Education, well-done, with a side order of Ratta?




Hey moms and dads!

Now that the school year has ended, what do you plan to do with your kids over the summer holidays? Will you send them to summer school, or perhaps have them volunteer somewhere like SOS Village or Edhi Homes? Regardless of your child’s activities during the summer, I’m sure the real concern for you is the new school year (starting in Aug/Sept).

Now, its no secret that we sadly have a colorful variety of education systems in Pakistan. The failing government standard system, the many levels of middle class English medium systems, the super pricey private schools, and the unthinkably exorbitant elite school systems (and the list goes on).

Having nephews and nieces who study at these schools, I’m privy to the fact that the concept of holistic education, one where knowledge and learning are accompanied by the focus on cultivating a child’s skills, encouraging the child to dream and think out of the box and stand out, and letting the child be responsible for what and how much he wants to learn (instead of zabardasti danday ke zor pe rattay lagwana), is largely non-existent.

This should be a depressing idea for most parents. After all, if your child is not happy in school, and is forcefully learning what the school and you, the parents, require him/her to learn, are you sure your child is even learning at all, or is he/she just getting by to get it over with? Hmmmmmm…

I recently met someone from the teaching fraternity who made me realize just how important holistic education is. I was able to realize it because I spent my matriculation and F.Sc years feeling absolutely miserable. I had no interest in biology or math or chemistry (the bane of my existence), but I was forced to study them because I had no choice. My parents, for the most part, were also unhappy with me because I wouldn’t produce sparkly results like my elder siblings (oh how I’ve cursed you for this Apa bear :p). Nevertheless, for the most part, I hated school and college. It was only in university when I got to choose exactly what I wanted to study for the next four years (Communication and Media Studies), that I realized I’m not dumb and hopeless at all!! Hell, I graduated with a silver medal, and am currently pursuing an MS degree in the same field!

Getting back to the point, after having met that person, Nadine Murtaza, I came to know just how important it is to explore a child’s personality to find out what interests them, what they like, and what THEY want to learn. However, I don’t find myself qualified enough to speak on the subject, since I’m not an educator myself. So if you have a child who is starting school after the summer, or isn’t happy/doing well at their current school, or YOU, as a parent, aren’t satisfied with the quality of education your child is getting, Ā I’m going to leave two videos here, of Nadine, that you guys can watch and get some perspective from. šŸ™‚

Cheers! ā¤

Nadine has been a teacher and curriculum developer for Headstart School Ā since graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 2006. She has a keen interest in alternative education, the philosophy of learningĀ and theĀ nuances of play-based learning. She believes learning any subject can be made fun through music, storytelling and acting. She executes alternative methods of teaching in her International Baccalaureate Primary School program, and her students love it and enjoy it.Ā