Schools and colleges are majorly responsible for developing the intrinsic fundamentals in an individual in today’s society. Ask any student what their aim in life is – the answer you get is to “mug up the textbook”. However, the question here is, do the textbooks really fulfill their responsibility?
Textbooks are really informative and help a person to learn a lot. They teach us concepts, formulas and how processes take place. They educate us about how the earliest civilization flourished and how the gravity works, how numbers scramble and so much more. But then why do we hate them?
The answer is simple; textbooks answer a lot of questions about a lot of things, but do not allow us to ask questions. They have a rigid structure; they put up questions at the end of each chapter and expect answers, but have no place for creativity. The students do not a have an option to disagree upon doubt. What is written is right – that’s what everyone thinks.
Many people compare textbooks to the Bible for students. Well, I would say it is so because many people blindly follow the bible and agree to every fact without questioning the gospels and other possibilities. Just like that, students learn everything mentioned in the textbooks sometimes without understanding and without even agreeing. Textbooks expect us to understand the world by sitting at one place, which is not only very boring, but is also completely hypothetical and senseless.
Textbooks should be considered just as a means of communicating information and knowledge, and nothing more than that. The big problem today is how students solely focus on learning the texts instead of understanding the ideas behind them. The answers written in exams are the exact words in the book to get the exact number of number of marks; textbooks have become just a means of getting marks.
The schools, colleges and the government should look upon this matter. Instead of promoting an education system based on marks, a skills and knowledge based system should be promoted. Textbooks should be used as a reference, and not as the prime and only source of knowledge. There is much more knowledge outside these textbooks in other books written by the greatest people of the world. We should open our minds to opinions of people other than those who have written our textbooks. From Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler, all have a story to tell which written in their books. They all are different with a different ideology, and it’s important to be able to look from different points of views via different books instead of just one.
There are better ways of educating yourself than just reading textbooks. After reading a certain topic in textbooks, one should surf online about it to know more than what is mentioned and should try to find out opinions of other people. This helps us to properly understand the topic and make an opinion of our own instead of agreeing to the opinion of the author. There is so much more knowledge to gain on the internet than you can ever imagine. There are articles about almost everything, answers to almost every question. This is the place where you can learn because of your interest and passion instead of the marks. There are video tutorials available online; a lot of them are even available for free on YouTube and other sites.
Textbooks are important and play a vital role in education but their importance is over-emphasized. Well, now it’s time; with the freedom to access internet and other books, why should we restrict ourselves to the jail of textbooks? It’s high time to break free and move towards enhancing our brains and not our mark-sheets.