It is my opinion that there is no such thing as a ‘genius’ person and a not so genius ‘average’ person. The thing is that every person on this planet has potential, potential to change the world, to become the next Einstein, to become the next Newton, yet we judge people based on their grades, wealth, standard and extent of education. Why? Now you may think that I am talking about an idealistic, perfect, impossible to achieve world and that this concept of trying to integrate every person on the same scale into society has been tried in the era of communism and failed spectacularly. But just think about it, what if the cure for cancer lay in the brain of somebody that died of malnutrition, or did not receive any education and was instead forced into a life of hand to mouth existence.
So how does a society go about educating everyone or how do you eliminate the stigma that has steeped so deep into society? The answer is simple yet extremely hard to implement. Change the perception (for good) about education in society, from the ground up. Some of the steps that could be taken are listed below:
1. One of the first things that could be done to do this is to begin a door to door campaign in the rural areas especially, to make the general public living in these unprivileged areas realize the true worth of education. A deep seated mistrust exists in these areas especially regarding Western education and this air of mistrust must be cleared.
2. Now let’s move from the rural areas to urban areas. One of the biggest problems that exists here is the vast disparity in the system and standard of education. Unfortunately our country is one where we don’t even follow one particular standard of education. The ‘poor’ and the ‘average’ students opt for matriculation while the better off and ‘geniuses’ opt for O/A Levels. This disparity must be cleared by bringing the Pakistani system up to speed with the developing world and an active interest should be taken in extra and co-curricular activities like debates, sports and quiz competitions to name a few.
3. However even in colleges where the modern O/A levels is the norm very dire problems exist. One of the biggest problems is the fee structure. Exorbitantly large amounts are charged for this ‘high’ standard of education. Unfortunately in a country like Pakistan a good percentage cannot afford this luxury (yes alas in Pakistan education has become a luxury few can afford). Also in these colleges a system exists where the average students are used as a stepping stone for the ones who have better grades. Distinctions are made between the students and this leads to differences in attitudes of the teachers towards the students. Now this is not written to undermine those who have gotten good grades but rather is aimed at the school authorities, to avoid any such distinction and make sure that every child is encouraged and everyone gets an equal opportunity at excelling.
4. Finally one of the last points that I would like to raise is one that is incredibly close to my heart. It is something that has been said time and again but yet it still remains a concern which is indeed quite disheartening. It is the problem of the pressure of society and a parent on their children to top their classes, get straight A’s and bring in accolades by the boatful. What these people fail to realize is that not everyone has the same interests and the same brain as others. Not everyone wants to become a doctor or an engineer, the world is expanding, growing and with it the demand for new skills new jobs are increasing. People need to realize that just because somebody is going for a degree in humanities it is not because he or she got bad grades or low marks, it is because that person has a passion for the degree they are pursuing and that we should let them do what they want instead of being judgmental.
With this I bring an end to my blog post, as I sip on a cup of warm ‘chai’ to calm my nerves because this blog has helped me vent a lot of my pent up apprehensions. Steps must be taken and ideas implemented before our education system turns into a game of Russian roulette for the students with their whole futures at stake if they get the ‘short end of the stick’. Pakistan and its people must rise to the challenge and not let our youth down, they are what make up the fabric of our society and hold the future of this country in their palms.
About the Author:
Muhammad Usman Bari a student of Roots Millennium College. He has great interest in blogging as an amazing platform to put forward his pent up ideas. Usman seeks his career in medicine.