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What they Don't Teach in a School

First of all, let me clarify that by ‘they’ I don’t mean just the teachers, but whoever is associated with the upbringing and teaching of children in school. We all know that life in school is precious for every child, it is what lays the foundation or base of character development. It determines what kind of a citizen that child is going to become when he or she grows up. Nothing can undermine the importance of school life. However, there are certain things which are not taught in majority of the schools. I shall discuss three of these things, and will give my views on the same.
i) Ethics and Morality:

Most schools do have a subject which deals with ethics, such as Moral Science, etc. However based on my personal experience, I would say that most students tend to take such subjects very lightly and often ignore them. In many schools, education dealing with Ethics is entirely omitted altogether. Teachers stress on the importance of learning Mathematics, Science, English and other subjects. They tell the students about the importance of scoring high in exams, and that their future depends on their academic performance. However hardly any teacher teaches about character development, morals, conscience, importance of good behavior, etiquette, how to treat women, poor people, etc. In today’s Scam hit world[especially with respect to the Indian context], people have started believing that its perfectly all right to be unethical as long as you manage to reach your goal and earn money. Intense competition in the corporate world has also resulted in the increase of nefarious practices worldwide. In some cases, even the parents do not bother with issues on ethics, honesty, etc. After all, if the father himself is paying and taking bribes, you certainly would not expect him to teach his son or daughter about the values of ethics.

ii) Finance Education:

As Robert Kiyosaki says in his famous book-‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, we hardly teach anything about finance to the young child. We give too much stress on technical knowledge[which will contribute to less than 10% in the child’s life], but we do not teach him/her about the importance of handling money. We do not tell him about assets and liabilities and how he should avoid extra expenses and focus on saving money. In fact, most schools do not even have a subject related to basic finance till the higher/secondary level, ie when the specialization starts. Even for students who take up commerce, finance is largely limited to memorizing inane data from extra fat textbooks. However it is quite possible and preferred that teachers teach about the importance of money at the primary school level itself. And rather than resorting to quote abstruse text, they should make an effort in making the concept seem simple to the students. In fact, students should be made to play simple finance based games, in which they have to maximize their assets and minimize their liabilities. This will help in a major way, when the child grows up and join an organization. Maintaining a record of income and expenditure from an early age is also useful.

iii) Career Counselling and Independence:

When a child is in school, he or she is usually not mature enough to take a big decision by himself. Parents and teachers must guide him/her in the right way and help him/her make a choice. Unfortunately, in real life scenario, we see that majority of the parents force their children to take up a career/path in which they[the children] have no interest in. This situation is extremely grave in Asian countries such as India and China, where there is intense competition to get admission into the top institutes of higher education[colleges and universities]. Career counseling in schools is almost non-existent. Teachers are not bothered about the child’s decision. They teach whatever they have to, take their salaries, and move on. Parents are more interested in showing off to others that their child has managed to get admission into a top institute. Hardly does any parent ask a child-‘What do you really want to do in life?’ Rather first he or she makes the decision and then instigates the child to follow the dictated path. Such forceful decisions can have serious negative repercussions on the child. He may fall into a state of depression if he does not like his college environment and in extreme cases may even commit suicide. Instead of forcing a child to do what we[the parents] want to do, rather we should let the child be independent from an early age onwards and let him take his own decision. Guidance must be provided but not at the cost of sacrificing the child’s passion. Forcing a child to become an Engineer or a Doctor against his/her will not make his life, rather it will break it.

Those were a few issues which many schools do not focus on. However I am optimistic in the sense that education can be made holistic and enjoyable for students, and hopefully we will see a positive change in future.

8 comments so far..What are your thoughts?

  1. U understand the education system and the situation in India so well..i really appreciate the efforts which u take in analysing the issues and bringing forward your ways and solutions to the problems that face our nation...
    True we should start at least , do our bit and whatevr is possible to improve the state of our education system like spreading the above views in the society through watevr lil ways n means we can...
    I always get to learn so much from u..keep blogging...

  2. Phewww! This was really long!

    First point: Ethics are still way more important than just getting excellent grades in school. I have had experience teaching gifted children here in Singapore, and you know how they turn out to be? > Arrogant and selfish individuals who does not know how to respect their elders anymore... And, oftentimes it poses a big problem not just to the teachers and parents but to the community as a whole. Overall, proper values should still be modelled to them at all times to remind them of their characters...

    Second point: Every individual has his own freedom to choose what he wants in life so, it's important that if are the parents, we don't force our children to become somebody they do not wish to be. Or else in the end, they are exposed to stress, conflicts and self-rejection which sometimes may lead to suicidal attempt if not controlled... So I guess parents should understand that their children have their own unique characters which they wish to pursue and develop in the future.

    Thank you. :)

  3. Thanks Satwinder
    As a parent I totally agree with you 3 points. Ethics I know doesn't and won't be dealt with at school so that is up to me. Money Management again will be up to me, the only thing is I'll be able to guide her unfortunately not from example even though I've read all the Kiyosaki's and others. And lastly, I want my baby to do what she really loves as that is true happiness.

    Cheers A

  4. Somehow i completely disagree that they do not teach. I have had the experience of learning these things and much much more from my teachers. Yes the problem is that as a education curriculum its not taught to us...

  5. I agree with your points about the education system......children should be morally strong and financially intelligent for a better life.In most cases parents force their children to take up a career which they have no interest in which leads to failure.Instead they should help the child to achieve success in what s/he wants to do.If the points you mentioned will be followed then we can see a better country in future.Excellent observations Satwinder. :D

  6. Really good article. From my own experience and now as a parent I see two differences:

    1. When I was at school the last two of these points were not really covered until towards the end of my school life, however the ethics and moral fibre was something that was taught throughtout.

    2. My son is 11 and they do teach these things in his school. However I switched 2 years ago and made the sacrifice to pay for his education because I felt the state education system wasn't working for him.

    I see a big difference between the two its extremely unfair that children are not entitled to the same level of education regardless of country, paid or free as education should be a right not a priviledge.

    I do feel that some of what you talk about also comes down to the parents, as much as the schools are responsible for educating, it is equally the responsibility of the parents to teach especially these subjects that you mention.

    There are too many parents out there that devolve themselves of responsibility as soon as their child walks through the school gates - education is a two way process a child will learn in school but they will thrive and learn more if the education process is continued outside of the classroom.

  7. @All: Thanks a lot for your valuable comments and views. I am a bit unwell now so pardon me for not thanking you individually. However be rest assured that i have gone through every comment and noted your thoughts on this matter. :)

  8. @ SJ ....
    I agree with ur views....I wasn taught the things mentioned by SAT in my school...but I am lucky enuf to have got wonderful parents who taught me the imp of learning and implementing these things apart from science,maths, etc....
    its a diff thing altoghether how much i have learned...hehehe...


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