This is regarding the ongoing debate on reviewing the current education system and making it children friendly. It has been nearly 15 years since I left school and we cannot ignore the improvement in the syllabus adopted by the NCERT. The textbooks have become more interesting and stimulating for the young minds. The method of teaching adopted by most of the schools has helped the kids learn and enhance their skills.

Many schools do encourage the kids to not confine their learning to only science, maths and the languages. In spite of all these efforts, more and more kids are constantly under pressure and breaking down. They are stressed out and anxious to get through the 10th and 12th examinations. The belief that this is the ‘end all’ and ‘be all’ to becoming ‘something’ in life has become deeply etched in their minds.

‘Competition’ trap

Let us look at the possible reasons for such an attitude among the schoolchildren today. Most of the schools do start off with an open education system that is child specific. But, somewhere along the way they get caught in this ‘job market’/‘competition’ trap and start judging the capability of the student only by the high scores he gets in exams.

Not only schools, the parents share an even larger part of the blame for expecting their kids to excel in all the subjects that they study irrespective of their interest and aptitude. The child might have his heart on becoming something other than an engineer or a doctor but how supportive are the parents in nurturing their child’s other faculties?

Vocational courses

A lot of schools do not offer courses other than ‘science’ or ‘commerce’ in their curriculum for the 11th and 12th standards. The students are unaware of various vocational courses being offered by the CBSE. These courses prepare learners for careers that are based in manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic and totally related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation. Most of the schools do not offer such courses because they are sure that there will be no takers for them. Only if the school encourages and highlights the usefulness of vocational training, the students will open up to such courses. By pursuing and learning the subjects of their choice their stress level can be decreased.

A general change of attitude towards education is the need of the hour in this highly competitive world. Unless schools and parents realise that only a child who pursues his interests will be free from stress, reviewing the education system will not be of any help.