The education sector in India is a highly unstructured sector leading to a lot of misconceptions in education. The information gap in the education sector boosts these misconceptions and lack of a proper single source of truth adds to it. Imagine the impact of these misconceptions in the rural part of India where the level of education is already very low.
Common misconceptions in the education sector are
- For more learning give more homework
- Students don’t care about learning
- Teachers work less and get paid more
- All students are tech-smart
- Small classes provide better education
- schools mean more fees
- Covering it means teaching it
- Some subjects are useless in real life
- There’s only one good way to teach
Let’s look at some of the misconceptions surrounding the education system and try to understand them:
For more learning give more homework
Well, homework forms an essential part of studies for school students and projects for college students. Homework is simply a revision or practice of whatever has been taught in the classroom. An additional hour of studying will not have a noticeable impact on students. They already spend half the day in class learning which should be enough learning for a day.
If kids do not play and enjoy their childhood, they will not be able to enjoy studying in classrooms too. Without this enjoyment there will be no real engagement and learning will not be effective. Hence it becomes imperative to mark a separate time for studying and other activities.
Not the hours but the quality of studying matters
Students don’t care about learning
Parents compete among themselves, especially mothers to see whose kid comes first in the class. This leads to them putting unnecessary pressure on kids. If the kid does not perform well, the pressure impacts the self-esteem of these kids adversely.
Students care about learning new things and aim to top the class. They generally make a sincere effort in studying and scoring well. It is parents who fail to either understand them or pay enough attention.
Only when a student finds the task invincible that he shifts his focus away from it and focuses on something else. It is the responsibility of parents and teachers to support students in understanding the subjects and learn efficiently. They should not just point to the poor performance or pressurize them to get good scores.
Teachers work less and get paid more
A teacher plays a major role in nation-building through their efforts on students. The task requires a lot of subtlety in understanding the psychology of a child and handling him accordingly. The task looks simple enough from outside but try spending a day in kindergarten and you will know the challenges.
The subtle work of teachers has to be done in parallel with providing subject knowledge which itself is a big challenge. As per research, teachers make more than 1300 decisions in one day and teaching is one of the most cognitively demanding works. They are second to air traffic controllers which explains everything.
The value of a teacher’s work should not be considered from the hours they spend in school but the result they provide to society. If they were paid enough, most of them would not have been looking for home tuitions in the first place.
All students are tech-smart
The misconception comes from the students being early users of the latest technologies. The high usage of the internet, computers and mobile phones paint this picture in our mind.
Students, especially in metro cities are more or less familiar with the latest technologies. In their tight study schedule, do students have time to understand them? They are basically the early users of the technology which is different from being tech smart.
Parents and teachers should sit with them and explain how to use these technologies properly. Most importantly how do they work, their application and the improvisation they can think of.
The truth is that a very small proportion of students in metros are tech-savvy. A big proportion of these students may have used these technologies once in a while. In the rural parts of India expecting students to be tech-smart may be too far-fetched.
Small classes provide better education
Parents feel that in big batches their students may not be able to get a better education. The learning does not get divided among students when a teacher teaches and instead it is available in the same manner to everyone.
The student-tutor ratio is an important figure in education and gives a general idea of the quality of education. Needless to say that student-tutor ratio impacts the level of education but it is not a really big factor.
If the student was alone or with a hundred other students in a class, it would not make much difference. What really matters is the concentration and interest level of students.
Better schools mean more fees
People generally perceive the quality of education to the fees being charged. Glittering schools with lots of noise create confusion in parents and they aim to send their kids to a school with a fat big fee structure.
In reality, the quality of education will depend on the level of involvement of various stakeholders in teaching rather than the fees. The fees and the branding is just a facade you might find interesting. The real gold is the teaching methods used and commitment to the profession.
In fact, I know some parents who do not send their kids to school and teach themselves at home. Their kids participate and win regular competitions.
Covering it means teaching it
Some average teachers feel they have to simply cover the chapter in the class which basically means that it has been taught. They rush through the pages of the book, stopping only to ask the student if they were able to follow her. Students meekly agree to the teachers and the chapter gets taught.
Covering a chapter in class is nowhere close to reaching it. The teacher should solve questions on board and ask students to solve some in homework. Then they need to conduct small quizzes on the chapter and then probably a revision in some time. Then it gets counted as taught.
Some subjects are useless in real life
Like a good science student in my schooling days, I had complete disregard for a subject like social science, languages. I felt they were not required for me as I had decided to be a science student.
However, now I understand that all subjects are important for us to learn and then decide what course to take after school ends. These subjects lead to all-round personality development of students and should be studied meticulously.
Probably the interest level in these subjects needs to be raised through a better teaching model.
There’s only one good way to teach
There is no one size fits all model for teaching. Every student has his own way of learning and understanding concepts. A teacher needs to understand how a student prefers to absorb the knowledge and thus teach accordingly.
How a student loves to learn should be left to the student with absolutely no interference from parents or teachers. Their personality decides on how to learn and absorb concepts in their mind.
Misconceptions in education are a normal thing and one should not get married to them. Instead, research or talk to an education expert for his opinion before formulating anything for kids. These are a few of the misconceptions that I could think of. In case you know of any others please feel free to comment them below.