Humans are innate learners, we learn from our birth to our grave. The job of educators, especially in the current age of information and technology, is thus not to impart facts or knowledge; rather it is to facilitate and ignite curiosity. The current schooling system which evolved during the 19th century, is overly structured and fit to mass produce compliant servants. It discourages free thinking and expression of interest let alone any intrinsic control, discipline or creativity. From a young age it glorifies compliance. This structure and pattern of tutoring may be fit for back then; but it sure is not fit for today’s fast evolving world, and will prove to be disastrous for the future. The system only encourages auditory learner and somewhat facilitates visual learners; however, there is no room for the kinesthetic* learner, who when unable to rote learn, are labelled as failures! It is high time that the schools get a make over, an upgrade and some restructuring.

*(Kinesthetic learning, kinaesthetic learning, or tactile learning is a learning style in which learning takes place by the students carrying out physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations)
These systems isolate learning areas. I ask you: where in your life do you see such structures; of a person interacting only with people of their age exclusively? In your life, can you separate Physics from Art? Would you like to buy a high performance car with poor design aesthetics? Is it even possible to develop an airplane of high performance without the design having perfect aerofoil? This segregation of knowledge into various subject areas; to be taught in isolation, makes not only the studies burdensome and boring but also they appear to be inapplicable and thus useless to the learners. The only reason to study is reduced down to the will of parents, or the pressure of state, or the fear of not being able to provide for oneself in future. The joy of learning gets killed in the process.

Homeschooling, Deschooling and Wild schooling are the answers, they are being adopted by parents and educationists who are aware of the fore mentioned facts and they do realize that they are grooming the kids of today, not for tomorrow but for 20 years later. The pace on which our lives today are evolving; require that we equip the young ones with skills that will enable them to not only survive but prosper in the future. In the next few lines I will try to propose a few strategies which may be used by educationists and parents to facilitate wholesome grooming of the future geniuses.

Skills:

Focus on skill development. these may be IT, Art, and Science related. Learning new skills or restructuring the current skills develops new synapses in brain. The skills learned at an early age will not only strengthen over time, but also will serve as experiences to be applied on various life settings.

Some of the ideas could be to do coding and art projects with the students. Initially give them exposure to what you would like to do and then observe their interest grow, Eventually they will develop their own flair. For starter, you may look up for ideas online. this is the age of information, you can’t say that you don’t know!

EQ over IQ:

High Intelligence Quotient is important but in today’s, world will be useless without an equally developed Emotional Quotient. It has been observed that many people having high IQs fail at work place because they lack EQ, which brings us to life skills- i.e. people skills.

IQ develops through observing and learning, EQ develops through interaction with people and handling situations by one’s self. Let the students face challenges, let them interact with people and sort out issues on their own. Do facilitate them when they are clueless, but don’t try to handle their battles. Learn to manage you own emotions too and teach the same to young ones.

Life Skills:

Skills of collaboration, communication and confidence to survive. These already are evident to today’s society, and they will be much needed in the future. The wisdom, to know when to have confidence and faith in one’s self and take a stand for one’s ideas and ideals; and when to have the courage to collaborate with others. The ability to communicate well and not to let the emotions overcome one’s self.

Here, Demonstrate! We as humans tend to adopt what we see. show them how you embrace your weaknesses and seek help, how you face challenges with confidence and then set targets for them to overcome their hardships with courage and take stand for themselves with confidence.

Innovation and Questioning Skills:

Compliance may be good in some cases, but children today must be encouraged to Question everything, questioning is the first step of curiosity which leads to creativity, innovation, development and progress. All of these are much needed!

Answer their questions in complete detail, starting from a young age. Shunning them by saying that, they have to comply because you are grown up and know more than them, could be down right dangerous for them. Consider a situation in which a teenaged child complies to an adult and commits a crime just because the adult is older, do you see the harm it can cause? Questioning various phenomenon leads to innovation. Encourage students to think of ways to improve the things that exist in their surroundings and encourage them to think for alternate theories and investigate the hypotheses.

Focus:

In a world full of distractions, focus is very important! Focusing on the targets and priorities will help them be self disciplined and would not need extrinsic disciplining. you must have noticed that since we are products of the same flawed system, our productivity decreases on weekends. Lets not let our students fall in the same pit.

Help the list down tasks in priority and encourage them to follow it, but yes don’t force, the idea is not to force; it has to come from within. Talk about the importance of the task at hand, nurture curiosity relevant to that so the motivation will come from within.

I hope that we may be able to leave a better future generation if we start from NOW, too much time has already been wasted.

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Haleema is involved with Educational Innovators