I confess that I failed Nursery class. It is something impossible but I managed to fail. Although I have no memories from that class about what I studied. But I can remember feeling strange with the new batch of Nursery kids. I was quite ashamed of this fact most of my school life. It was a secret but somehow my brother overheard my father once. And it became viral in school bus and slowly all my friends got to know about it. I used to dismiss as a joke and sometimes make a fun out of myself. Ashamed.
You see I was this stammering kid who had a hard time in arithmetic and science subjects. I couldn’t remember and comprehend what the teacher was saying. With falling grades I was forced to join private tutorials in the neighbourhood (which didn’t continue for more than a month). At school and these private tutorials, I experimented with pain. Sticks, steel scales, nettles, pens between fingers or the usual kicks and slaps. They were so frequent that slowly I got used to it, to the point that I didn’t feel a thing.
I made friends outside the class. You see being outside the class was the best thing. I didn’t understand the teacher or what the whole chapter was about. So I found a pattern and I used to time for how long will the teacher ignore. Till then go around the parks and roam the corridors.
Our system emphasises on a good memory. Memorise everything you can, you’ll end up with excellent marks. Ask most of these ‘meritorious’ students a critical question, all you can here is them humming baby jibber-jabber. With a weak memory things were very difficult for me. I ended up being a rebel against the system.
School was a hard life, the only thing that proved to be a panacea were co-curricular activities. These are the only good memories I have of the school. Rest I spent in counting the number of times I was beaten up with sticks.
Moving to University, things will be better that was in my mind. I was finally going to do something is understandable and use creativity to the maximum. But it was a big jolt when the lecturers armed with PHD’s read through only slides. And there lack of knowledge of current things made me despair. I was at the higher level of memorisation. One has to remember every note, slides or chapters of a book. I honestly am not able to do it. Though my concepts are clear and coherent. I didn’t end up getting As when my heart was proud of what I had done.
The education system wants to bring information to the minds of students. Not knowledge. It’s like Americans saying, “We will bring democracy to Afghanistan.” There’s no sharing of knowledge only a transmission from one source of information to another. So today’s PHD holders and even undergraduates end up googling for what they are supposed to taught. Well, it doesn’t hurt to read from the internet the same thing you’re taught in school. End of critical thinking.
Our education system hardly promotes thinkers and intellectuals who are the pride of a nation. We are all after Engineers and Doctors. If memorisation skills avail, pass a civil service exam. So these civil servants turn the system which is suited to them. That means. your parents will never ask you what did you learn but “How much syllabus did you cover?” or “How much marks you got in your exams?”. So we end up creating memorising devices at our homes but not fine men of intellect.
I wonder how many inventors, political thinkers and artists will this system produce in the next generation. In lands where thinking is prohibited and creativity is ‘How to finish memorising the course earliest’, we are producing robots devoid of any human intelligence or creativity. We are being programmed to be what the system wants us to be. But with my low memory skills, I am discarded from being a ‘brilliant student’. Hell, I don’t want to be that way.
So when they will keep sending informations into our minds, I will be busy scribbling a cartoon who says. “I am going to change the world with my beliefs”, on the last page of a notebook. However stupid that sounds, I will try.