Today i was reading an article by SSA Aiyar on Times of India about learning process. The article emphasized that the first learning is best in mother tongue. With my limited study of human psychology with regard to cognitive development, I also agree with the view of the author. In fact in our country we have "English Fixation" with respect to learning obviously because of long years of English rule and the consequent inferiority complex developed in the mind of a common student.
Today the Indian students are a harassed lot from the childhood itself. His natural inclination in the childhood is to learn his mother tongue and understand everything through this medium, but the prevailing societal trend forces her to learn new language by mugging and because of this his cognitive development suffers. This process is continued even at the later stages.
Our education system is full with " रटंत " (Mugging & Memorizing) methodology, and there is no space for those students who want to understand the phenomena through their own ways. Films like "3idiots", "Taare Jameen Par" highlights such phenomena. This education system produces student in mass, it does not give any opportunity to the kids to explore herself.
Even at higher level, this situation continues as our education systems give mugging an incentive in scoring marks, which continues till higher education as even I had experienced it. This results into negative self belief among natural learner and this inferiority complex kills the scientific temperament among vast percentage of students. This manifests in the number of patents filed or in number of scientific discoveries made by our scientists. Unless, the imaginations are given wings right from the formative years we can produce only unemployable products, no any natural thinker.
But at least some glimmer of hope has started coming through innovative learning processes. I myself have encountered such a process in Tamilnadu in the form of "Activity Based Learning" being promoted under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. This involves learning as activity not as a mugging process. The role of teacher becomes more of a facilitator, not as a autocrat wielding stick. The learning is not only faster but also deep rooted. Such innovation should be replicated in all the states.
Even here in Saiha, the situation is more or less same. The products coming out of the the education factory are not different from other parts of the country. Apart from these language factors, the biggest problem with the district education system, I feel is obsoleteness of the system. Education Department has become one of the means of giving employment to deserving persons. Once they are employed, they stop learning and so do their students. The problem with the students in this part of the world can be enumerated as:-
- Up to middle school level medium is Mara
- After middle level medium I feel is Mizo.
- If he wants to do something in life then he has to learn English
- If he wants to stay in Northern India, then he has to learn Hindi.
So, the energy of a common student is used in learning and unlearning several languages and the result is frustration and stoppage of learning. An alternate to such a tyranny is needed, but even that system is not in sight.
I am trying to use the Activity Based Learning of Tamilnadu in teaching process in Maraland. But that will also take considerable amount of effort and time and lots of persuasion. But definitely this whole process of playing with the students has to be changed otherwise we will have an education system, whose only use will be a jail for the kids during the day time without any real outcome.