Are Children Learning or Studying?

By Captain Unni Krishnan, Founder and Director, LearnHive

Children are most precious to parents and their future the top most priority for them. It is with the purpose of helping their child achieve great heights that parents seek the best possible education for them.

Having been educated in the post independence but pre economic autonomy era, I have experienced a system of education that is skewed towards marks rather than towards knowledge. Every opportunity of employment was governed by “What degree do you have?  What marks did you get?”. The questions “What is it that you know”? or “What is it that you can do”? had no relevance. This led to a single point of focus in education which clearly conveyed that “marks are not everything but they are the only thing”.

Admission to a good college ensures a good placement and in turn admission to a good college is based on the marks that you achieve in the Board Examination or the Entrance Examination.

In this age, when success is measured by remuneration, getting qualifying marks becomes all important. What this has done to the education system is that it has taken away the aspects of learning like  application, analysis, creativity and innovation and got students oriented to just studying for examination with the sole aim of getting marks. This has resulted in a rat race where education related discussions revolve only on cut-off marks. The effect of the percentage phenomenon has been such that it has engulfed even the education boards resulting in a cut–off at 100% this year. What next?

Let us ask ourselves, does a 100% mean the student has mastered that complete subject and is a pundit at it?

Childhood comes once in a life time and sadly the pressure of contesting at every step has taken away the social aspect of growing up with friends and appreciating others. All that matters is ‘I’ ‘me’ and ‘myself’. All assessments create a student represented just by numbers.

Sadly, in this whole journey, what we have left behind is the need for real education. Education was meant to help a child learn and then apply that learning to life in different situations that they would come across. Today, education has got limited to studying for marks and learning is of no consequence.

As per our philosophy parents and teachers are potters and are trying to give shape to their children. There is a Chinese saying “Give a potter a seed and you will get a Bonsai”. If you give a seed to a Gardner, you can have a tree that will give you flowers, fruits and even shade.

The same philosophy applies to business as well where it is essential to emphasize on creating a work ecosystem that provides every individual an opportunity to optimise their potential, work on their strengths and avoid areas of weakness; profits are bound to come in.

To prepare our children for the new era, let us try to get their focus on learning to experiment rather than just study for marks because this will help them be creative, innovative and in turn successful in life.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

 About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

This entry was posted in learning and tagged , , , , , , by Unni Krishnan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Unni Krishnan

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a 'Sword of Honor' from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army. Learnhive (http://www.learnhive.net) is an online learning community of students (K through 12), parents, tutors and educational content creators. Our goal is to enrich the curriculum based learning experience of the students and to make learning more fun and effective.

13 comments on “Are Children Learning or Studying?

  1. Abhay on said:

    Quite ironical… This is what I saw on your home page before asking students to sign up?


    - Get better marks or grades at school.
    - Prepare well for exams confidently by taking unlimited practice tests.

    And here you are professing abt real learning.

    • Unni Krishnan on said:

      Dear Abhay,

      Thank you for your feedback.

      Marks incidentally are an integral part of the Indian system of education and there is no running away from it. Problem sets in when for the sake of marks we give up understanding concepts. If a student were to learn a subject/ topic then scoring marks in an exam becomes that much more easier.

      Learnhive intends being a learning aid for the student and assessments is one of its features.

      Thank you for seeking the clarification and I hope in addition to the tests you will also try the lessons and the videos which are made available with the intent of helping explain concepts to students and thus facilitate the learning process. The content is regularly updated so do keep watching. All the best.

  2. Gen Raj Mehta on said:

    A good, thought provoking sword-of-honour kind of article on the lines of what I have been advocating ever since I was Instructor at the NDA and later Staff College. Be nice to exchange views. I travel all over India motivating kids to reach their potential and when in your home town would love to meet up with you.

    • captain on said:

      Thanks Sir ! Would indeed be a pleasure to meet up with you when you are in Bangalore. Just drop me a line on unni.krishnan@learnhive.net . Warm Regards

  3. Deepa Chaudhury on said:

    Hi captain I am a teacher as well as a counselor and worked for a few years in Goa trying to promote the use of technology and more hands on learning if there is any contribution I can make do get in touch.

    Its not just rote learning and marks that one can look at, I as a counselor have realized its the lack of sensitivity to children that ails our system as much. A teacher can actually destroy a life by being insensitive and in the name of discipline the insensitive rules that are put in place are absolutely appalling.
    Teachers training does little to bring sensitivity into the classroom.

    • captain on said:

      Dear Ms Chaudhary, I fully agree with you, Compassion is an extremely essential quality for any teacher and more than qualification it is the ability of a teacher to understand a student that will create the right atmosphere in any school.

  4. Priyanka Pradhan on said:

    This is something i totally agree with.This is really true, and we should not be after every child to score good…..rather we should tell them to understand.As teachers we all should make every child understand the subject and our surroundings.For this i would not say “only teachers”…but yes, parents also should encourage the child.

    • captain on said:

      Dear Priyanka,Yes parents must appreciate what a child is learning and not just look at what marks the child is getting.As a community Teachers and parents must re look at the deliverables of education.I am sure we will see results

  5. Rahul Tandon on said:

    Yes, learning-to-learn has been forgotten in this mad rush only towards achieving marks. This phenomenon is called “gradesmanship”. Its single minded pursuit actually stunts a child’s personality in later years. Going forward, a developmental society, like ours, can hardly bear its disastrous concequences. That only highlights the problem. A solution will however need to be implemented slowly, deliberately and consciously. Doing the exact opposite, and that too in a hurry, of what our education system delivers today will have their own serious concequences. What is therefore required are islands of excellence by way of regular K-12 schools which propound, preach and deliver affordable learning-to-learn to the middle class. These then become new benchmarks for other schools to follow and spread. Parental and societal acceptance is key to a change in our education system. And that can only be brought about by example, and not by legislation

    • Capt Unni on said:

      Yes Rahul, we have to make the move and not wait for legislations. Change has to be intiated and as it gains momentum it will become unstoppable. There is a move in the direction by certain schools which are trying newer methods of delivery in curriculum and some understanding parents are accepting these changes. I am sure we will see results.

  6. Vani on said:

    I agree with you captain, We should stop focusing on marks and rote learning and focus more on understanding the concepts. Nice article.

    • Capt Unni on said:

      There is realization in some groups of parents and some schools are starting to adopt this approach. I am sure that sooner than later the acceptance will widen and we will see the change in focus. Learning will overtake studying as in the long run only that will pay.

  7. Amit Saran on said:

    how true! now the parents and schools’ promoters have also to understand that marks are not the end all for a child’s development. there is something more to education for all round development.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

206,370 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

Register for free with Learnhive to receive a quick reply from the author
HTML tags are not allowed