Reimagining the education system


So often I complain and whine about our education system. You may think, why do I do it? I am going to college despite being a differently able person, so I should be thankful and I shouldn’t be whiny. If that is what you think, you are so wrong. You may think, when the world is facing a real learning crisis and a large number of children cannot even go to school, why am I still concerned about the wrongs of today’s education system? Because that is what I am facing myself and I think that is also a real crisis. When so many others are fighting to make education accessible and inclusive, I am concerned about this: "is the education everyone is fighting for worth it?"

I am speaking from the point of view of Bangladesh, but I know that students around the world may relate to it in one way or another. I am well aware of the fact that I talked about this issue several times. But I won’t stop. I won’t stop until I am heard.

Today, I want to share my views about how I think the education system should be. 

The first and greatest flaw of our education system is – it is focused on grades and not learning. We are supposed to study, learn and then answer the questions in examinations – that is why examinations exist, to test how much you’ve learnt. But we are practically judged on the basis of examination results. An ideal education system must be focused on learning rather than examination results. 

In our county, there are so many students that rarely go to schools and colleges; instead, they go to private tutors and coaching centres. Because all they need is to get good grades. They go from one private tutor to another, pushing them off the limit. They barely have time to eat and sleep. Not only us. Even students who read in primary schools are forced to go to coaching centres, when they should be playing, reading or spending time with family. Should it be so? No. The term 'academic pressure' should not exist. 

Every time I open a text book and attempt to study, the first thing that comes to my mind is, “What is the point of memorizing all this information? Why do you have to memorize a famous poet’s birthday, or the blood circulation system of a fish, or Hook’s law? Will they be of any use in real life?” Yes, it is fine to know about them. Human beings are curious and they tend to learn about different things. Some of us like literature, some of us like science, some of us like philosophy, some of us like religion, and schools and colleges are a great place to discover what your path really is. But we have to cram just practically useless information inside our head. They don't really help us in practical life. There is no room for learning unless you are willing to be self-taught. This needs to change. Education must be something beyond mere bookish knowledge. It needs to be practical. 

In our education system, there is barely any room for creativity and uniqueness, dream and passions. The 'one-size-fits-all' standard is followed. Even extracurricular activities are limited in school level, and in college level too. But education must help flourish our creativity, and help us find our dream and passion.

Teachers and educational institutions must help students find opportunities related to what they love, as most of students cannot do that on their own.

Do you know why our generation sometimes feels lost, why sometimes we lose their way, sanity and morality? Because we lack true education. We just study, the lessons of textbooks don’t really reach our heart. After parents, teachers are supposed to be our mentors, motivators and counsellors. We are supposed to learn at school and college the things we cannot learn at home or by ourselves. But basically, there is barely room for those things.

What makes an educated person different from others? Their attitude, values, self-awareness. It is not a privilege, it is a right. For everyone. We spend our money and precious time to become educated – but what is happening? The way we are being 'educated' today – is this how you really become educated

I am not the only one concerned. So many renowned intellectuals, teachers, writers and educators in our country often express their concerns about this system and how it failed in educating us, young people.

So today, I am demanding, let us learnLet us be educatedI am demanding – stop judging and shaping our lives based on our grades. Stop focusing on the examination only. We are like flowers in a pot, caged in a room without a window, where sunlight cannot reach us. Let the sunlight reach us. Let us bloom.

Education should help us find ourselves. Education is supposed to help us become a true, worthy human being. We are supposed to be educated because we want to be a proper human being. But if the education system teaches us to go after a career and money, a good job, a good salary, and deprives us from knowing what life really is, then it must be changed. 


This blog was submitted as part of the #LetMeLearn campaign special call for entries.