A WORLD BEYOND ROTE LEARNING

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By Muhammad Omar Iftikhar 

Our educational system compels students to memorize text line-by-line and reproduce it as replies to the questions asked during an examination. This method of study has been observed and followed for decades. Instead of broadening the students’ mental horizon, the education system or the methods of pedagogy are refraining the students to explore their minds.

Rote learning, therefore, is an easy way out from the challenge of securing grades or at least passing the examinations. At the university level, students are asked to share concepts and principles and rote learning is reduced. However, students in the primary classes and especially in the eleventh and twelfth standard seem to have no other option but to rote learn. This practice explains a lot about our age-old educational system.

The textbook boards of provinces seem to be revising the same content but not adding value to it. Instead of adding content that has been there for ages, the concerned authorities should add content that resonates with the changing times. One can pursue the higher authorities to empower faculty to teach about life, society, and science in a way never taught before. Students must learn the society they live in and not rote learn the dates of events that happened centuries ago.

The learning they receive must enable them to step into the future and not keep pondering over history. While a holistic learning approach is necessary that blends the past with the future, the idea is to equip the students to become thinkers, leaders, readers, and doers. The syllabus must be changed or if this too much to ask for, the teaching methodology and the paper pattern must be altered. Students need to express themselves to earn grades and not earn them based on reproducing the same information present in textbooks.