Thursday, September 23, 2021

New possibilities

Editorial 2

The academic calendar has witnessed huge disturbances for more than a year now because of the lockdown, and consequent closure of schools. Because of these disturbances the schedule for competitive entrance exams was also hugely disturbed. But slowly competitive exams are being held, and will eventually return to normal mode and frequency. The Nagaland State Entrance Examination (NSEE) 2021 for Agri & Allied courses has already been conducted and results declared while the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021 for admission in undergraduate medical courses was held last Sunday across the country, including Nagaland. Here we are aware that our students are as much affected by the ongoing disruption as elsewhere, but this is time to ensure that they don’t lose focus. In an unusual situation like the one we are passing through, there is a likelihood that students slacken a bit, and their focus does not remain as sharp as it is needed. It is here that the role of teachers and parents attains significance. It time for both, teachers and parents, to be around and ensure that the interest of our students remains at an optimal level. To achieve this end we need to update our knowledge about how to deal with children in this situation. Being harsh, and always finding fault with children, is always counterproductive. There are finer ways of getting into the lives of our children and making pleasant and productive interventions. At the same time there is a need to diversify, and expand the pool of choices. We are still stuck with medicine, followed by a seat in some engineering college. While they are really good choices and our students must work hard to crack the relevant exams, there is need to acquaint our students with more choices. Problem with us is that most of us still see life through the prism of MBBS and engineering and feel that no life exists beyond. Some parents want to fulfill their shattered dreams of the past through their children. And some due to family pressure, peer pressure or societal status drag and force kids to opt for traditional subjects. Remember, not every kid is made for studying medical or non-medical. Every kid is special and bestowed with talent by God. We need to identify it, hone it and give proper direction to that talent rather than trampling it only to satisfy our false egos! Not very kid can become a doctor or an engineer! We need to get this simple fact right. Some kids don’t understand mathematics (because it isn’t in their internal make up) and yet parents force them to opt for it. Result, they fail or make it by a whisker, without absorbing anything positive from it and in the midst ruins their future. We have seen many doctors who could have become brilliant academics but for the family and peer pressure. We know many engineers whom we find misfit in the field but could have been brilliant social scientists. No doubt we have produced a chain of doctors, engineers and other professionals but many amongst them are their out of compulsion rather than choice. And that’s why we will find these people have no job satisfaction. The point is it is very important for parents and teachers that they start talking to their kids. Try to understand them. Listen to them and their ideas about their future. And then share your ideas with them. Weigh all career options in the backdrop of their interests, weaknesses and strengths. And then collectively make a career option. Of late we are seeing some of our young students having qualified international exams and joining global universities abroad. There are new frontiers for them to conquer. And this provides all of us with new possibilities. Our schools and our parents should not miss it. If timely interventions are made, and schools become centres of new knowledge, we can have a different future for our children. Our chances, our choices, and our resources are very meager when it comes to the customary pattern of education. It is just not sufficient to take care of our needs in near future. We must look beyond, and move ahead. There is a world that is waiting for our new generation. Our understanding of education and our choice of disciplines need a radical shift.