What is your dream? the interviewer had asked during my graduate entrance examination. Words automatically formed in my mouth as I spoke, already waiting for the question to be asked. In contrast, my heart kept asking, Is it?
For the good part of a week, everyone of us lives in a jungle. Not one sprawled with trees and vines; one with glazed tiles, red bricks and grey concrete. And instead of beasts, aves and crawlies, the ecosystem bursts with lawyers, doctors and engineers, all at their different stages of making. One similarity is that even these animals screech and howl at each other, comparing Math`s scores and essay grades. Even here, there is pecking order. Students don`t hesitate to cheat and pull each other down to reach pinnacle of the order. My heart aches at this rancorous wilderness for my fellows who fret to their extreme till wee hours, who are forced to abandon their abilities to get themselves above that neck-splitting cut-off, who are forced to believe that their talent is only auxiliary and their intelligence is determined by a collection of percentages, percentiles, and mandated tests.
Everyone has this basic thought about education, one way or another.
If the society today is so prosperous, then why isn`t there any parity? In status or in opportunity for basic education? I have this question since I was a child.
In primary school, I has told my teacher, I want to be a doctor and help children in poor countries, my teacher answered, Good. That`s wonderful. then. Everything looks different to everyone once they get their own understanding of world.
Here are my solutions:
Collaborations should be fostered in classrooms instead of pitting students against each other like biosphere, where beings depend on each other and cohabit.
Class rank should be removed and public declaration of results should be discouraged. It is not wise to broadcast shortfall of one among his fellows. This protrudes serious inferiority complexes.
Not just textbooks and rote memorization should be important, such projects which incorporate diversity of talents should be made part of curricula to let every child wield his talent out. Interactive demonstrations, Multimedia and practical activities are now part of many boards but it is still feebly carried by institutions.
Even unsuccessful efforts by students should not be disapproved till they have worked honestly. Instead, they should be objectively instructed about the shortfalls and how they can be appropriated. Likewise, assessments should not merely require a choice between A, B, C, or D.
This holistic education cultivates reasoning, passion and out-of-the-box critical thinking and it gives all chance to see the best of themselves.
I want to open a `classroom of dreams,` to introduce to children to the unending possibilities, to the fact that there have been numerous others with conditions like theirs but who left everyone in awe when they accomplished great heights without proper education or mentorship. Just the forward to the right path, one opportunity is needed. I think this kind of `dream education` is one which in panacea to secure future – a future where children can have dreams and encouragement to achieve them. This, I think, is needed in all, developed, developing or under-developed countries.
I now have a dream – a dream to provide that one chance to let children find their dreams – to realize them. For that, I need to be motivated and motivate those who would play a part in their holistic education education to LET the child achieve, not put them on the same assembly line, however unique materials they all are.