From the early years in school, we should emphasise on the importance of creative and innovative thinking. Problem with the current education system is it relies merely on rote learning. Instead, we should try trending learning methods such as phenomenon-based learning (successfully implemented in Finland) that encourages inquiry, self-learning, problem-solving skills and teamwork while driving passion and curiosity. As knowledge is cheaply and easily accessible today with the internet, its value comes when we utilise it successfully to real-world applications.
Also, to produce a mentally healthy generation who takes care of mother nature as well, we can initiate mindfulness programmes(adopted in UK schools) and garden-based learning (that really suits our country with its fertile soil and agriculture) where students develop their life skills and social skills with great environmental awareness and mental well-being rather than restricting them to traditional classrooms. This initiative has been successfully carried out by entrepreneur, Kimbal Musk in Big Green project and is also a growing trend.
As pointed out by great French philosopher Rousseau, to produce a thinking and empathetic human being, children should be allowed to grow close to nature and intuitive exploration-based experiential learning should be promoted. If we modernise our education system from this unproductive factory model-based stressful, exam-oriented rote learning, we can produce great minds capable of independent thought with a creative and innovative spirit who would become great innovators, scientists, researchers and engineers-above all happy, honest and compassionate individuals. Then, we can easily become a developed nation where the country’s natural beauty is also preserved.
~ Pubudu Pathirana