Educational Malpractice ft. Tanmay Bakshi
This time I really wanted to share something that has been disturbing me for the past three years.
The average life of an Indian Engineering Undergraduate: Joins a conventional school at the age of 4. Learns Addition and Subtraction at the age of 6. Multiplication and Division at the age of 7. Gets introduced to ultra-basics of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at the age of 13. Starts going to intense IIT coaching at the age of 15. Learns the Mechanisms of Aldol Condensation and Cannizzaro reaction; learns how to Integrate a function involving trigonometric equations and learns how to calculate the wave number of each of the lines from the Hydrogen Spectral Series. Sorry,
Learns Memorises them. Completes writing three record notebooks on three different subjects with utmost care after getting scoldings from the teacher for not submitting it on time. Begs for his/her attestation. Writes Board Exams. Also goes for a Crash Course which is costlier than the costliest G-shock watch. Attempts multiple entrance exams. Is not able to crack IITJEE. Blames Reservation system for that. Cracks other entrance exams. Thank God for being kind. Forgets what he was coached. Joins an Engineering college and takes CSE at the age of 17. Gets scolded from the ED sir for not drawing the arrow marks in the ratio of 1:3. Gets scolded that he is unfit to be a computer science engineer from Chemistry Lab evaluator for not taking the exact titration values in the conductometric titration. Gets cursed that he is going to become a foolish computer science engineer from the Physics Lab evaluator for not knowing how to find the diameter of a convex lens using Newton’s Rings Apparatus. And yet believes and dreams of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg or so after graduation. Finally ends up in Tata Consultancy Service or Cognizant at the age of 22, for more or less a clerical job which is absolutely irrelevant to the stuff that he had studied spending 1/4th of his lifetime, alongside his colleague who would have followed the exact same procedure to get a B.Tech degree in Chemical engineering.
Now, keep it aside. Let me narrate
The Story of Tanmay Bakshi: A 13-year-old, Indian born Canadian who began coding at the age of 4 and had his first app on iOS App store by the age of nine. He taught himself Swift, the programming language when it was still in beta stage. He’s also a world-class(in the true sense) orator and has spoken in many TEDx events and also in Keynote. He’s also a Youtuber who has over 200,000 subscribers. He’s also a cognitive developer at IBM Watson. Phew! He’s also an author of a bestseller book called “Hello Swift!”. The thing is, two weeks back he visited Coimbatore to deliver a speech at an event. And guess what, I was asked to pay about 2000 INR just to hear him speak.
Now, the point is,
How do you even think it was possible for a 13-year old guy to achieve this feat? What do you think has been the differentiating factor between the lives of an average engineering student and the boy himself? If such is what a brain of a 13-year-old is potentially capable of, what do you think has stopped every other boy or girl from realising his or her true potential.
The answer lies in the third line of this blog post. Joining a conventional school- that was the mistake, the disadvantageous differentiating factor. Master Tanmay Bakshi was homeschooled and was straight away taught coding at the tender age of four. He wasn’t forced to learn anything that is irrelevant or nonsensical to him. His mind palace was purely based on only the stuff he was genuinely interested about. If you explore more, you’ll find it is not just one Tanmay Bakshi. There was a Romanian 14-year-old Nadia Comăneci who was the first person to scored a perfect 10 in Gymnastics (uneven bars event). There was a Sachin Tendulkar who scored an international century at Old Trafford when he was just 17-years-old.
All that the entire student population of this nation which would easily count over 300 million (which, by the way, is the total population of the USA which again is the next most populated nation after India) could impart if only they were homeschooled or similar schooled, is getting terribly and pitifully not realised just because of we following this ‘unfit and foolish’ conventional method of schooling. In other words, it can as well be called the “Educational Malpractice”.
Done identifying the problem. Now, what could possibly be the solution for this? I can only think of constantly reminding and persuading our juniors, the next generation and we ourselves to set our goals sky high and never settle for anything less than the edge of our true potential.
Let’s see if the condition is a little better by 2020...
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