Being Intelligent is defined in dictionary as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. But does ‘being intelligent’ carry the same meaning in the life of school students. It should but unfortunately it does not. I am referring to the situation as existing in India. It may be different in other parts of the world.
The intelligence in most cases is measured by the marks a student gets in examinations. It is hardly ever related to the student’s ability to apply knowledge. In fact, ‘Application of acquired knowledge’ in real life is hardly pursued or tested in schools/ colleges. Students are happy mugging up the books and getting marks.
I also belonged to the same category of ‘intelligent’ students. My name figured among top three students of the class in every exam. I knew the books but did not know how to apply that knowledge in life. Always got 80 percent marks in English but till date struggle to speak a complete sentence in that language. Similar is my condition in all other subjects.
I was good in solving problems given in the books but not real- life problems. I do not think that the present-day students are doing any better. They hardly have time to think practically, poor guys are all day hopping from classes to tutorial classes.
The effect is seen when the students graduate from the colleges. Most of them do not know how to use their knowledge to live life, to succeed in life. Majority of the students are not aware of why of what they are studying. The college degree is just seen as a facilitator to get any job. That job may not have any relation to what the student had learnt in college. It is not surprising that as per National employability survey 2019 more than 50 percent of Indian graduates are not fit for employment. The ratio stands at 54 percent for the MBAs and at just around 20 percent for Engineering graduates. (https://www.livemint.com/news/india/employability-of-indian-graduates-jumps-to-47-in-2019-from-33-in-2014-survey-11575983561692.html).
I got used to practical way of thinking only after joining the profession. It is day to day professional situations I dealt with which helped in sharpening my analytical skills. This approach not only consumes time but also may lead to losses. I must admit that I did commit noticeable errors before gaining confidence. Majority of the youth go through similar experience. Unfortunately, many of them are incapable of taking practical and pragmatic decisions even after years of job experience and stagnate. They prefer to tow the standard line refusing to ever question the status quo.
It is high time that the power that be and the students give a fresh look to the way education is imparted at present in our country. Aim of education should be to sharpen the analytical skills and empower the students to question the status quo. It is not difficult to score marks but being intelligent is not everyone’s cup of tea. Most Indian students on present scenario will fail the ‘Intelligence test’. The nation requires youth functional brains not just mere degree holders.