Individual Difference & Education

Syed Mustafa Ahmad

No two persons are same on the Earth. Every one is different from other. There are many aspects in which an individual differs from other. This is known by everyone. It is known by an educated as well an uneducated. It is known in social, economic, political, ethical, etc., life but when it comes to education, this rule doesn’t fit there. Let us try to understand it with a simple example. If in a classroom, students are suffering from many diseases. A doctor is asked to treat them. Is it possible that a doctor should prescribe the same kind of medicine to everyone? If it happens, it will result in destruction. Many students will die without any fault of theirs. In the same case, a teacher can’t teach the same lesson to the students who are present in the classroom. All the students are different from each other in many respects. They have differences in social, economic, political, psychological, physical, mental, ethical respect, etc. But a teacher still applies the logic of the bygone people in teaching his or her students. In this situation, what will be its effect on a child in particular and the society in general. Will this educational system reach anywhere? What will be the production of this educational system? Will the students be happy with their destinations? Will they ever allow any other student join this educational system? These are the basic questions that come in my mind everyday. That is why I have decided to write this article. In this article, I will throw some light over the disastrous effects of neglecting the individual differences among the children or the students. The first effect of neglecting the individual differences is that a child gets wasted. He or she may earn some degrees but he or she is never satisfied through out his or her life. Studying becomes a burden for him or her when he or she is not allowed to do, whatever he or she wants to do. He or she is dictated by others what to do and what not. They never think that what the child wants. Is he or she in a position to deliver in this field or is there something more available that he or she wants to opt? Moreover, a child is compared with another child. This is the biggest mistake of our time. As discussed above, how can you take all the human beings same? Interests, abilities, capacities, propensities, etc. differ among the children. So, how is it permissible to thrust upon the child those things that he or she doesn’t want? The second effect of this is that education produces donkeys. In place of donkey, a monkey is working and vice versa. Just imagine this situation. In place of a doctor, a teacher cures people and vice versa. When individual differences were not taken into account, the pressurized students became something in place of something. The result is that there is nothing tangible. Situation goes from bad to worse. The common people never get satisfied and eventually this society never progresses in the real sense.
The need of the hour is to know individual differences and make syllabi accordingly. We can’t go on losing our brilliant minds in the pseudo learning process.
The third effect of this is that education never is compatible with the society. Neglecting individual differences produce those persons who work unwillingly. They are forced to work. They never think of caring for others because when they think that they were not cared when they should have been cared. In this case, the society embarks on the path of chaos and confusion. This incompatible education is very dangerous. Education means to find one’s place in society. And when a student finds himself or herself alien in his or her own society then it becomes clear that it is no education at all. The fourth effect of this is that students leave their studies. When they find that there is no one to understand them, they think it is better to do something else than to waste their time in useless pursuits. Why should a student go to school, college or university when he or she is not taken into account? His or her mind is stuffed with something that is incomprehensible. Those things are taught that even are not found in vacuum. Aliens are discussed without knowing them. In this case, it is better to find some alternatives; rather than die in this disgusting atmosphere. So, a society has to face destruction on a large scale. The fifth effect of this is that it sets platform for anti-social activities. Seeing his or her dreams getting shattered on the floor, a child finds escape in drugs. He or she becomes addicted to different contraband substances that harm him or her. Human resources are lost. Property is lost. Diseases creep in this society. In short, no good is expected from this society. The sixth effect of this is that this society loses the race of development. When the students are fed up with the teaching system, there is no chance for development in this particular society. Other nations take lead while this society falls into the pit of abyss where from there is no escape. Other nations begin to rule over this society while this society is crumbling day by day. In the above lines, I have tried to make it clear what the individual differences are. Progress is possible if individual differences are taken into account. Without this attribute, nothing tangible can be expected. So, the need of the hour is to know individual differences and make syllabi accordingly. We can’t go on losing our brilliant minds in the pseudo learning process.
(The author writes regularly for “Kashmir Horizon”. Views are his own, [email protected])

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