Imtiaz Ahmed K.
thoughts from @yourboimti

thoughts from @yourboimti

why I left rajuk to homeschool myself

why I left rajuk to homeschool myself

Imtiaz Ahmed K.'s photo
Imtiaz Ahmed K.

Published on Aug 18, 2021

5 min read

I left Rajuk/NCTB after completing my 11th grade, which is a bit strange because people either leave before starting 11th grade or just stay and complete their entire 12th grade/Hsc exam. However this decision wasn't taken overnight and I had to consider a lot of factors to finally make the jump. I figured I should document my thought process before I forget about it, which is why I am writing this blog post.

The General Problem

Many students rant about how inefficient the education system is and the fact that it hasn't improved in over 100 years. The system was built in the industrial era and the way schools treat students are eerily similar to how factory workers are supposed to behave. Some changes (like increased ECA opportunities) feel like a band-aid on the broken system rather than a fix to it. But in most instances the students' hands are tied with no viable alternative.

This problem gets amplified when talking about NCTB because it genuinely feels like a curriculum that was made for the sake of making one instead of properly thinking what should be taught to a student. It is very inefficient, it has way too many subjects, its hard to self-study (specially if you're from english version) and I am honestly not sure whose fault it is but the content is presented in a 'not so interesting' way. The only positive sides going for NCTB are that pubilc university admission questions have similarities with the content of this curriculum and in general, NCTB schools are cheaper than english medium schools.

I noticed there actually was an alternative to this issue. Even though it's true school systems have not improved much (I believe it's because the idea of schools are fundamentally flawed but that's a topic for another day), the curriculums have. Specially A levels curriculum. And even though english medium schools were expensive (and allegedly useless for academics in most cases), it was possible to attend A levels privately and that was comparatively affordable. It was perfect because not only did I not have to attend school but also I could select the subjects I want to study and self-study at my pace using the internet. And if I scored worse than I expected, I could always retake exams in a few months instead of waiting for a longer time.

Personal Reasons

So far everything I've wrote are the generalized factors that affected my decision of switching curriculums after completing 11th grade. But there were also more personal reasons for making the jump at such a crucial point.

Right after completing my SSC exam, I started learning web development. I had some previous experience with programming so I quickly got good enough in web development to start earning decent money with it. Then I focused on working instead of studying for most of my 11th grade. I barely studied and the entire time I was hoping that the Hsc syllabus would get shortened (due to physical classes not happening in the pandemic) and then I would complete the shorter syllabus. And my hope did come true in the sense that the syllabus did get shortened. However, since I started studying, I realized how difficult it was to self study the NCTB curriculum. I also realized my teachers weren't being helpful. I used to assume I wouldn't understand anything in the class because I didn't pay attention properly. But even when I was paying attention and we were being taught new chapters, it still felt like classes were very useless. At this point, my only solution was to get enrolled into a bunch of coaching classes. But I always had a certain hatred towards them because what's the point of schools if I'm completely reliant on external coaching classes to learn the content (full disclosure: I did attend a couple of coaching classes in the past, but I always tried to keep the number to a minimum). At this point, I'm very frustrated with my school because it was spectacularly failing at the very thing it was supposed to do.

To add on that, Rajuk was getting so expensive that if I did a price comparison between attending A levels privately vs attending Rajuk, they'd be around the same price range. So, the price advantage wasn't working in Rajuk's favor anymore. I didn't plan to attend public universities either because of the amount of time and stress preparing for it's admission exams take (and that too without the certainty of getting the subject I want). It didn't make sense to me. The time I save by not giving that effort could be put into learning more relevant skills or earning money by working on something else. None of the benefits of NCTB worked in Rajuk's favor at this point and it was making more and more sense to make the jump.

With the experience I had with self studying (developer job requires you to constantly learn new things), I was pretty confident in my ability to self-discipline and self-learn the A levels curriculum, specially if I was taking the subjects I do want to study. The only potentially negative consequence of making the jump I could see was the uncertainty due to the covid situation. If the A levels exams didn't take place on time, I'd graduate later than my peers. But I didn't mind delaying my high school graduation if I could work while in high school without the stress of exams. While studying for Hsc, I'd have to worry about this until the exams happened (or didn't happen) which was likely going to be on December of 2022 due to the covid situation. Moreover I'd also have to carry the stress of doing assignments (which btw are a mess due to all the confusions regarding the rules). While homeschooling, I wouldn't have to worry about anything as long as I completed my syllabus (and probably solved past papers as well).

Conclusion

I think at the end of the day, it boils down to me having control over my life. I didn't like the idea of leaving the decision for what happens to such crucial moments in my life to the whimsical authorities. I made a decision knowing it wasn't going to be easy. But at least, the decision I made gave me more control over what I wanted to do and that's what matters to me the most.

 
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