Opinion

Universities Make us Dumber!

 

Agadir, Morocco

A university student is the one who can rely on himself and be an information seeker. Yet, some students still stick to the teacher to get thoughts and new information. For some reasons, they used to do that in high school along with being too lazy to give it a try and search for knowledge. Anyhow, this is not the story I am going to talk about, but something that seriously happened during my university life.
 
As a first-year student at the university, I wasn’t able to attend all classes; I only attended some. It was due to my working condition. I was a private school teacher. I taught English to primary kids. So, I decided to get all the handouts from a library to start my humble journey, which was studying English. I was good, but not the best in this language.
 
As the days went by, I asked some students about the things they studied in class and what the teacher shared with them. They told me that most of the teachers taught subjects which were not their specialty. They only brought laptops; they read from PowerPoint, and it was up to you to grasp the subject. I wasn’t surprised for I had already attended some classes and noticed this very disgusting reality. When the days of the exams were near, I was already prepared for them, and I was eager to pass them well. I was 100% sure that they would be very easy. I passed some of them well and others not that well because of not being able to attend. It was OK for me. I wasn’t competing to get higher grades. I went only to level up myself and to be better than who I was years before.
 
One of the teachers had announced that his exam would be oral. I was thrilled at the time. I entered the class with a classmate whom I didn’t know. The teacher asked me first some questions about the topic. The latter was about public speaking. I answered his entire questions. Yet, he noticed that I wasn’t a student who attended regularly. I told him so. He said why weren’t you able to come to the class? I said that I was busy with work. I couldn’t rely on my family. I was 25 years old at the time. He again asked me other questions about my profession as a teacher of English. I answered his entire questions again. Then, he moved on to the classmate next to me. He asked him a few questions because he was a student who kept attending regularly. The guy answered only some of them. Later, when the grades showed up on our university site, I was shocked for I got only 12 in spoken English. Henceforth, I concluded that the reason behind getting that lower grade was due to not attending his classes. So, I didn’t even react to that and I moved on.
 
This is how universities make us dumber. Do I have to attend your classes to get higher degrees? Do I have to write on the day of the exam what you have taught me literally? I am not a robot. I am a student who can think critically and answer differently without being out of the topic. This is not the university then. This is a company which builds robots.
 
The next year was again a strange one. I was exposed to what they called “Advanced Grammar.” Grammar was my thing and still is. In time, I decided to attend grammar class. I was participating a lot until the teacher knew my name. I was recognized among others. However, when the day of the exam arrived, I did all my effort to ace the exam. I passed it well, and I was sure I would get a good grade although I did make a few mistakes. Not long after, when the grades showed up on the site, I was shocked again for I only got 4 on the exam. I went to the coordinator of the English department, and I told him to call the teacher. I wanted him to show me my exam paper. The teacher came and gave me some of his excuses. I told him if I got 4, I would quit this building for good. He tried to calm me down and he did. So, I decided to pass the makeup exam. Finally, I got 18 in grammar. I wasn’t surprised because I already know my level, and I worked hard.
 
Shortly after, “He who is better in this class will only get 14 in my subject,” a teacher of composition said. Was he competing with us? Was he trying to show his muscles since he was a teacher? Who are you to forbid your students to get more than that? This is a rubbish mentality. This is not how a teacher should treat his students. Anyway, when I heard that statement, I decided not to attend his classes, and I was confident enough to reach his top grade of 14. Soon after when I pass his composition exam, I saw my grade on the website. and yes, I got 14 in both semesters. If he extended the grades to 16 or 18, I would get them for sure.
 
I am not an easy person. If I insert something in my mind, I will get it no matter how long it takes. The next three years of the university went so fast, and I got my degree. I wasn’t happy enough to get that, but, anyway, the market job was insisting to get it.
 
Last but not least, for most of the times, knowledge can be reached everywhere for there is this space-age technology called internet now. Yet, what most teachers do not know is that a student can be better than a teacher because he can access any information he or she wants. Stop making us dumber. This is not the goal of a university. A university is for guiding students in their field of research, to help them get what they want, to avoid teachers showing their muscles over their students, to let them do the work, to try to communicate with them and to exchange ideas not to mention to give a student, whether he or she attends or not, what he or she deserves. Students are not the same. There are some whose only job is to study, whereas others must work outside and attend university from time to time.
 
Without forgetting the bright side, not all teachers are the same. There are some who really deserve to be called teachers. Yet, I can only count them on my fingers. I came across some of the teachers who really left a good impact on me. They were organized enough to do their job. They did that because they taught subjects of their specialty and also they loved what they were doing. That was called proficiency. I really admired the inevitable work they did for us. I still grasp their lessons up to now.
Last of all, people in charge and those who call themselves “teachers,” try to change your attitude towards your students. You are communicating with human beings and not robots. Students can do the lessons, can do presentations, and do activities so stop spoon-feeding them. Do not forget that our educational system is in dire straits. At least, let’s cooperate together and make something new for the generation to come. Stop repeating the same behind the scenes because it will only lead us to the same movie which is a horrible university.

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