10 Things Kids must be Taught (and are not taught at all or just in a namesake manner)…
This list was extremely difficult to compile as I came up with 37 areas or topics which must be taught to kids in schools and colleges but are not taught today in India. What I essentially focused is the fact that what must kids learn to become better human beings (firstly) and better workers/managers/employees/employers (secondly).
You may like it or not like it but these cannot be ignored if you want your kids to grow and learn to be the best human beings in life.
Here goes my list:
1) ‘Empathy and Compassion’ is a very sensitive topic and must be taught in schools from a very small age but not just through text-books. Feelings cannot be developed by text books but by letting kids earn these feelings by doing good amount of social work.
2) ‘Manage Money’ is a very crucial topic give the fact that most people lack the ability to manage it. It must be taught to every child in every grade – advancing it bit by bit like algebra, trigonometry, etc.
3) ‘Sex Education’ is a complete farce in India. I do not understand as to why people (teachers) shy away from teaching the same properly and extensively over school years. The present form is too bleak and our responsibility is to teach kids about the same in absolute detail beginning as early as Grade 5 so that they may not know the wrong things – which might get seriously harmful in the long run.
4) ‘Making Mistakes & Learning is Okay’ should be made a positive aspect of learning rather than being a de-motivating factor in a child’s life. A teacher as well as parents are the most powerful weapons in this regard and devote their energy to make a child feel confident and learn the most when they make mistakes so that instead of living with its burden, they learn to embrace and improve over their errors/mistakes.
5) ‘Importance of Team Work’ is another topic not touched upon properly during our education which leaves a number of us becoming social loners – which is not a great thing in the first place. All school and college level activities must be encouraged in groups (sometimes the academically good must be paired with the academically poor as well). This will go a long way in moulding a child of higher responsibilities once he/she grows up.
6) ‘Social Behaviour’ is something that increasing number of kids lack today. They do not know how to behave at a particular place and most of them tend to grow rude (especially in cases where parents are rich or powerful or both) and forget their place in society. This topic must be taken up by faculty members as well at home to ensure kids know how to behave.
7) ‘Career Knowledge’ is another sensitive issue – families in India being patriarchal in nature ensures that more often than not parents, relatives and neighbours decide the fate of a child while the person with the highest stake in the equation (child) is not even involved in the process. They must be taught about all their options in Career Building and be allowed to participate, if not completely take control, in the process.
8) ‘Internet Technology’ is a must for every modern day kid – primarily to help them understand how power this tool is as a knowledge storehouse. But even more important than this (as per my beliefs) is teaching the dos and don’ts and safe Internet practices.
9) ‘Soft Skills for Real Life’ seem to have lost value in the modern day education grind. It is sometimes painful to see exceptional kids lose out on big opportunities just because they lack these and no one ever mentioned the value of this to them (example being one of my acquaintances missing out on admission to IIMs with the most exceptional CAT Score and Academic Track record)
10) ‘Self Appraisal and Evaluation’ is another topic which would be a reality check for most kids and hone them up in a better way – letting them know of their strengths and work on their weaknesses from time to time. All of this done by the kids themselves without anyone else pointing fingers at them.
We, at Gyan Lab, have actively taken up 7 of these topics and are working extremely hard to ensure that these lessons reach kids in the right way and help them, as I had mentioned earlier, become better human being and then, better human resource.
Written by: Priyadeep Sinha (CEO & Co-Founder of ADD-on-GYAN; Creator of Gyan Lab; Entrepreneur in Making; Mech engineer by education only; Makes and builds school experiments for a living)