Here’s how these Bollywood Movies challenged our Education System
‘Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think’– Albert Einstien
But how well does the current education system incline to these wise words of the great scientist?
In a country where thinking differently is considered insane, and creativity and new ideas are not the priority, the education system has miles to go.
Has our education system accommodated all dreams?
Every student is different. They have different dreams and aspirations for their lives. But all of that gets lost in the rat race that they are nudged to be part of. Some may want to just go by the flow and prefer the ‘safer’ options put in front of them, but some may be helpless in expressing their desires due to peer pressure and lack of proper encouragement.
Farhan (played by R Madhavan) from 3 Idiots was one such person. Academically brilliant, Farhan, like many others, was forced to take up engineering. Through Farhan, we see how showing the courage to talk about your dreams and going after them can bring you inner peace and happiness. The film ends with Farhan convincing his parents to pursue his passion for wildlife photography and eventually turning into a successful one.
The film 3 Idiots also opens our eyes to the pointless rat race we are unknowingly becoming a part of. Through the central character Rancho (played by Aamir Khan), the film beautifully conveys that it is not about marks and ranks but excellence and thorough understanding via interest that will impart true knowledge. It is this excellence and knowledge that will take one to great heights and not the numbers in one’s mark sheet.
Unlike the parents in 3 Idiots, Rohan’s father Bhairav from 2010 movie Udaan, is a cruel man who has no affection or love for his son. It was liberating to see Rohan run away from the evil shackles of his rude father to make his own life and live on his terms. Udaan (2011) was yet another movie on how the institutionalized education system creeps onto a teenager’s dream of becoming a writer. Rohan, a 17-year-old boy, is forced to live his life according to his dad’s choices who wants Rohan to become an engineer.
Should all students be taught the same way?
Not all kids have the same level of intelligence. It would be unfair to expect everyone to grasp things quickly like their classmates. The constant comparison of academic performance can deprive children of self-worth and leave them hopeless.
Ishaan from Taare Zameen Par was Dyslexic. Dyslexia is a disease where children find it hard to learn things. Rather than helping him overcome his condition, he was tagged as ‘stupid’ and a loser by everyone.
The same method of teaching may not apply to a person with dyslexia. Instead of helping him, all he received was rejection and mockery from his friends and teachers. The film leaves us thinking about the efficiency of the current commercialized academics where people with dyslexia and other learning difficulties are not given any consideration and support.
Ram Sankar Nikhumb played by Aamir Khan is a teacher who tries to help Ishaan coping up with his disability. He emphasizes how adapting to unique teaching methods will create a difference in dyslexic children. It is a relief to see Ishaan eventually reading and writing and gaining back his confidence.
How good has been the Right to Education?
However, the Bollywood film Hichki addressed a much more serious issue-the privilege of education to the upper class. The kids who got admission through the Right to Education (free and compulsory education for children in the age group 6 to 14) are just sided off as ‘charity work’ in the movie.
All the negligence and rejection only made them feel like they don’t deserve an education, and it won’t do them any good. Naina Mathur (Rani Mukherjee) helps the 14 students from the slums of Mumbai realize the importance of education and how it can earn them respect in society.
She uplifts them from the feeling of being left out in a school surrounded by rich and privileged students. The film ends with all these children achieving higher education and owning a respectable job and finding acceptance in society.
Right to Education Act 2009 is never a charity rather it is a fundamental right in the constitution of India. Elite schools and other educational institutions must think from a perspective beyond business and commercialization.
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