Knowledge is what puts human being on a pedestal and Education is what makes him a man and turn his individualistic mirrors into windows. By the age of 5 a child is ready to be put amongst his peers to learn skills which shape out the individual he/she will become. The persona is symptomatic of the kind of education he/she has received. With the onset of information age, schools are no longer restricting children to the process of accruing information, that can prove to be rather dreary over a period of time, but have become an institution which draws out their instincts and develop them. Contrary to the conventional perception it has long moved away from the phase of ‘strict academics’
Apart from being introduced to a formidable diet of information, there are things that children come to learn throughout their school life.
Every child is the center of attention in the environment he/she has been brought up. But suddenly when you put all of them together in one room, the first thing that they learn is ‘tolerance’. A few weeks goes by grappling with the fact that everyone gets treated equally and there are no disparities or special treatment. It underscores the feeling of ‘equality’ and ‘tolerance of differences’ in the beginning years. A child learns to compromise with his/her desire for undistributed attention and the feeling of ‘you will not always get what you want but only what you deserve’ sinks in.
Sharing is basic component of human interaction; studies show that children learn the art of sharing from quite an early stage. Childhood is oblivion of rationality but in school they can learn to set apart the right kind of sharing from the wrong one. Also they learn the art on a wider scale, with people they haven’t known or they aren’t related to. The difference between distribution and division is what helps them develop the virtues of responsibility and duty. It also provides the groundwork for strengthening ties with other members of the society and instills a sense of generosity.
A child’s imagination knows no bound but to give it a meaningful direction is a completely different thing. Through the stories and poems read, lessons and practices learned and interpersonal interactions carried out within the school and later in society, a child learns to imagine. This power can be extended to an almost super human extent through the medium of books. Midst the smell of pages, contours of a leather bound or sharp edges of a paperback a child can let his mind run free. It can also help children to come to terms with the odd realities of the world and learn the art of free thinking and generating ideas of their own.
The line between competition and cooperation are often overlapping. A child develops an innate desire for competition and a sense of winning and losing way before he/she reaches school. But amongst the first things that a child learns in school is how to cooperate with others. Whether, it is a fifteen minute game, a group assignment or just an extra-curricular activity. If a child learns to cooperate at an early age he/she can easily grasp the difference between competition and cooperation and adapt to them accordingly. It will help him/her to achieve common assigned tasks that are a conventional occurring in organizations. Excellent cooperation skills are prerequisite for a friendly environment and warm societal relations.
Everyone is creative. However this creativity can certainly be defined and modified focusing on one’s abilities. It also plays an important part in the over- all development of a child, bringing out his/her strengths and weaknesses which can be duly worked upon. The skills learnt in the process of creating something can then be applied to other subjects in higher grades. Creativity is something which battles it out with the dreariness that creeps in, as a child attains years. It also motivates them in their quest for more knowledge and strengthens their questioning fiber and provides an interesting approach to complex problems
As a child achieve higher grades, the amount of work increases manifold. However it plays on the good side as a child steadily learn some key skills like discipline and time- management. Chasing those deadlines, sacrificing a match or a recess to complete assignments, having to choose between two interests that clash together, infuse in them the concept of ‘priorities’. Once they have learnt how to manage themselves, they can derive better result in the decision making context. They will be better prepared for real- life situations, personal conflicts and issues and will be able to sort so as to which issues are to be put on backburner and which one are to be dealt with first.
In the later years of school, through the awkward phase of adolescence, one faces a lot of competition which can be equally profitable as it is grueling. It can help to learn the rules of the game like fair play, respecting one’s opponents, accepting the righteousness of a fair judgment, acquiring a ‘winning is not always important’ perspective and understanding the principle of right means, right ends. These skills will come in handy to face the off – field reality and will help in establishing a better relation with co-workers and customers once they join the workforce.
Leadership skills can evolve the sense of responsibility. Through the roles of house captains and prefects one learns public speaking techniques, encompassing a plethora of views, importance of consensus, democratic processes including elections and develops their long term thinking abilities. Even though on a small level, one gets to be at close quarter of the process of ‘change’. Intricacies of complex moral behavior can only be comprehended by being a part of the process.
2) Interpersonal Skills
All the skills we need to exist and to be an effective part of the society comes under the rubric of interpersonal skills. These skills extend far beyond the technical skills one comes to acquire and cannot be taught unlike other practical skills. They are the resultant of constant interactions with the peers and are evolved on a trial and error basis. One not only learns to comprehend subtle gestures, but even the ability to distinguish between active and tacit expressions. It can help in starting meaningful conversations, productive collaboration and effective reconciliations.
Last but the most important of them all is the ‘perspective’. By the end of school, how prepared a child is and how well he takes to the real world, is determined on the basis of effects that all the aforementioned skills have had on a child. The real world which may or may not provide a level playing field can be dealt with, as the child having developed a perspective of his/her own is better prepared for the real-life challenges. A set of disciplined framework and ideas through which he/she can filter worldly realities is based on the fabric of skills, interwoven throughout one’s school life. It not only encompasses the views a child had encountered midst his peers but also the ones he has acquired
We have come a long way from dreading schools to actually enjoying being there. Children are no longer confined to the four walls of a classroom, listening but not hearing, reading but not studying and memorizing but not understanding. These days the school sets towards a goal of overall development of a child. The true meaning of education -not just theoretical but social, moral, emotional and societal is being reinstated throughout the system. Even though academics continue to be on a high pedestal, it’s a revolution of sort that we have managed to break the stereotype and set aside the typecasts albeit there are so many skills to be learnt apart from academics of course.