Do schools kill creativity?

From primary level, schools ought to accentuate to introduce the techniques of creative thinking. Permeation of the creative thinking must also be implied in all the disciplines and subjects as well. Henceforth, to foster creativity in schools, the learning culture must change.

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I must state from the outset that the title of my current subject is derived from an opinion entitled “Creative thinking and our school system” by Leo Lgwe appeared some days ago in the Daily Times newspaper of Nigeria. school creativity 

Do schools kill creativity?

The writer talks in the write-up over the speech of Sir Ken Robinson – gilt-edged personality for multifarious things especially a Ted Talk where he tossed an attention-getter question “do schools kill creativity?”

The talk that Sir Robinson had delivered has over 65 million viewers. In his talk, he was regretting, as the writer quotes Robinson, that schools of today are not performing well to foster innovation and creativity. However, the school system varies from country to country.

in developing countries, the lack of creativity being bred in students is the central challenge which bars them from progressing. In most of the countries, schools are running only to mint money and they have nothing to do with creativity. Rather than nurturing the creative ingenuity among children, schools emasculate and asphyxiate their competence and skill as well. Let’s extend this malpractice to my country – Pakistan.

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In the distant past, the country’s government schools were running smoothly and even in the absence of internet-based environment, they were producing the competent children but on the spur of the moment, everything got changed and children in the same government-led schools turned purblind. It happened only by dint of private schools which aim at minting money the most.

With this reference, I myself took a stab at determining the perceptions of people towards Sir Ken Robinson’s inquiry; “do schools kill creativity?” I put his query on my WhatsApp and it garnered over 200 views within a couple of hours.

The vast majority of the viewers stayed silent and around 30 people secured their curt rejoinders to this inexplicable question. 20 out of those 30, filed the objection that the curriculum being offered to children is outmoded and it cannot bring about the creativity among students. Few of the respondents, mocked the parents as the major stumbling block in the way of creativity among their children. Of remaining, ‘no!’ was their retort to the question.

On the flip side, choice for children of what and how to do is also in the hands of others from parents to friends and then their teachers. They do not have free will to choose what they really want to do. The restricted-will for them is also another faltering episode in the way of creativity. This passage extends the accountability to the parents only.

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The importance of creativity

Now, here comes the matter usefulness of creativity. It could also be asked; what is the use of creativity? The answer to this question could be observed from job advertisements coming through newspapers or airing on the television channels. The businesses, companies, organizations and so ahead are seemed to be looking for the fresh-minded people having creative cum fresh ideas which could bring forth the prosperity and panaceas for their problems.

Business firms, however, want to hire those who are problem solving machines and who would grow as well. Thus, innovation as well as creativity are of high level resources in this regard.

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Regrettably, rote learning defines here the system of primary education which emphasizes on students to rote and regurgitate only what they have been imparted before. This gags the pupils from adopting fresh and different ideas, and also from thinking out of the box.

To this end, here are the few things to be carried out in the education sector. Such a subject should be introduced in the schools that could teach the pupils how to generate and innovate. Creativity – prior to be central to basic education, must be welcomed to children through their free will of choice.

From primary level, schools ought to accentuate to introduce the techniques of creative thinking. Permeation of the creative thinking must also be implied in all the disciplines and subjects as well. Henceforth, to foster creativity in schools, the learning culture must change.

Sans the implementation of the things placed above, we cannot anticipate to see our children to be business managers or company executives in the future. Without execution of the aforesaid commendations, it is mindboggling to expect from our children creating new jobs or becoming the solving machines towards the problems facing the country – Pakistan.

The author is a member of the editorial board of a Russian research journal; “Bulleting of Science and Practice”. He can be contacted at The views expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.


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