The purpose of any education is to ensure growth. Education is meant to encourage a student to think and develop a curiosity for his or her surroundings. However, forcibly generating growth in any field can only build resistance.
At an early age, a child is naturally curious. In school, he is exposed to certain subjects. There are undoubtedly many subjects that are not offered by the school. This limited exposure restricts the child’s curiosity, which is against the purpose of any education. It is impractical to imagine a school that offers every subject, but it is productive to allow a student to opt for subjects not taught at the school as a part of his schooling. A school should not only be able to offer a variety of subjects, but also provide the student with an option to study a subject not taught.
If a child is forced to conform to a syllabus comprising compulsory subjects, he or she will naturally develop an attitude of resistance towards subjects he/she doesn’t enjoy. Not all students, or for that matter, any student can enjoy all subjects. By forcing a child to study subjects that he does not enjoy, the school encourages the child to blend in. Pursuing a natural inclination is supposedly the wrong option, unless it is prescribed by the syllabus.
This compulsion affects the child’s attitude towards education and his discipline. It is obvious that a child will be more regular and responsible towards a subject he enjoys. Any education should promote this discipline.
While compulsory subjects may assure growth in a variety of fields, they do not ensure productive growth. In fact, such an education, established on the lines of a rigid syllabus, corrodes the child’s individuality. A child may spend his school years trying to understand physics and may even manage to do so. However, if the child aspires to be an artist, he has wasted that much time doing work he could have put into what he planned to pursue.
The objective of a school is to create individuals and not mass products. Since the purpose of education is to initiate growth, any education system should recognize that compulsory subjects are a hindrance.
The author is a student of Class X at JB Petit High School for Girls in Mumbai. She can be reached at [email protected].