For students these days schooling seems incomplete with coaching, guidebooks, solution sets and more. Where have good old classroom lectures gone? When time demands, change is evident but not all changes are for better. For example, instead of practicing at home, going around many coaching centers and memorizing guidebooks does little to enhance the student’s intelligence or studying habit for that matter. With Dhaka’s traffic and lack of transport, I can imagine the students’ exhaustion after a long day of school and tuitions.
We only used past question papers to solve and get some idea about the upcoming examination question papers and almost never memorized a solution guide. But the increasing dependency on guidebooks these days is astonishing and also heart-breaking. Without guidebooks of varying size and shapes, students seem to be in the dark when they prepare for examinations. A student has to be creative, he/she has to be given the freedom to think and improve his/her skills. When we say think beyond the box, we mean for students to start utilizing their thinking capacity properly; our brains are much more functional and capable than we know. We should give our students the gift of creativity and not blind memorization.
The government has time and again said that guidebooks will be banned but the huge demand and supply of its market means it can’t be stopped any time soon. Selling and manufacturing guidebooks is a booming business in the country and its publishers earn in millions. There are specific publishing houses who hire teachers and older students to help make these guidebooks. Those who teach through notes and guidebooks ought to know that they are only putting the future generation at higher risk of becoming duller. The job of a teacher is meant to be a selfless one where welfare of the students should be the first and foremost priority. How can a child flourish if he/she only coerced into memorizing guidebooks? There are no substitutes of learning and understanding from a textbook.
A problem which has been building up for years can’t be solved overnight but with patience and integral approach from all of us, our future generation can be helped. Even few years ago, we didn’t have access to the internet and were oblivious about YouTube or social media. Instead of using guidebooks, students can be taught to use the internet at times to know latest things and improve their general knowledge. Newspapers, age appropriate books and magazines can all help a student learn more good things. In order to boost morale of teachers, they can be trained to use less of guidebooks and more of textbooks. Parents and guardians also need to become more aware of this problem.

Promila Kanya