Education failing to promote critical thinking
Sep: Whether it is private or public education, both sectors leave much to be
desired. Public sector education is tragically inadequate for a number of
reasons. Issues begin in the very conception of a good education. The aim is not
getting students interested in education. Without any vision or aim, the public
education sector seems to be doomed. One cannot help sympathising with all the
students who have graduated, but will soon discover that their education has
At least there is the option of private education. That is,
option for those who can afford it of course. Most of the private educational
institutions teach the British curriculum of O and A levels. At a university
level, there are plenty of external degrees available. The external programmes
provide a rich range of subjects in addition to flexibility and independence.
Students can choose to stay home and hire a private tutor and independently give
their exams -- that's not a bad deal, though the child then has no social
interaction in his/her age group.
Then these curriculums make sense and
are internationally accepted. Such courses expect students to demonstrate
critical thinking, which helps one to develop good communication and analytical
skills. It means the student is capable of thinking outside the box. This skill
is crucial to success in life.
So the question is: is your child
Is your child receiving the opportunity to think, analyse and,
organise information through various sources such newspapers, books and the
internet? Is your child applying the information s/he has learnt to the real
world? Do you find your child changing as s/he learns a particular subject? If
the answers are yes to the questions you know you have sent your child to the
However, if you feel that most of the above developments
are not taking place then it means your child's school or college is doing a
poor job. It is that simple. All curriculums stress critical thinking, yet many
of the institutions conveniently ignore this aspect.
Some managers have
complained about new interns lacking communication skills. Graduates have to be
taught everything from scratch, from how to collect and organise information to
how to write a report to make a presentation. These are the basic skills a
graduate should possess. The employer's job is simply to provide the practical
usage of these skills.
That in no way means our present youth is dumb; if
anything they are smarter than any generation before. They are more aware of the
world, tech savvy, intelligent, confident and, fast-learners. However, these
qualities do not show in their careers.
It is because the educational
institutions are simply ignoring the link between the curriculum and the
professional life. Students feel disconnected from their education and the real
world. The British curriculum has been designed to promote analytical thinking
but in our schools, they are encouraged to cram he answers. Students are given
prepared notes on the 'right' answers to memorise. They are unable to grasp the
complexities of subjects like social sciences. That is why, when students
finally enter a profession, they find their knowledge inadequate. That is why
employers are frustrated; they have to teach the students exactly what they were
supposed to have learned at their colleges. One wonders why the British
curriculums fail to practically monitor these issues.
intelligent generation of our time is being wasted. Children have the right to
explore and discover knowledge actively. They should be allowed to question and
debate topics. There should be strict policy against providing notes. For the
teacher who does not follow the note-giving process suffers most because his/her
students will simply find another teacher who would over-simplify. It is a great
tragedy that the students are attaining knowledge for the short-term, instead of
long-term, life-changing knowledge. All parents should be aware that active
learning and critical thinking are crucial skills for the success of their child
in their careers and personal life. These skills produce strong and confident
characters. Finally, students should have the right to choose subjects for which
they have a natural bent and which interests them.
By Beenisch Tahir
The writer teaches Sociology and is a freelance writer. She can be reached
at: Beenisch_bb@hotmail.com (Dawn)
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Conversion of GCC hostel into girls college protested
Peshawar: The activists of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) Friday staged a protest
demonstration against the proposed plan to convert the hostel of Government
College of Commerce (GCC) into a college for girls.
Holding placards and
chanting slogans, the protesting students demanded of the government to scrap
the plan to convert the hostel of Government College of Commerce (GCC) into a
college for girls forthwith and save the future of hundreds of boarding
The protestors accused local MPA Alamzeb of pursuing the plan
for his vested interests. They were also chanting slogans against the MPA. They
said hundreds of students were residing in the hostel and if it were converted
into a college, the students belonging to remote areas would be deprived of
education. The students stated the plan was worked out several months ago but
due to the concerns of the students it could not be materialised.
added the local MPA was taking undue interest in executing this anti-student
plan. They said if the government was really interested in promotion of female
education, it should construct a new building for the purpose instead of
depriving the existing students of the accommodation facility.
protestors urged the government to immediately scrap the plan and let the
students continue their study with peace of mind, otherwise the stu-dents would
be compelled to launch a protest drive for indefinite period. The News
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