“Education is not the learning of facts but the training of minds to think.” – said Albert Einstein.
But in India, children carry 2 things – a tote on their backs and rote on their minds. Yes, children are trained to learn things by rote and memorize lessons by repetition. This has had harmful effects on real education with far-reaching effects.
What is Rote Learning?
Rote Learning is the technique of learning subjects by repetition of the content several times. It is solely a memorization technique with no scope for understanding or analysis. Indian schools prescribe this technique to students to master subjects easily and score well in the exam.
Colloquially called as the “mug and vomit” system, Rote Learning focus only on scoring marks and not on the comprehension of the subject. Rote Learning closes a child’s mind, diminishing his/her capacity to think. It lessens the interest and enthusiasm of the child is attending school and fosters mere bookish knowledge.
Statistics to support rejection of Rote Learning
- An EZVidya survey reveals that 80% of the school principals feel that rote learning is eroding the quality of the education system.
- A survey of 200 Indian and foreign companies revealed that only 14% of the Indian graduates were eligible as workforce; the rest lacked problem-solving skills.
- 40% of the first year medical students in Tamilnadu failed in the first year.
- 75% of the engineering students of Chennai failed in at least 1 subject in the third semester.
- A Wipro -EI study on “Students learning in Metros” conducted across the 5 metro cities of India-Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai & Bangalore revealed that even top schools exhibit rote learning.
Why Rote Learning is harmful to a child’s education?
Rote Learning is detrimental to a child’s holistic education because of it
Does not focus on understanding
Since Rote Learning is all about memorization, it has nothing to do with understanding. As a child moves on to the high school level, Maths and Science have a lot of concepts to understand. Without comprehension of the subject, the child will find it difficult to move on to the next chapter or solve problems and sums.
Dissuades the child from thinking
A child who practises Roe Learning seldom thinks. Applying the mind to the subject, asking questions, looking for alternatives- all these are unknown to the child. All the child knows is to mug and repeat the answers.
In curriculums where Higher Order Thinking Skills – HOTS- are essential, these students who practise rote-learning suffer. This is because HOTS questions are totally different from those in the book and require individual thinking. The child then finds it difficult to answer such concept-based questions that require the fundamental understanding of the subject.
Dilutes the interest of the child in studies
“When anyone can score marks merely by rote, what is the need to study and attend classes?” This is what a child feels.
When the basic intelligence of the child goes unappreciated due to rote learning, the child loses the interest in studying or scoring well. Thus Rote learning hampers the progress of a child in studies.
Destroys the child’s enthusiasm
When a brainy child who understands the concepts well, scores the same as an average kid who is great at rote, the brainy child feels demoralized. His enthusiasm for excelling in studies vaporizes.
Prevents children with learning disabilities from progressing
Children with dyslexia or memory issues find it difficult to memorize lessons. For such children, the rote system of education is a nightmare.
Dell India stood up against rote-Learning calling it a “virus that should be eradicated from the education system”. It declared June 10 as Anti Rote Day and called for all educational institutions to stop recommending Rote Learning.
Dell advises the use of PC-based learning as the right alternative to rote. PC-based learning is interactive, informative and easily understood. Its initiative of using PC technology in transforming the education of children is called Aarambh and has been implemented on a pan-India scale.
Dell’s Anti-Rote Campaign on social media makes use of creative visuals and videos that enlighten us on the perils of Rote Learning and the positives of PC learning.
Let us give our children a head start in this competitive world by saying goodbye to rote and welcoming the option of concept-oriented education using PC technology. Enhance your child’s interest in academics through the use of Practiced Learning using computers that will help him/her to understand, analyze and assimilate concepts better.