The activities of my nearly three-year-old daughter make me pause for a while to compare myself with her. Her innocence and stubborn nature evoke nostalgia in me. It makes it all the more wistful when my mum connects my past with the present of my daughter. Sometimes I am puzzled by her comparison. I don’t think I was that obstinate, but her innocence explains my childhood nature. My mom can even distinguish our nature. Some of the changes are natural as everything improves with the changing times. The huge gap is the outcome of technology.
During my childhood days, I had access only to the radio. I remember carrying a cell phone while I was pursuing my master’s degree. At that time, I was the first member of my family to carry one, and it was a simple Motorola set with a FM, which helped me communicate with my near and dear ones. A decade has passed, and now smart phones are in vogue. Even though she does not have her own cell phone, my daughter has choices. She plays with the phones of every member of the house. Her eyes well up when she does not get a chance to handle a phone of her liking. I am thinking of sending her to school, but her acts prove that she has already started school.
I know technology is helping my daughter become smart. I again compare my childhood days with those of my daughter and think of the education system of my country.
In many aspects, there is a generation gap between us, but in the case of education, rote learning is still in existence. Many kids today are sharp due to advances in technology. But our marks-oriented education system does not help explore their hidden talent.
To compete in the modern world, our kids need to be creative. Even if technology supports them in generating positive energy, we older members have to be cautious about its darker side. We need to motivate them to acquire life enhancing tools.
The concerned authority must take into consideration the global market and design the syllabus accordingly. Without productive education, a pile of certificates only creates frustration among the youths. As the future pillars of the nation, kids need inspiration to boost their creativity. Without this, there will not be a huge generation gap between me and my daughter. Generation gap cannot be judged solely in terms of age. There must be positive change at all levels to address the demand of time.
A version of this article appears in print on November 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.