Learn for life, not for marks

Anuradha Govind

We often hear the teachers and parents sharing that some children do not show interest in studying, whereas many students are found wondering why are they studying what they are studying & very few minds giving a thought to this ‘WHY to learn something ‘ & ‘How to learn it’ along with ‘What should be the outcome of this learning’ .

Education is largely looked at by all the stakeholders, students, teachers and parents as a means to get marks, grades or degrees & seldom as a process of learning for life or acquiring the aptitude for lifelong learning.

The biology students in our schools may score full marks after thoroughly learning an entire chapter on the nomenclature / classification of plant kingdom but the gap in rote learning and practical knowledge reveals when the same students are clueless about the names and information and even identity of the plants in their locality.

Children have been cramming up the lessons in political science year after year but this country would be indebted to their teachers if they are able to experientially educate & inspire the children and ingrain in them the understanding and appreciation of democracy, the practical essence of equality and the true vision of fundamental rights and duties.

It’s time for schools to look at whys! And Hows! of teaching and learning, moving ahead of merely whats! It’s time to look at what can be done to bring a shift from ‘marks’ to ‘learning’.Teachers most importantly need to link up the subject with the real world , its people, it’s concerns and most importantly the sustainable solutions.

Asking questions comes naturally to a child unless we do not quash it. If this curiosity is nurtured through productive interaction, it will lead to internal conviction for learning in children. Conviction will lead to willingness from within and willingness will lead to proactive leaning culture. Moreover if the subject becomes interesting by the means of interesting teaching-learning methods, it reduces the stress levels in children as they are not learning by rote but by understanding, application, assimilation and internalization.

It is clearly not sufficient to offer more of the same education in conventional rote learning style. Success is no longer mainly about what we know , because for that we have Google. So, the present day’s life skill is more about what we can do with what we know & how do we create better solutions to the challenges in front of the world today.