With puzzled eyes and a confused mind, I trembled as I made through the college gate. Being an O-Level student and now making a “jhakkkas” entry into F.Sc. I knew it was always going to be difficult and I had to accept this transition of adjusting myself amongst the two polar boards.
Having a strong conceptual background, I was obligated upon Rattalization. But wait, Rote Learning? Seriously? I cried for at least 3 months since I just couldn’t get stuff into my bones until I got the concept. I was mocked for my handwriting and inability to fill 8 pages for Essays. Also, I was taunted of being an O-level student and that there’s an impending doom coming after me, especially due to the unjust equivalence criteria adopted by the IBCC. I knew that there was no way out, the only available option for me was, ratta maar.
And here it begins, the darkest period of my life, where I didn’t learn by heart but by brain. All what my fellows encouraged me upon was to get marks by hook or by crook, not knowledge. Nobody bothered if I didn’t get full marks or was amongst the top 5 students of the class. And why won’t you do so, after all, this is the melancholic secret of success in Intermediate Education.
All what mattered the most was the number of reference stanza’s for poetry whether “Tumhain yaad hon ke na hon”. Inserting cheap song lyrics during Ghazal Tashreeh was common yet I never had the honor of writing them on my paper, which I regret as of yet. Frequent use of marker and booties to make your sheet picturesque developed into a habit. Judging people by their marks and not by their knowledge was what was plugged into me by this unlighted society. Is this what education is all about? We thrive day and night, through college and academy, for rote learning or knowledge gaining? And then we complain that Pakistan is far behind other countries in terms of education. Let me ask you a question, With this standard of education where cramming beats creativity, can we emerge as a leading country in educational services?
We surely would continue to deviate from our objectives until these academies prevent themselves from being a ‘brand’. If the colleges and academies become the centre of knowledge instead of money-making and sincerely think upon revolutionizing this system of RATTA to CONCEPT, only then there’s hope for success. And then there wouldn’t be any need of ENTRY TESTS which is the pantomime villain for students who tirelessly dedicate themselves for F.Sc. studies but in vain. We need to move on from the classic AASHIQI, MEHBOOBS AND RAQEEBS of the past and teach students of this age, the recipe to emerge as modern people. We need to encourage students to make discoveries through practical experience instead of asking them to memorize the timeline of Louis Pasteur and Mr. Chips, which happens to have been the main course of F.Sc. English for over 40 years. We need to inculcate the youth with National Heroes and enlarge patriotism. And lastly, we need to focus on creativity and conceptual studies instead of parrot-fashioned understanding lest every student, who steps into practical life and job, would say “MUJHAY KYUN NIKALA”.
Written by: Irtaza Ali