Why bother learning when you can just study?

The pressure of attaining maximum marks has turned our youth into robots who cannot think beyond the results.

Ammara Khan November 21, 2010
Choosing teaching has nothing to do with the ‘holy task’ of imparting knowledge to the students, especially if you are asked to teach intermediate classes. Besides the useless syllabus of the English course which fails to create even the tiniest bit of interest in the students, the standardised exam eliminates the possibility of incorporating some extra activities to help students develop an interest in the subject.

Every time the results of matriculation and intermediate exams are announced over television and newspapers we see students getting more and more marks every year with insanely high percentages. Now, the question we really need to ask is does this make them better at learning? And sadly, the answer is no in most cases. However, the fault resides in our education system itself which encourages students to cram whatever is written in their text books and reproduce it during exams.

The pressure of attaining maximum marks has turned our youth into robots who cannot think beyond the results of their strenuous cramming hours on end. If you try to teach them anything that is not supposed to be included in their final exam, they do not even want to hear about it. I try to devise some class activities to do away with these shortcomings which prove very fruitful at times. I noticed that some of the students in my pre-engineering class are actually great at creative writing and it worries me that down the road to becoming a successful engineer they might lose that gift.

One day I decided to discuss a recent popular science book with the students and I was shocked to see that none of them were even familiar with the name of the author. The pre-engineering class in GCU is supposed to be the best in the province. And imagine my shock when the future engineers told me that they have no interest in science at all. They were rather surprised that their English teacher is interested in science. I wonder how long will we keep our science and arts students segregated like two different social classes and will there ever be a time when knowledge and learning will become the end goal in our education system?
WRITTEN BY:
Ammara Khan A lecturer at GC University Lahore and a freelance writer who is interested in critical theory and feminism.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (14)

Gulrukh =)) | 10 years ago | Reply Hi (^_^) Well, I agree that this practise and mind set of blindly catering to the "getting marks dilemma" is quite rampant in our Pakistani educational system ; people know about it and happily ignore it. So, what we desperately need is series of substantial actions more than words to figure out a way to channel the potential of the students in the right direction. Regards =)
not important | 10 years ago | Reply There are number of things we desire to do, but there are pretty few that we actually do. Majority of things that we actually do, are linked with some sort of motive, while those which we don't apparently do not have any reward. Same goes for our education, our only concern is fulfilling the objective, while we ignore the essence or the subjectivity of education.
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