Giving attention or tension to students
THE education system revolves around students, as the whole infrastructure, faculty and staff provide an enabling environment for teaching and learning.
Students mostly suffer at all levels of education, whether it is Primary, Secondary, Post-Secondary, or Higher Education.
First, they suffer at school, as teachers cannot focus on each child due to the large classroom, ie, substantial number of enrolments.
Students at schools and colleges must join classes at college or school and coaching centres.
They skip physical games and other social activities. Due to this, their leadership, and skills to work in a team are not enhanced.
Resultantly, they are indecisive and develop introverted personalities. In the case of university students, they are enrolled based on entry tests that different universities conduct with varying test formats.
Parents expect high scores in those as they mostly spend a significant amount on preparing tests through coaching canters or home tuitions.
If the students cannot get desired marks in the professional entry test, the blame game starts between parents and children like we spend time and money, but they are not capable, do not have an interest in studies, are playing games the entire day, and spend time with friends etc.
Not every child who appears in the entry test of the professional programme will get admission, and not all who are enrolled in Professional institutions become successful professionals after graduation.
All human beings are born with different capabilities and it is the responsibility of the parents and teachers to provide an enabling environment for their children to improve those abilities.
A negative social and peer pressure is developed if parents start saying they spend this much on schooling, coaching and other relevant activities for their kids, and resultantly, sensitive children get depressed.
Most of them are unable to express their feelings to friends and family members, which may push them to various mental illnesses and if the same continues, then it may result in suicide.
On the other side, coaching centres portray their success stories for increasing enrollment. The parents, too, get frustrated when their kids blame them for not providing the opportunity to gain experience in the coaching centres.
Society overall needs to revisit career paths in the current decade as most of the jobs will not need content being taught at our institutions.
There is a need to review and assess the job market within the national boundaries and in the global context.
The capitalist mindset of pushing children to opt for those academic programs that help them land highly paid jobs is not bad.
Still, if one cannot acquire admissions in desired disciplines, they should not be labelled a failure.
They might be better in other subjects like economics, commerce, education, languages, arts, humanities, social work, journalism, etc.
Although these subjects are not considered highly paid jobs, experts in these fields are always useful for society.
Students who are not selected for professional programs will choose Computer Sciences, Business Administration, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Botany, Zoology, etc.
The third category for further education is social sciences. Students of social sciences are given little importance in providing teaching/learning facilities.
As they are their third choice for studies, teachers and university staff behave in a manner that further pushes them to consider themselves a useless part of society.
A few exceptions still work hard and earn a good name for their parents and themselves. Teaching and learning aids, equipment, laboratories’ chemicals and library books are also purchased for professional programs.
Students of those departments are given priority in study trips and other exposures of internships, etc.
Overall, our societal behaviour is responsible for producing unproductive social scientists from the higher education institutions.
There is a need to follow international standards for all disciplines and revisit the career options for our children.
The world is full of opportunities, and all we need to focus on is following future trends. Most countries target potential markets where most of their graduates are consumed.
Turkey focuses on Europe as they are the second-largest graduate provider for Europe after Russia.
Universities in Turkey follow Bologna standards, making them compatible with graduates produced by European universities.
Not only this, but the start-ups in Turkey usually focus on problem hunting in European society to find solutions to sell them at lower prices.
The integration of entrepreneurship in various disciplines is helping them to register new companies which allows the country to grow in terms of economic frontiers. The knowledge generation and review process help them to lead in strategic domains.
It is observed that our youth is also capable like the rest of the world and has the potential to become useful entrepreneurs. Still, our society and institutional platforms give them tension rather than attention.
The individual and institutional responsibility are to groom young and fresh minds in classrooms, laboratories, libraries and grounds for a healthy mind and body.
—The writer is Deputy Director at Higher Education Commission, Islamabad.