Preparing us for University

9 May

An average 15 year old’s life should be an amalgamation of light hearted pleasure and routine academic pursuits. We are so naïve, carefree and innocent as we are oblivious of the complexities of the life around us. It is a time when we have no particular attachment to the past nor are we so focused on what the future holds for us.

But the world around us has become so materialistic and competitive. Be it in a sales company or in a high school classroom, competition is prevalent everywhere. Competitiveness is good, but only so far as it is doled out in healthy proportions and taken in good stride.

Today, schools have become test-obsessed pressure cookers. They’re churning out ill-prepared adults short on creativity, values and ethics, and stripping humanity from kids. I am a keen sportsperson and a lover of literature, photography and music, as are many of my peers. These are the things I am passionate about but am not able to pursue in good measure. Why? Simply because I am not left with enough time after studying and other school-based activities. . How did our parents manage to do what they loved and still get into university and achieve top-notch jobs? Being a student today is not a child’s job anymore.

Today, students are resume builders from the mere age of 13 or 14.  The reason they pursue activities or do things such as community service is not for self-satisfaction or to give back to society but just so that their college resumes boast a ‘holier-than-thou’ image. This, dear friends, is the cold truth.

So I think we have to ask ourselves and ruminate on whether today’s institutions are contriving a generation of test-takers and resume-builders, or if they should they actually be working on making us problem-solvers, life-long learners and healthy adults. If a high school student is scoffing on the same anti –depressants and anti- stress medicines that a working adult is – what does that say about our educational system? What is the difference between a working grown- up and a student today? Should we end up being merely material seekers devoid of appropriate moral and ethical contents in our lives so that we are not in a position to leave a better planet for posterity?

Our school system in India is changing and becoming more and more advanced day by day. But is it actually benefiting us as learners? Or simply stuffing us and ill-preparing us for university?

Nanki Singh is a Class 10 student at Modern School Vasant Vihar in New Delhi. She loves reading, writing, photography – and holds a Senior Diploma in Indian Classical Vocal Music. She’s also a swimmer and a track & field athlete in her spare time!

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