I started school when I was 5 years old. I was actually supposed to start school a year later but I had some kind of stubbornness to start school the very next day. We weren’t exactly very rich and just buying the uniforms alone for the British School, depleted my family’s financial status by a staggering amount. My dad still let me go to school and didn’t say no and I was too young to realise that but after all these years, me sitting on this table I realised,
I was too young to realise what education really is. I was too young to know what my school tuition fees is. I was too young to know what this education system really is. I was just going to school, learning how to count and read and having proper lunches during breaks. We used to play stuck in the mud and you would have to crawl underneath someone’s legs to save them. I would rip my jeans from the knee area and wouldn’t realise the consequences and that my parents were losing even more money. Slowly, our financial status became much more stable and we were living the life. However, our problems didn’t end.
As a kid all I thought about was going to school and not getting tagged. When I grew up, I became conscious about my studies, clothes, body, sports, friends. The list just went on and on and on. All these variables came and went except for one. Throughout my entire life, there was always this one constant. “How are your grades looking?” One of the most dreaded sentences for every child who’s been to school. Why though? Why does a child go to school? Why did I at the age of 5 years old insist on going to school? Is it because I wanted people to ask me what my grades are looking like or was it because I wanted to try this new concept where you go to this new place, meet new students as clueless as me and if I was even more clueless than them, I’d be considered an outcast from society.
School was originally a place where parents would send their children to be educated in both academics and life. Different demographics resulted in different types of schools. They realised that war could not make their empires better and educated citizens were a necessity. The upcoming generation was then educated in all aspects of survival. Academics, survival, sports, everything was encouraged and taught. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet but I haven’t mentioned grades. Over time a system of grading was developed to measure the child's growth. It wasn’t to discourage the child or call them “stupid” or a “wasteman” but to see where and how they can improve.
Ladies and gentleman, I don’t see the same system of education today. Our technology may be much more advanced and beneficial to the “learning” but our thinking has gone backwards. We do not care if a student is growing, we do not care if he is financially unstable and has to deal with more than other students can imagine, we do not care if he did good on this test but got a F on the next one. My life is determined by 6 letters. My entire worth, position in society, value of life is determined by “How are your grades looking?” to which I have to respond with 6 letters.
Even schools nowadays, all they care about is money and reputation. If they do end up with some talented children who have a gift, they exploit that resource but not for the right reasons. They showcase their grades and make their school look good. Schools were supposed to be non-profit but I don’t know what happened there. They were supposed to develop us students over time in order to prepare us for life. All I do nowadays is spend my time looking at skyward and worrying over my grades.
Do I want to grow or worry over my grades? It’s true, some children don’t have a knack for some subjects but may be good at something else. For example, I’m not interested in Chemistry or Math but I love art, english, business and economics. Why am I forced to study something I don’t enjoy or have no motive to study? It’s true you require some of these subjects for life skills but why are they given priority over subjects I will need and love. Also, I’m not writing this because I have a Chemistry or Math test tomorrow but simply because this felt right.
The education system currently is as it goes: Grade shaming on subjects you won’t need for university or jobs or just in life.
Grow not memorize. Learn not worry. Enjoy not cry. Do what you love and do it without laziness or procrastination as that will be your key to success. Blaming the school for every mistake is not right either, as human beings we naturally tend to put the blame on someone else as I have done. Don’t take my word as I’m just an average student who studies in an average school and complies with society’s rules. You don’t have to and that’s recommended.