Look at their smiling faces. Let’s explore their happiness together.
‘Rahul, don’t be a lazy person. Get up and complete the homework. I will give you a chocolate’, Called his mother. Rahul did want to eat that after all its a chocolate and he likes it. But that day, he didn’t wake up. Mother thought maybe, she will have to find another tactic to make him complete his homework.
Now, let's come back to the perspective of Rahul. Rahul wakes up every day, goes to school for a typical 9 AM-3 PM schedule. Then he returns home with a lot of homework, a normal workflow right! Now he comes home, gets some food. Next is the coaching classes whether it's online platforms or any offline one. His mother takes him proudly there. He spends at least two hours there. If you add up closely, you will find there are like 8–9 hours that the child spends in a medium where he is just forced to learn. By 7 PM, he returns home, and now is the time for homework. Then comes the story of the first paragraph.
Education is such a complicated issue/requirement/responsibility for any parent. But the most beautiful thing about the parents of this millennial generation is that they want their kids to be educated as much as that makes them successful. It becomes such a complex issue if you just change your perspective of looking at this problem. So, there are 4 ways, you can look at it. I will be covering each of them one by one.
1] Parents: Let's just start with a fact that every parent wants a bright future for their child. So, Isn’t it true that every parent knows about what they’re doing? Yes, they know but they want the best for their child. But what defines the best? Let me tell you, it's ‘THE SOCIETY’. The problem always starts when you start to care more about society than your own identity. If you see around, you will see kids from the nursery are having their extra classes on online/offline platforms. What can you teach a child at such a small age that schools won’t teach him? Maybe a different rhyme. Parents always understand the pain of their child but societal FOMO ( fear of missing out) makes them do such things. You must have seen people taking so much pride in saying that they are sending their kids to these classes. Let’s just stop there. They are stating three facts. First, they can’t teach their child themselves. Second, the school they have put their child is ineffective. Third, look, I’m ahead of all of you. I have more money/opportunities that I can give to my child and that’s reasonable.
The problems become severe when sending kids to these platforms involves the pride of parents. Creating hoax in themselves that they are providing enough to the child. As a child grows, then what not exams are there. NTSC, Olympiads, local level competitions, and deadly college entrance exams. You know why I said deadly. Now, comes the perspective of the child, itself.
2] Child: Remember your childhood, when there was not even the internet. Do you think right now, ‘God I wish, there was Byju’s in my time.’ Most of you will not say, Yes. You might be struggling in your life right now but you must be happy about your childhood memories. The days when you played with your friends, interacted with others in your neighborhood. But it's not there at the current time. There are 3 things that happen with kids these days that should be stopped:
Lack of sleep: Kids definitely don’t get enough hours for sleep while learning hours plus homework is forced on them. According to studies, at least 8 hours of sleep is required, are they getting enough?
Less community interaction: Community interaction is at lowest. Child spends 90% of his time in learning environment, later remaining time thinking about them. Where is the community interaction? People even stop their child from going to family meetups/marriage/outside play just so their child doesn’t miss one class that they have paid so much money for. You as a child might have performed very low in academics but the memories that makes you still like your childhood are from your interaction with community. So, now the child is all into devices.
Hyper Connection: Hyper connection is the current generation situation. Something that was never expected and even people were not ready for it. You open a app, Boom. You’re into a virtual world of flowing feelings where you spend half of your life searching for more dopamine. No matter, you’re are student/parent. I would recommend you to go through this video. Simon Sinek will explain this topic in much better way.
Let’s connect the dots. Not enough sleep plus low community interaction plus hyper connection. Do you know where it all leads to, mental problems such as depression? Study already shows the increasing trends of mental problems and suicides among teens, but who cares right? Indians use a word for people with mental illness, ‘ Pagal hai ye to’. Accept the fact that Indians don’t even understand the word mental illness. It's no surprise if a kid doesn’t share his feeling with his parents. If you’re a parent, reading this article, go talk to your child, and yes please, keep these ‘education discussions’ away from the conversation. Now, schools.
3] Schools: Before I say, anything about schools. Let's just categories them into 3 categories.
Government schools: Lets just start with the fact that no one cares about the government school. Neither the government nor the people like us who have no strings attached to them. So, situation is pretty much different in these schools, Parents send their child to government school only in case, there are no other option. The primary reason why kids are sent there to have food in afternoon which their parents can’t provide. After schools, they usually go for work with their parents or they do what a normal child should do, do whatever they want.
Schools: These are the schools where middle class people send their child. Here, Parents send their child for education, not for food. But they never know, what actually happens out there. In most of such schools, students are peer forced to enter the coaching institutes. Even, teachers promote their own tutor services/coaching institutes, and act differently/ show soft emotions to those who pay them for their tutor classes. Few teachers, even don’t teach properly in school, as the proper knowledge delivery has to happen in their extra paid classes. Its happening out there. Middle class parents struggle for money but they tend to provide every possible thing to their child that can make his future bright.
Premium Schools: These schools have trained teachers, extra curricular activities and even some career guided sessions. But its not like students from such schools don’t attend extra learning platforms. Why? If someone is preparing for college entrance exams or some extra subject classes then its reasonable, but what about others? I feel like something is fundamentally wrong here that is the education system.
4] Education system and Coaching classes: These two are like Tom and Jerry. In this story, Online classes are Jerry, and the education system is Tom. Now, Coaching classes don’t have so much power themselves but the ignorance of the education system gives them immense ability to even overpower them.
The budget allotted to the Indian school system in 2018–19 was 37,111 crores whereas the net worth of Byju’s itself in 2020 is a whopping 10.5 billion dollars (around 76,962 crores). Now, tell me who’s winning?
Our Tom, the education system must have done something wrong, otherwise, there could never be Jerry like coaching classes would have gone far. Byju’s says proudly in their ad, people come to us after schools.
The question which should be asked is, Why?
I’m not against these extra classes as they are there to feed the need of people. People are going to them because they have to. This issue needs to be taken seriously, otherwise, what’s the purpose of schools other than signing certificates?
New Education Policy introduced the policy of continuous evaluation of not just children but also of the teachers. That will surely increase the quality of education. This time not only just government officials but also the parents have to understand the steps that they are taking towards the future of these kids. They are sending their child to these classes to feed his educational challenges or just to satisfy themselves. In the end, what matters is your child. Ask him, what he wants. If something happens to him if he ever takes the wrong step. Society will never be there to take the blame and you, yourself will never be able to get away from regret.
Don’t be shy, Go talk to your child.