Arts and Science are two branches of study offered by schools. As soon as we step into the phase where we have to decide for our higher studies, these are the basic options to choose from that shape our academic future. I remember when I passed my 8th, I was content because I’d been able to achieve the target score required to be able to choose Science for my matriculation – regardless of my interest in science. And it wasn’t just me, all my class fellows worked hard so that they could be promoted to the ‘Science’ section of class 9th. The ones who made it to the merit joined the Science group while others were left with the only option of taking Arts.
The point is that the students would never choose their subjects out of their interest but rather it used to be a race for being tagged as an intelligent student. The ones studying science were always considered as bright students while others were not. Such is the mindset that has been prevailing in our society in general and students in particular. And it is not the students’ fault because they develop their thinking according to what they observe and what they are told. Though few exceptions are there where certain private institutes groom the children to pursue their interests, the majority of our institutions fail to do so. Reasons could be many; maybe the teachers fail to instill in students an understanding of importance of various subjects or maybe it’s the confusing merit-based system that exists. But there is another factor of great significance in this regard i.e. associating the ‘thriving career’ aspect with the fields of science. It seems like we are still living in the era when children were brought up to become doctors and engineers; considering those to be the only respectable professions for the high-achievers.
It is a widely accepted belief that science education makes one intelligent, enables him or her to acquire a degree which is not only valuable but also leads to a highly-paid occupation and helps climb the ladder of professional success swiftly. In short, it is all about a future-oriented approach concerning career and financial status. No wonder, nowadays people give considerable importance to the degree one holds even while choosing a life partner. Now that sucks big time! As if a degree guarantees a happy marital life!!
Anyway, the problem is that in pursuit of certain superficial goals, we tend to undermine our personal choices. And it starts happening from the very beginning when we take the first step towards choosing an academic path. Initially, it is the social pressure that plays its role and later, it develops into a tunnel vision effect. In this whole perplexity individuals totally ignore the fact that not all minds are meant to work well in the fields of science. People do wonders even in the area of arts and humanities which in itself holds a huge treasure of knowledge.
We must rid ourselves of the notion that science is the only domain for intellectuals. Such an outlook is the main reason why students are so reluctant and unwilling to consider taking arts subjects in the first place. The teachers and parents’ role is of vital importance here. Students need to be encouraged to pursue their education in their own fields of interests. In a way it can also help lessen the cram-culture to some extent because cramming is mostly practiced when one is unable to grasp a concept and forcefully stuffs the mind with those alienated theories that are not understandable altogether.
As a society, we need to understand that to pursue a career in one’s interest area is something that eventually leads to success in professional life. Work doesn’t become a burden then; and life becomes more enjoyable. Even businesses today make sure that the professional goals of their employees are in line with the company’s goals. That simply means that firms want employees to take pleasure in their work while they fulfill their duties realizing that maintaining such a culture is essential to boost creativity; which ultimately leads to productivity and resultant profits. The same idea works in all professions.
Science and Arts/Humanities both have their own significances and should be given due importance to keep a balance in societies. Where the former focuses on developing technical skills, the latter enhances soft skills among individuals. Therefore, none can take place of the other and both will continue to contribute positively towards progression of economies. It’s high time we realized that and abandoned the science-dominated mentality which has been keeping our minds from thinking on a larger and more fulfilling perspective.
“At the end of the day, art and science are united by one logic and one impulse—both are attempts to understand what it is to be human and the world around us.” (Keith Tyson)