Does School, colleges and universities really stop you from thinking big? Are they preparing you for an office job when you can aim higher and think way bigger? Let’s first hear 17 year old APICTA and Pasha Award winner Zayd Inam who according to some, is Pakistan’s Steve Jobs in the making.
So this young man believes that schools play a good part in killing innovation, as they are always about exams, grades and assignments. Knowledge is essential but without practical implications, an individual will lend up with an average job in some office. Now, something that took me 16 years of formal education and 2 years of working experience to understand came naturally to Zayd. It got me thinking about the number of courses that I took at school, colleges or at university level that never ever helped me in anyway, I am sure you share a similar experience. Now if you take those credit hours and subtract them with your educational period, the number that comes out will surprise you or make you angry in my case.
When I put up the same question on twitter, I got many interesting answers. Munir Usman (MVP and Entrepreneur) who by degree is a telecom graduate but pursued his career in the software industry on my question, whether schools are responsible of killing innovation among students replied:
“Ideally they are meant to kill innovation, but looking down at the quality of education. They are not only killing innovation but are responsible for destroying a good amount of time of the students. Instead of giving proper education to help innovation, they waste time and money in useless courses and activities, as a result students end up doing Ratta (memorizing course lectures) for exams.
When I asked Sabahat Zakariya the same question, she gave quite an interesting reply:
Schools only have meaning when an extremely rare teacher not yet jaded by the system and the administration comes and inspires you. All schools care about are grades for their quantifiable, abstractions’ no meaning in a school ‘system’.
On my question to Sabhat and Shahrzad (teacher from Iran) on how we can improve this situation in schools, their reply was:
Stop nurturing mediocrity in faculty. Stop ostracizing teachers with opinions, passion and a voice – Sabahat
Students should be motivated to discover, arousing sense of yearning to learn instead of giving them some formulas to pass the exams- Shahrzad
During my initial experience at work, I met a business man who used to teach entrepreneurship at Pakistan’s top business school; IBA. According to him once an individual passes early 20’s the chances of becoming an entrepreneur almost diminishes and sadly these top business schools are not making leaders but labors. This was a very strong statement coming from a teacher who was very much involved in the business market. On my question to Munir on whether Universities should encourage or teach entrepreneurship at graduation level, his reply was:
Yes the course should be mandatory in every degree but the million dollar question is, who will teach this subject? Most teachers won’t qualify to teach this subject
Muhammed Nawaz (Blogger/IT Professional) coined the following views on the same question:
Yes Of course they should. One thing important to understand is whether they consider self confidence a virtue or taboo Self confidence raises the chances of people actually taking decisions in their own hands and doing what’s right for them. At the same time, ensuring that with all this virtue comes the aspect of responsibility So when they take a decision, they know what the impact of their decision would be. Accordingly take a step forward.
So if Schools are not doing their jobs right why the parents are desperate to enroll their children in the most expensive of schools. But can you blame them for doing so? Their aim for getting their children admitted in popular schools is to get an admission in a good college or a renowned university, so their children end up with a secure future and a job that pays off well at the end of every month. Not every family can afford an entrepreneur in their house; somebody has to pay mortgage on regular basis. So it’s more about economics then learning or getting education.
Dropping off from college or Universities is not a preferred option, not every kid is as bright as Zayd or Steve Jobs for that matter. A lot of us might start off slow but end up being a successful individual and professional. Having said that there should be a regular check on the curriculum of college and universities, considering the dropping standards of local educational boards like HEC. The need of having a quality educational body has become inevitable. This independent body will work like a bridge between educational institutes and business market.