Is our education system encouraging or killing creativity/ innovation????

My 17 years old daughter is a student of class 12 (Science student). In Indian subcontinent, the future of child is based on he/ she performs in class 12th (at least a majority of us would believe it to be true). As a parent, I want to empower my child with the power of decision making, have freedom of expression and imagination and most of all I want her to live life not to just survive. She is a go-getter, full of life with creativity and innovation being her passion. As she copes with her class 12 studies we are struggling to strike a right balance between ‘Her life” and her ‘School life’.

At least five days a week, her schedule is so packed with studies that she hardly gets anytime of her own. She leaves for school at 7.30 am and comes back around 2 pm only to again leave for her tutorial classes at 3.30 pm and finally returning home at 8.30pm. By the time she reaches home she is naturally dead tired and not in a condition to interact with even parents. Its only on two days in a week, when her tutorial classes are not there, that she gets time to spend with her friends or on her favourite hobby of swimming. Every child should be encouraged to develop a hobby which will not only work as his stress reliever but also facilitate creativeness.

The students today are so busy shuttling between school and Tutorial classes, that they hardly get any ‘Me Time’ when they can just be with themselves, just doing what they want to do. They hardly get any time with parents or friends either. Kids have just got trapped in the rat race of scoring marks, passing exams. The education system per se and we as parents are responsible for this condition of the children.

The education system is supposed to mould students into good humans and not create machines/ robots. The students are to be empowered with the power of making decisions, find solutions and not just tutored. The pressure created by the prevalent education system, the performance expectations of parents and teachers and the ‘quality of a child’ being judged by the grades he/ she gets in school exams are actually killing innovation and creativity. The quality of a child cannot be judged by the Grades he/ she gets in school. The system doesn’t cater for or encourage interests/ inclination of the child. Memorizing and mugging up has taken over the old system of understanding.

We have a ‘one size fit all solution’ where every child is supposed to get an A grade in all subjects to be declared as a good student. It must be understood that each child is different from the other. Each one has his own strengths, weaknesses, dreams; no two brains are same. The system has to work on the strengths and weaknesses of the students to help them realise dreams in the long run. Unfortunately, most teachers and parents think that we have a very effective education system, but nothing can be far from truth as ground realities suggest something else. The system pitches students in competition against each other instead of helping them find passion/ purpose in life. By the time a child passes out from class 12th , creativity and innovation in most cases gets adequately suppressed. Such a system can only produce obedient workers and not innovators, scientists, thinkers or good sports person.

We have to change our mindset that only Mathematics, Physics/ chemistry are important for doing well in life. Yes, they are important but so are geography, history, commerce, music and sports. Let the child select what he/she feels comfortable with or has a liking for. Parents have to understand the needs of the children and create an environment of overall growth. Do not force them into something they do not like; do not force them to ‘just fit in’. Schools exist for the students and because of the students. We should demand what we think is best for the child, not just accept what schools offer.

‘Education system has to be such which helps the students find their passion. A system which helps young people develop faith in themselves. A system which encourages collaboration and not just competition. A system which encourages everyone to be always ready to help each other in achieving their dreams”