Schools, detoxify our young minds

Over the years, rote learning has left a devastating impact on human resources of the country. It erodes the child’s original thinking, creativity, enthusiasm and finer emotions. In the process, the child grows up into a selfish individual who does everything to further her personal interest. This is one of the main reasons why India fumbles while addressing its multiple ills.

A student from LKG to a higher degree has the ‘A-for-Apple’ type approach to score full marks. A slight deviation from apple to anaconda or ant makes lots of difference in the mark sheet. “The problem with perfect scores is directly related to poor quality questions, which can be answered by rote learning. Besides, the answers used for evaluation have a stereotyped model and the correct answer is the one that follows this model. Slightly original and creative answers do not get marks,” said Krishna Kumar, former director, National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

Absence of quality classroom teaching and high score as eligibility criteria for getting college admission and jobs build a rote learning environment. Mono sector growth which squeezes job diversity also contributes to rote learning for survival.  

Rote learning creates more problems than solutions. Today, the banking sector is worst hit by fraud which has increased from Rs 41,167.03 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 71,500 crore in 2018-19. The gross NPA in the Scheduled Commercial Banks is still alarming at 9.3%. The total losses of PSBs show at Rs 57,835.23 crore in FY19.

Though bankers have developed soft skills like public speaking, presentation and liasoning skills, they have not developed adequate skills for monitoring, inspection, auditing, project appraisal, evaluation, asset verification, potential mapping and documentation skill etc, to protect the banks’ credit cycle from wilful defaulters and scamsters.

The majority of scamsters who masterminded massive bank frauds and diverted huge bank loans to foreign countries in a systematic manner belong to prestigious schools and colleges. Had those institutions built national character in them, they would not have done so much damage to their own country.   

Similarly, the medical profession, which was once built on sympathy, sincerity and service mentality is worst affected by greed, apathy and corruption. A large number of doctors get admission into medical colleges by paying hefty donation ranging from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crores and above. The private hospital heads who collect hefty donation belong to good schools.

The Global Nutrition Report 2017 found that 51% of Indian women in the reproductive age are anaemic, a jump from 48% in 2016. The report also said India has one-third of the world’s stunted children.

The number of diabetic patients in India is likely to reach 120 million in the next two decades. Nearly two lakh people die in India due to kidney failure. Recently, encephalitis killed 118 children in Bihar due to poor healthcare facilities in government hospitals. Economic growth without good human beings leads to human suffering.

Today, urban India has become extremely chaotic due to lack of city-specific planning, corruption and human sensitivity to address people’s basic problems. The World Health Organisation reported 1,10,000 child deaths in India due to air pollution in 2017. The politico real estate agents camouflage their business ventures with lookalike people-friendly infrastructure projects.

Hyderabad lost 3,245 hectares of lake area between 1989 and 2001. Today a majority of lakes there are not suitable for human use. Delhi let disappear 21 big lakes. Bengaluru has converted 16 of its major lakes into bus stand, stadium, housing colony, golf course and colleges.

Chennai has embraced water crisis by destroying 3,000 lakes in its periphery. Lakhs of water bodies have disappeared from the country in the last three decades. This clearly shows that our schools have not instilled a concern for the environment among children.

Today, half of India faces a drought situation resulting in deaths, diseases and massive migration. Mega reservoirs, dams, lift irrigation projects and thousands of water harvesting structures raise doubts about their efficacy and the national character of people who conceived and implemented the projects.

The reported monstrous incidents of rape of minor girls, even babies show our spiritual decadence. The Thompson Reuters Foundation has ranked India as the most dangerous country in the world for women in 2018.

Crime against women attributes to media marketing sex and violence in the name of creativity, unrestricted internet access to pornography sites, misuse of smartphones, job diversity loss, lack of adequate income among youth to have family life, loss of spiritualism and multiplication of liquor shops for easy revenue and the negative impact of foreign culture. In fact, the unsafe atmosphere has multiple negative impacts on the economy and productivity of the nation.

The 200-page Draft Education Policy should focus on four basics: quality classroom teaching, discipline, physical and moral growth of children. Volunteers from all walks of life and conscientious citizens should make it their mission to ensure quality schools in their locality in order to save the future generation. 

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