WITHOUT a doubt, intellectual growth is necessary for the cultural, social, moral and ethical development of any society. It is also what determines a society’s direction and future prospects. In the wake of a steep rise in brutal criminal activities in every nook and corner of the country, the need to focus on facilitating the intellectual growth of the people at large has assumed even greater importance.

The role of reading, especially of books, newspapers and literature, is pivotal to nurturing one’s mind, honing the intellect and enhancing critical thinking capabilities. Although artificial intelligence (AI) has made lives easier, it has made us emotionally and intellectually dependent on technology, resulting in an overall erosion of intellectual capabilities. A cursory view of social trends indicates where our priories lie: books are found selling on footpaths with no one to read them, while restaurants have waiting queues.

In this context, the role of schools is crucial in developing children’s intellectual capabilities at an early age. Schools are supposed to be a hub of knowledge, providing an optimum medium of extracurricular activities and social interaction. There is also a dire need for a curriculum that hones intellectual skills of students rather than forcing them to reproduce through rote-memorisation.

Meanwhile, for adults, promotion of spaces that encourage literary and cultural gatherings can have a significant impact on their way of thinking.

Furthermore, the role of parents and teachers in creating a favourable environment for intellectual development cannot be underrated. An enabling environment is the key for inculcating and teaching the right values and sharpening one’s intellectual skills.

Besides, an empowering environment also gives ample opportunities for exposure to and nurturing of newer ideas. Polishing the intellect takes time and patience, but it also increases one’s imagination and logical reasoning, thus helping one make better decisions in life.

Needless to say, the social, moral, economic and scientific growth of any society and the path towards peace and prosperity is grounded in its intellectual growth. There is no escaping that.

Dr Faisal Gorchani
Dera Ghazi Khan

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2022



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