By Sudeshna | Mar 5, 2020

The current academic season has come to an end, and in almost all the schools the last month was all about - wind up the syllabus, catch up with the missed portion and go for rigorous ‘revision’ session. Especially for the board-going classes, the revision schedule seems nothing less than preparation for a battle. Many schools complete the portion by October- November and start ‘revision’ for the upcoming board examination.
The schools take up all the responsibilities of making the students crack the exams with good scores, targeting a huge number of 10 CGPA – the motive behind which is more of advertisement that further leads to admissions - rather than benefitting the student. The schools prepare extensive coaching time table, start extra hours stay backs at school, prepare even their home study time table and some schools even expect teachers to give a wake-up call to the students in the morning.
While the intention of the schools might be good, the question is – by doing this, what are the skills that we are teaching our next generations? Aren’t we telling them that scores in the exams are more important than gaining knowledge? Aren’t we pushing them towards rote-learning rather than developing their thinking skills? More importantly, by preparing their study schedule, we are making them dependent on others, thus taking away their life skills - of being responsible, of time management, of being independent and many more.
We are trying to teach them how to prepare for success, but nowhere are we teaching them how to handle failure. In the so called extensive coaching, the child doesn’t get any chance to socialize, to de-stress or to relax – and all these during the most crucial and vulnerable period of their lives – the teenage. Already they are at a stage where they have to deal with parental pressure/expectations, peer pressure and pressure of social media; isn’t that enough for a teenager to manage?
What can the schools do instead?
• Instead of ‘feeding’ the students with the entire syllabus in 8 months (which is meant to be taught in 11-12 months as planned by the pedagogical experts), schools should focus on effective teaching which will reduce the need of ‘revision’.
• It is high time Schools shift their focus from marks and concentrate more on knowledge and skill development. Marks will automatically follow.
• Students should be encouraged and trained to hone their self-study skill, research skills, time-management; and should be guided to be accountable for their own work.
• Most importantly, children should be counseled on how to manage stress, accept failures in life, move on and begin all over again.
A paradigm shift in the school management and the teachers is the need of the hour. Otherwise we will end up creating citizens who might have a high Intelligence Quotient, but will lack Emotional Quotient and thus will be a misfit in the global society in the coming years.

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