I recall how during laboratory sessions in school we had to create a healthy environment for a certain experiment to succeed. If we failed to provide a fertile environment, the experiment would fail. In exactly the same way, if we don’t provide or provoke a progressive and education-oriented environment at our homes, schools and society, we will continue to experience a missing thirst for knowledge among our children.
An average parent today seems too focused on grades and rote learning. They mostly force conformity and dissent is seen as bad behaviour that is punished. Such a household will nurture zombies and thinkers. On the face of it such a house may seem conducive to learning, but in reality such a place will develop thirst for passing an exam, getting medals, attaining a degree and making money only. The thirst for knowledge will surely be missing. A child has to be trained to inquire, question, probe, experiment and open to making mistakes. That passion to learn beyond books and that eagerness to experience real life situations is a missing link in our homes today.
Many of our well-to-do homes, where parents are too busy to focus or work on their children, have everything in the world expect the passion to seek knowledge. This is where domestic help have the onus of raising kids. In such a scenario, they have means and resources to get best of the best. But many kids from such houses are either too busy wasting time on gadgets, junk food, partying, shopping online or simply lazing away. Sadly, these privileged ones have zero zeal to learn and seek more knowledge.
The media houses spend hours and millions of rupees on political debates and discussions but invest zero energy in education-related content
Thus it is pertinent to create a healthy space and mindset for a serious thirst for knowledge in our houses, schools and society. We must create that urge to learn constantly, right from the word go, by providing a planned and open-ended situations. There has to be a controlled use of gadgets, media and all that jazz. Books, reading, using internet for constructive purposes is a must. A child is nipped right in the bud when her/his curiosity is caged by micro management, control and discouragement. The children are reprimanded for making mistakes and are expected to only toe a line designed by elders.
In classrooms, teachers try and confine students to the knowledge base of the teacher only, and any deviance is seen as insubordination.
The society doesn’t help either, as it doesn’t measure knowledge as an essential armory for the young minds to compete with rest of the world. Our media houses spend hours and millions of rupees on political debates and discussions but invest zero energy in education-related content. How and what kind of thirst for knowledge can one expect under such inhospitable conditions around children.
Thus serious efforts on parts of adults have to be made to create a vibrant laboratory where kids learn to develop a hunger for knowledge and don’t rest till they attain their answers. It is pertinent that they learn to enjoy their journey to seek knowledge and develop skillsets that enable them to be lifelong learners.
Pakistan surely needs to develop a quest for knowledge among children.