5 reasons why “RATTA-FICATION” is destroying our learning ability.

October 4, 2018 11:38 am Published by 1 Comment

Over the past 50 years, we have witnessed many changes in our education sector of Pakistan. During this period, we have also observed the evolution of different educational boards. However, there is a problem in our education system that remains unchanged.

The issue that has become a part of our education is called “THE ROTE LEARNING” or “THE RATTA-FICATION” as it is known by students all across Pakistan.

The Rote learning is defined as a memorization technique that is based on the constant repetition of a certain topic.

This method, which students consider as their savior, is acting as a bane in our country’s education system. It has been chipping away our standards of learning.

Hence, resulting in the development of mediocre mentality and defective character of students, “PARHA LIKHA JAHIL” (educated fool/ignorant)is what the rote learners are known as, in the Urdu language.

Personally, I know that you, the fellow readers, understand what I am talking about and how rote learners misinterpret basic concepts of education.   

So, today in this article I am going to discuss 5 reasons how rote learning is destroying our learning ability and halting our progress in terms of education.


Rote learning vs Meaningful learning

Although rote learning and meaningful learning has a similar objective. However, their ideologies are drastically different. Unlike rote learning, which is based on constant memorization; the meaningful learning is based on the understanding of concepts.

These two different ideologies can result in a learning experience that is poles apart. In order to better understand, we will compare both learning methods with the help of few pointers.

Rote Learning

Meaningful learning

  • Involves nonconceptual learning with help of repetition
  • Involves conceptual learning, and understanding the basics of a certain topic.
  • Easy to lose focus while studying
  • Requires extreme concentration on the topic of interest
  • Does not fortify the use of social skill
  • Encourage the use of social skills by sharing problems that are encountered during studying
  • May result in a wrong understanding of the concept)
  • Thorough conceptual studies will result in a stronger educational base and proper impression of a topic.
  • Does not encourage the growth of new ideas to result in retardation of mental skill.
  • Stimulate the mental growth, encourages new thinking patterns and ideas and motivates people to research those ideas.


As proven by the above-stated facts, the difference between the meaningful and rote learning is clearly visible. 

Rote learning may promise you better grades in exams but meaningful learning guarantees students better professional life. Moreover, their university education becomes relatively easier and interesting as their concepts are clear and they can adapt to any form of knowledge just by studying the basics.

Meanwhile, the rote learner’s knowledge is short lived and because of this scarcity they are bound to face multiple problems; either related to their intermediate education(BIE and HEC) and within their professional lives.

Rote Learning Makes Studies Boring

The process of rote learning is termed as ‘DRILL AND KILL’ by Daniel Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia.

This term is now widely recognized within the educational circles and is synonymous with rote learning. As this term defines, ‘drilling’ the subjects or topics can ‘kill’ your motivation for learning.  

This can make studies boring and uninteresting for the students, resulting in devastating performance in annual exams.

Rote Learning is Outdated

Rote learning is not a new concept of learning.It has been part of student’s education across the world since ancient times but the  “Rote Learning” was recognized by the educational system in the 1800s.

At first, rote learning was considered a good learning method because of the overarching influence of Behaviorism in education. Moreover, the lack of qualified teachers and the absence of resources+good teaching technique played a vital role in spreading the trend of ‘Rattafication’.   

However, this is not the case anymore, as rote learning is considered a synonym of bad learning.

Why? The reason is simple, the times have changed technology and it has sparked a revolution within the teaching circles.

Due to the digital age, now the teachers are well trained and equipped with exceptional resources

They have the power to hammer the concepts of education within the mind of students with the help of simulations and wonderful animations. This can make studies interesting and help students achieve better grades.

Destruction of IQ

The word IQ stands for intelligence quotient, this concept is based on points given for mental intelligence. A person is considered intelligent when his IQ is n between 85 – 115. These scores are further improved by conceptual learning.

The Rote learning is considered as an IQ terminator because it is not based on conceptual learning. Instead, rote learning destroys the learning curve of a person as he/she is depending heavily upon the written facts and that person is not utilizing their brain at full capacity.

The effects of Rote learning can clearly be witnessed by the fact how rote learners constantly fail conceptual subjects such as physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Due to this, many students end their learning career at college and become drop out students.

Meanwhile, there are few conceptual learners who get easily accepted by the universities because they have a grasp on all these subject which are required for their professional lives.

In short, the rote learning is not considered as the best method of studying. Instead, this title explicitly belongs to the conceptual learning.

A Single But A Method To Stop Ratta-Fication

The roots of rote learning in Pakistan are extremely deep. Millions of students still practice this method and utilize it extensively within their examinations. Therefore, in order to completely annihilate this problem from its roots, I suggest you a solution, it’s simple yet it doesn’t require any injection of cash.

The only thing that you should opt for is determination, and the solution is “The Conceptual learning” or in short DIMAGH ISTEMAL KARNA”(Use Your Brain Capability).

This solution may appear unsatisfactory and unworthy, as sometimes it becomes difficult to grasp any concept.

But how you can conceptualize any topic?

All you guys have to follow these steps:

  1. Of course, open your book first
  2. Skim and scan the topic which you want to study
  3. Just calmly read a single sentence and translate it into Urdu(in your mind) or whichever language you guys understand.
  4. Watch a relevant online lecture to hear someone else explain it to you.
  5. Ask yourself ‘What if”questions about the topic and try to find different examples from your surrounding.
  6. Create something of your own; it could be a poem or a story that may help you go deeper than the rote learning.

I know that these steps could be cumbersome and mundane for you or time taking, but trust me this can be few of many real solutions.

By following this simple method, your education will improve.

NOTE: You will not become Stephen Hawking in a single night, but you will become intelligent enough to pass your exam and if you continue to follow such techniques throughout your life, say building your basic concepts and establishing little bricks of knowledge one by one, then the results are lifelong.

And Of Course, you will be able to lead a quality time during your university years and be successful in professional life.

In Conclusion,  I am going to quote a famous personality that will emphasize the importance of conceptual learning:

“ Education is not learning of facts but training  your mind to think”   -ALBERT EINSTEIN


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This post was written by My Inter Academy

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