Textual learning has had a top priority in our educational curriculum ever since the system of education was introduced in India. In India, every school lays greater emphasis on reading of the text books, making notes by referring to other text books, mugging up for exams from textbooks. It is like student’s life revolves around textbooks and terrorised students would see textbooks appearing even in their dreams to haunt them.
Syllabus is considered to be a holy book of reference for every teacher in school. Nothing can be taught out of what has been charted out in the syllabus. Teachers teach word by word, students are expected to listen and take down notes word by word and later write whatever they have taught word by word on the exam sheet. It’s like syllabus learning is the only essence of learning and teaching in schools. Natural learning or practical learning of a subject have no value whatsoever in our curriculums.
Our teaching methods, subjects, and matter which were introduced by the Britisher’s have undergone very minimal changes. For example, the rhymes that we teach children still has, jack and jil, humpty dumpty, rain rain go away little Johnny wants to play. Why would kids want to memorize or even listen to rhymes which has no coherence to things around them, or even the way that they have been brought up, their culture, etc.?
Even the publishers are very smart, before the beginning of a new scholastic year or a new term at school, book fairs are organised at large scale attracting crowds from all walks of life. Books and reading are the few things which can bring together the society, irrespective of their social background. Books of variable cost are purchased and taken home, of those only a few of them are actually opened up to be read and gained knowledge from that also happens usually before examinations not before that, while the other books are lost in the attics of the home, fed upon by moths and other book eating worms.
Syllabus is definitely a vital source of information bearing book for teachers, but as giver of information we should not restrict the child’s knowledge to only permissible things mentioned on paper, rather efforts should be taken to introduce them to newer aspects of that very same thing, so that have an overall view and idea about different things is rendered to children. Bookish knowledge could be made available at any time of the year, but what a child learns on its own experience is something no book can ever teach.