Remembering Lessons From Whiplash: The Conundrum Of Pakistani Schools

A child is not going to school to learn something new or to do something creative but rather to be indoctrinated will always put him/her into a psychological conundrum. 

Remembering Lessons From Whiplash: The Conundrum Of Pakistani Schools

The virtue of progress and the feeling of being great are the qualities of man, as they reside in its nature, but a quest to fulfill both pushes the limitation of a man's anger, fear, and trepidation. In modern times, everyone wants to be great in whatever they are doing, and intriguingly, the institutional mechanism helps them to be in this duel. There are two sides to this duel: The certain feeling is like a purposive instrument used to find out the real potential of man, and the other is making a man insane in this combat. Nonetheless, its procedural gain but a quest to become great is inevitable, especially in the modern mechanics of institutions. The case study of Whiplash is a precise example of the duality of greatness. 

'Whiplash' is a 2014 psychological drama film directed by Damien Chazelle. It is an independent movie completed in 19 days and won three Oscars with an everlasting impression on the audience, which left them dazzling. The film revolves around the story of a student musician passionate about being a great drummer and a Shaffer whose methods are unconventional. The audience experiences an intensity – which makes the movie a thriller – the experience of jazz music, illuminating the mind of viewers and the duality of nature of greatness, pulling the audience's nerves. 

The movie starts with a student of music struggling to learn music and wanting to be caught by the eyes of Shaffer Fletcher. One day, Fletcher saw him playing drums after the classes, and he left him without saying a word. Soon, he was selected for the upcoming competition for which Fletcher was famous. In his practice sessions, Fletcher abused students in a dimension of brutality and started warfare in the minds of students, which caused an extreme position in the minds of his students. He did the same with Andrew. Andrew crossed the boundaries of ordinary fear and pain in this race of greatness. Still, a demand for 'more' from Fletcher devastated his socio-psychological condition as he left his girlfriend and ended up living an ordinary life. 

In the case of Pakistan, we are facing this conundrum; a child is born in an environment where acculturation has a moral value to become great, and a tendency in nurturing makes the child fit in this broad spectrum of becoming great. A child is not going to school to learn something new or to do something creative but rather to be indoctrinated with such beliefs, which will always put him/her into a psychological conundrum. 

Having a theoretical account of Foucault will help us understand the sketch of the current condition of schools. In Discipline and Punish, Foucault resembled the existence of schools with prisons. In his words, "Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, and hospitals, which all resemble prisons?" 

Yes, so. A structural compulsion has gaged individual – students – which includes its freedom, truth, and existence. The same structural compulsion has the elements of moral orthopedic, purposive gaze, and techno-political account. These elements raise some serious questions about the existence of schools.

Are not our schools a collection of this moral microscope, goal-oriented gaze, and compulsive culture? Are not our schools a core of indoctrination machines? Are not our schools compelling students to be submissive? Are not our schools the origin of corporal punishment?

The answers to these questions take work to respond to. The situation of our schools is deteriorating; the socio-political and socio-psychological condition of our schools and children is devastating. The students are judged from the strata of their economy, speaking bias of different languages, and body anatomy. The purpose behind sending them to schools is goal-oriented perception to achieve something good and become great. 

Schools are meant to be experimental roads for students, yet they are brainwashed to do what they have been told. While it is considered that schools are the place where a student learns the fundamental pillar of democracy and appreciate freedom of speech, they end up becoming the victim of corporal punishment. 

The following answers justify Foucault's notion of schools as prisons. The answers also represent the case of Andrew in Whiplash, who becomes the victim of the moral microscope, compulsive culture and submissive notion. 

There is a need to reimagine schools. Pakistan has a culture of powerful dissent and delicacy, which delineate the treatment of students–children – as the petals of a rose. Still, the worsening condition of school environments is problematic. The high expectations of parents, compulsive culture, and goal-oriented environment can merely reduce children's talents to nothingness. Freeing students from the structural compulsion is a way to rebuild the creative culture of Pakistan.