is producing largely unimaginative and boring products, lacking initiative completely.

A recent Consumers Association of Penang booklet on How School Affects Your Kids lists the ways in which schools and their mug-mentality harm children. The school is perceived by children as:

 A world of silence and immobility;
 A world of uniforms, uniformity and punishments;
 A world cut off from life;
 A world of strange objects not found in the natural world;
 A world strewn with obstacles and meaningless tasks;
 A prison where students learn inferiority, submission and fear.

None of these are disputable facts.

Children themselves have drawn our attention to the fact that the school completely resembles a prison. It follows timings; food is bad or the same everyday; permission is required for everything including going to the loo; schooling demands that one sit in the same position for hours without exercise (even prisoners are spared this punishment). All children love intervals, just as prisoners look forward to the short breaks they are given out of their cells. Teachers are mostly wardens, since all they are really concerned about is discipline, uniforms, cleanliness, silence, obedience. Many of them are mean.

The comparison should not be really surprising since the same people who designed the schooling system also designed the prison system.
Parents who claim to love their children are willing to submit them to a 12 year torture learning things that everyone forgets immediately after the examinations are over.

Children who remain out of school do not lose anything since all human beings learn better out of school, given their natural aptitudes to do this. Thus, children can learn three to four languages before they are six without a teacher, but cannot speak or write a language if it is taught to them in school, even after six or eight years!

Taleemnet is providing a much needed platform for parents and educators who realise that although keeping kids out of school may initially seem risky, maybe frightening or even more of trouble, it will bring inestimable benefits in the long term in terms of quicker learning, and better family ties as children have a greater opportunity to be with their parents, members of the community, relatives and friends — all of whom will contribute in one way or another to the learning process.
One of the first Taleemnet projects is a primer on how to unschool kids or help the present ‘walk out’ rates to increase, so that children have a better chance to be themselves and learn what they want to rather than having to submit to a programme of text book cramming that goes on year after year without respite and whose utility is not accepted by anyone including the teacher.

Special Note:
This article is not written by me nor am I promoting De-schooling. I had mentioned it earlier that this is an extract from some Newsletter.

De-schooling has been a topic of research and a famous researcher Ivan Illich wrote a book “Deschooling Society” which could be downloaded just by clicking here.

The article was written to know every aspect of education by an educator.

We need to understand that education is changing and schools also need to change. The changes which I would like to visualize are (I know many Schools are already doing it)
Creative Schools
• Freedom to students - doesn’t means accepting nonsense but students should be free to express
• Innovative Schools
• All children’s to be addressed and taught equally - irrespective or any irregularities or intelligence level / type.
• More of life skills and values amongst them
• Healthy environment - free from vulgar approach
• Empowered and informed educators
• Learners everywhere – all stakeholders in Schools
• More Activity oriented and Job oriented education.
• Inclusive Education
• Integrated approach of teaching etc. Etc.

I am a strong believer of Schools.

Let’s change the style towards creativity and make students proactive. Do share your views...