5 Must-Haves for any Academic Institution
by Hajra Salim
I fidgeted nervously, saying prayers under my breath as I rose to my feet and approached the teacher’s desk solemnly, to pick up my marked physics test. The test wasn’t one of the best tests I had ever taken, nevertheless, I turned the answer sheet over to see that I scored just how I had perceived in my head. Nothing more, nothing less. Satisfactory. We took our seats quietly, humming words of disappointment and lack of perfection. It was the first official monthly test we took in the ninth grade and we came prepared under the precedent notion ‘first impression is the last impression’ and it taught us a lot, not the test, nor the dissatisfaction- but what our teacher had to say afterwards. She drew a deep breath, taking in the outcome and explained to us what morals lie ahead of passing a test or scoring grades. Our teacher made sure we felt at ease chugging down the fact that the lack of achieving the desirable was progress. We chanted along with her a few lines motivation, ‘We will try to do better next time because we can’, ‘Hard work does pay off’, ‘Perseverance is key’.
A few moments of motivational slogans proceeded into the everyday-lecture and then the bell rang, indicative that there was more to come. By the end of the class, I felt myself empowered and my faith restored in something that has proved itself to be truer through the passage of time, that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Just before our teacher left the classroom, whispers of support and awe filled the classroom after she delivered her words of encouragement for our future rather than displeasure of not scoring up-to-the-mark and she turned around from the threshold and spoke in the most motherly way, to a class of forty-one girls, ‘And, I want you all to know one more thing… that I love you all.’ and those words felt like home.
School will always be my first priority. (Of course, after Hogwarts. ;)) I am grateful to god for everything that I have learnt because of all the support I had from my parents and teachers. It is an act, I can never pay back enough for but at times I feel that school as an entire system, could do with putting some spotlight over subjects that our practical life demands. This educational system could do with a few tweaks hither and thither.
1. Educational Relevance:
Sure, it might be important to prove how the angle bisector can divide a triangle to make it proportionally equal to all of its angles and sides but sometimes, these concepts leave no room for the actual educational relevance. Educational relevance should emphasize how to manifest skills properly into our practical lives. Education is incredibly vast and it extends far beyond deriving formulas. The sole purpose of education is to bring out from an individual a soul that is fully equipped to participate in this global community wholeheartedly and contribute to the world.
2. Critical Thinking:
Practicality has some way through lost its meaning as young peers are closed to critical thinking, due to the fact that their ideas are not well-regarded (sometimes). Amidst this era of rote-learning and getting homework from off our shoulders, we are detaching creativity from young minds. Literary freedom should be practiced to encourage children to plainly state their opinions. Constructivism needs to be put into action in educational institutions for students to realize their might and their hidden potential. In practical life, decisions need to be taken, verdicts need to be analyzed and agendas need to be evaluated and if this preliminary education is not provided to children in schools, generations may suffer. There should be separate lessons for students to brainstorm freely.
3. Opposing the Bandwagon Approach:
Bandwagon: This technique involves encouraging people to think or act in some way simply because other people are doing so. The constant longing for teenagers to fall into living up to the standards of a society that has and will suppress many talents and undiscovered skills. Many times, teachers ask, ‘how many of you want to be doctors?’ and hands shoot up in the air in a blink of eye, almost everyone is set-up to pursue it. The question arises, ‘How many of you are actually interested in science subjects?’ and considerably less people follow up to this question. In short, it is time we end pursuing careers to check societal standards and present a wider spectrum of opportunities. Bandwagon Approach can be put an end to by suggesting children to pick up on eccentric and different hobbies which contribute in their career counselling as well. I don’t want to impose on teenagers to map out their future at such a tender age, I just believe in rising up with the sun with a motive or a vision to look forward to.
4. Financial Literacy:
After writing last month’s article on Financial Literacy I was reminded of the sheer significance of this aspect in our active lives. Whether it comes to student loans or splitting bills, this facet needs more representation. How to invest properly? What are the risks? How to save and not starve? You and I might not be suffering from this initially but this is root of distress and financial crises on pupils. Let’s just manifest some of the discipline and knowledge we are taking in to make financial peace in lives around us.
5. Perception of Progress:
Remember that story above of my ever-supportive teacher, sprinkling motivation? THAT needs to be reminded to students to not make them feel anxious about tragedies so small throughout this learning journey. Set-backs need to be encouraged and the beauty in failing should be emphasized. Failing is a continuous process that we all shall face every now and then, the earlier we understand the better. Academically, it does take a toll on a lot of students, which does not contribute to any sort of mental peace. Also, because failure is put into such a negative light, students face difficulty to appreciate or even accept their mistakes which leads them into adulthood; stubborn and heedless of the importance of admitting their own errors.
I acknowledge the value of learning all the course subjects at school; at times I may not appreciate geography or math enough but I know that this basic knowledge is fundamental and I must not stop trying. Yes, we do live in an era where we have things one click away but that does not substitute for all these concept having no place in a classroom. This message os not just directed towards teachers but to the entire education systems to introduce what needs to be introduced to benefit from tomorrow.