In the education industry, there has been too much glorification of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Lately, Arts is also joining the picture and the focus is called STEAM. However, literature is still underrated.
I see many parents who force their child to concentrate on Maths, Physics and Chemistry (MPC) from their middle school because these subjects are important to get into the engineering stream. From an early age, kids are taught that Maths and Science are important, whereas languages and arts are not so. Parents are absolutely fine if their child scores less on literature, but throw a fit if they perform averagely on MPC.
Whether the child is interested in engineering or not, I think it is important to focus on Literature, especially from an early age. It is the language subjects that teach good morals through poems, stories and essays. Whether the contents are philosophical, spiritual or religious, the teacher can impart good virtue to the students. Even if the content is fiction, as the child empathises with the characters, he/she learns empathy in real life.
It is literature that exercises the child’s imagination and makes him/her dream. Students interested in literature from an early age are inclined to read for pleasure, which has a host of benefits. Reading gives inspiration, insight, motivation, hope, ambition, optimism, contentment, peace, benevolence and many other positive traits.
While Maths and Science stroke a person’s intelligence and give them job opportunities, Literature can make a person well-rounded with great soft skills. An interest in Literature could also give the STEM/STEAM professional an edge to become a star in their profession.