Sometimes, in order to avoid appearing unreasonably insistent (and insane) you have to let go of your deepest convictions. Sending my only son to school, was one such decision where I kept my opinions to myself.
Even though, I have fond memories of my school, I believe I’d have fonder memories if I had never been there. No, I would not be an illiterate. I’d have figured things out on my own. Much like I figured how to write fiction, or how to ride a bicycle on my own. Three things have to be known to a kid: How to read, how to write and how to count. All three, are simple and can be mastered without the assistance of a school. Come on, I paid quite an amount to learn these three things. The most expensive deal ever.
As for the counter argument of schools making you sophisticated and all, I think it’s bullshit. Not everyone from my school was as sophisticated in thought as I was. And, it came more from reading books and a desire to improve creatively that brought in the snob factor. Yes, there was the advantage of getting to know people from various parts of the country and knowing shit like the periodic table and all, but seriously for a man like me it could have been replaced with a good playful community. No need to subject me to the stress of completing homework and covering my notebooks for that.
I think we are so used to all this, and schooling is so much a part of the society now that we fail to question the reason for its existence. Let the child learn, whatever he wants to and he should never be subjected to the unhappiness that being weak in some competition brings.
I think that Biology or Geography, would have been a more appealing concept had we not been given textbooks with 9 chapters that NCERT thinks we should know about. But, whatever.
I cannot stop my kid from going to school, when everyone is being sent because one day he might turn around and blame me for it, instead of being grateful. Anyways, a basic knowledge of everything is required- a lesser mind would say- a little physics will not hurt anyone. But you know what, it hurt me. It broke my confidence. I thought their must be something wrong with me to be thrown into a trance when others could just as easily crack concepts. I made friends who too were thrown into a trance and that is how this whole backbencher spoilt community in schools work. We were mischievous, because we needed an outlet for our energy which could not be used up by studying Physics. The whole concept of me being continuously involved in leisure was because we found respite in it from the school activities. If there were no school activities, kids wouldn’t have been so addicted to television.
One says, that the seemingly rubbish knowledge might seem futile, but later in life it all starts making sense. Maybe, it does. But, have you tried living without that knowledge?Have you tried living on just one subject instead of many? Nobody has tried it. Except for the geniuses of the pre-school era, maybe. I have, through my imagination seen glimpses of what my mind would be and it’s not all that bad.
Also, people can misuse my lack of knowledge- but hey, come on- can you seriously argue with a doctor using science? The knowledge that is needed is to have an inherent sense of detecting deception.
Maybe, it works for most people. Even College works for most people. But, it didn’t work for me. And, it’s a fundamentally wrong concept in my case. No amount of making the school experience more interactive and playful can help. A genius dyslexic kid like that kid in Taare Zameen Par does not need a more considerate and kind schooling, but in fact no schooling.
But, what to do. These notions of mine can only be discussed and ranted about. I can’t walk the talk. But, still being acutely aware of the futility of school does do some damage control for your beautiful imagination.
This is a done to death topic, and it’s not my style to do such things, but I basically needed something to rant about with ferocious speed. Education, seemed like the best option.