Alright, before I’m battered with hate comments and flame wars erupt just because of the title, I’d like to clear the air by stating, YES, the the title describes exactly how I feel while not to such extremes as some of you might think, just read on, it’ll make a lot more sense. Also, I apologize for the length of this rant, but pull the inner geek out of you and push through it.
I’ve had the this huge inkling to study somewhere else in the world for quite some time now, just because of the fact that some of the the teachers I got in the past were well, for lack of a better word – idiots and where ever I looked and as far as my eyes could perceive, the situation was the same everywhere, at least it was in my province.
Yeah, I know, I’m supposed to respect my teachers but it’s hard taking some one seriously as a teacher when they are, well – idiots. Half of the things they would teach us, would contradict what they have said not just 2 seconds ago, and all I would and could do was – A huge FACEPALM! because arguing with them was futile as they would not change their stance – human psychology as they say, ’nuff said.
But, any how, that frame of my life lapsed quickly and I managed to pass out with good grades, I know that this has become such a mundane, cliched and reverberated topic on being cynical about the education system, I’m just
sharing my experiences. I was then admitted to NUST, a place that would be a new start for me, a new beginning, where I would be in the company of some of the best students of Pakistan, where I will actually learn and not yearn for the ground to crack open and swallow me whole.
But, the pattern repeated itself, again, I saw the usual stuff come up that I had been seeing most of my life as a student. Bad teachers, cramming students, rote learners and the overall bad atmosphere for learning. The first semester that I passed out from had really nothing conceptual involved, I mean, in some subject we need to learn to perform, while we were only taught to learn not perform. I don’t have a problem with others doing what they want to do, but why am I forced to do the same thing and as a matter of fact – the wrong thing just to get good grades? The thing is, it all is just so tiring, juvenile, worthless, futile and honestly, I don’t see the point anymore, I’m bored. I mean, I still have a huge inkling for gaining knowledge (I’m a physicist at heart, I occasionally do enjoy some of my classes, but those are the classes taught by teachers who deserve to be called teachers) But I always look up lectures online just because of the simple fact that I don’t want to study here anymore and am extremely distrustful of the education here. Call me paranoid but still, I hold true to my words. I mean why should you study when your goal is not to learn but to score marks by any means necessary and all this while our flawed education system and ideas keep nourishing these negative aspects of learning. Why shouldn’t we focus on the why? why should we only divert our attention to how? And why is this all still happening, even in the universities the likes of NUST which have gained fame through these bogus “International Rankings”. And I call them bogus simply because of the fact that Pakistani universities are on them.
I’d really love to see some hands on project development collabs with teachers and an overall increase in focus presented on practical work. I mean whenever I read up about the LHC, The Super String theory or be it involving the Higgs Boson, graviton, meson or the tachyon (see what I meant when I said I’m a physicist) I get chills down my spine (uber geekiness), and I think to myself, Why don’t Pakistani scientists (or the dwindling amount we have left) come up with huge break-throughs in science and the only answer that comes up is the flawed education system we have. We all have an inkling for knowledge and learning, we were all programmed to do this, but it is the education system that prevents us from doing so. You want proof? well it’s all around you.
What all this huge rant brings me to is my main point – Why I don’t want to be a Pakistani Student. Well, need I say more? Just the mere environment of our university is reason enough. with a 1001 restrictions and nothing worthwhile to offer, I often peg this question to myself, “Why the hell didn’t you leave Pakistan?”, The only logical reasoning I can come up with is that – I was weak!
Yes, I was weak, I mean when you think about it, going abroad is a huge task to tackle – give out tests, give out language tests, apply to colleges, get a passport, get accepted in a college, fly out, find a dorm or room on rent, get a job, all while financial issues would plague me for all my bachelor’s degree. Did you know that most college students who apply for loans and financial assistance are on average in debts of 25000 euros after the completion of their degrees?. This was taken from a BBC news source and college students are really messed up about it, the question of student loans is the highest one in queue to be asked to President Barack Obama on youtube.
The amount of projects that these huge universities have and the students participating in them makes me envious. We really need hands on practical work here to be really able to solve the world’s problems, I mean for God’s sake man, we are supposed to be engineers, building the future is our top priority, not recreating what others have already done, we have automated robots for that.
I guess it really is my fault that I’m so miserable, or maybe not, my head hurts! (Probability! Argh!)
And for all of you loyal NUSTIANs, I don’t mean to offend you, but this is the truth, you can’t argue by stating that we should all be content with what we have, I say we should be content, but we shouldn’t be satisfied, for satisfaction would eventually halt progress.
Maybe I don’t deserve to go to a decent university, but then again, I’ve seen many far worse than me graduate from MIT and be transformed into geniuses or is it just my perception of them? For now, I’m feeling quite good at NUST because my second semester has kicked off and I’ve finally gotten teachers that are worthy to be titled ”teachers” (except one or two, but hey – can’t win ’em all, can you?)
All I am trying to say (through these odd, mind numbing and convoluted thoughts of mine) is that I don’t want to be a student here, and I can’t be one there, but now I’ m pretty content with being a student here, while I still want to go out and study in a world class university just for the sake of comparison and knowledge, is the grass really greener on the other side? what’s wrong with this picture? Am I insane?