Friday, November 4, 2011

Difference of Education: What we are teaching

On my class group we were just having a good discussion regarding the quality of education we are getting and other countries like India is giving. The comparison was off course in between our own University which we consider best in Pakistan UET Lahore (say it is our prejudiced regarding other universities of what but that's what we think :)) and IIT India.

I always praise one quality of my class group is that like any other group we all have different point of views on everything. Some agree with each other on one thing some don't but the discussion is always constructive and people are not penalized on having an opinion. Even if one is in favor of Islamic Khilafat or in Secular State we discuss this and even end our debate in an agreement to disagree. Its not a matter of enforcing one's opinion but to give your opinion.

So back to the topic, at least right now most of us were in agreement that our education system is just fulfilling the need of the industry and is not teaching us actual engineering. But the difference of opinion came when one group was saying that this is the right way and the other was arguing that the best university of the country should be creating engineers and scientists not technicians (if you are an engineer working in industry in maintenance dept and don't agree with this then my friend you are living in a fool's paradise :) and yes I also work in maintenance so I know how things work).

The difference in both arguments is that yes our industry needs engineers (mostly to fulfil requirements) whose requirements need to be fulfill by our industry but that is not the reasons why the universities are there. One of my friend Shoaib once pointed out in our first year engineering he was having an argument with a student of IIT about the level of education and my friend told him that he knows HOW to CONVOLUTE. In reply the IIT student simple replied that he knows WHY to CONVOLUTE. This difference of how and why is the key. We are teaching our student be it Textbook boards or Cambridge just how to get marks not to learn or understand what is written. I personally know many teachers who usually never allowed any person to ask any question in there classroom. And situation is worse in schools be it private or public.

Many people will try to point that it is due to poor curricula or many other things but in my point of view its about teachers. There are many schools right now in Pakistan who are taking fees in thousands of rupees and are preferring Cambridge studies over our local books but if you lives in the fool's world that these students in these big schools are taught better then the ones who are been taught in what you can say "taat" school then my friend you are wrong. Yeah they got these good classrooms, better services at there disposal and are taught only one special thing, a weird accent of English to give them a delusion that they are not "brown" but "white" which somehow I don't know why but give an inferiority complex to many. Education is not the way you have got it but what you have got it and the main element in it is the teacher. We are an unfortunate nation in this regard that people now join teaching as a profession, a profession with low salaries. Most of the teachers we have were not the brightest or even good students during there own tenure as students and when they start teaching they have no idea about student psychology, new developments going on around the world and new teaching methods and techniques been adopt. For them whats written in the book (or in the notes they have prepared to teach for next 30 years or so) is the "bible" and anyone even if try to put a toe outside the define line has committed blasphemy and need to be dealt accordingly. Whether you go to madrassas or schools you will meet the same behavior. Our education system are making mostly robots, robots who can think or rationalize they follow "hard coded" instructions taught to them over the years. So we need to ask ourselves do we need "Thinkers" or "Robots" and if you are trying to say "Thinkers" then are you any different.

1 comment:

Sami Mughal said...

Funnily enough, as someone who has been working in 'Research and Development', it has taken me a long time to get in the mindset, and be willing to apply my skills to try and find new and innovative solutions, rather than trusting what I already knew.

The difference between how to do something, and why do it, or in fact, why bother to do it, is quite important.

Welcome back to blogging :)