As the face of the world is shaping into an unfamiliar one, I wish the newly shaped face has something to tell us about the much needed changes in the arena of education, also. Whatever I am analysing here is specially imaginable from an Indian’s perspective, as there are changes in the system of education and changes in the mode of implementation between the east and the west.
The Vedic education which prevailed in India was far more effective in building a community which easily could find solutions for the problems of themselves, the entire society and also the whole nation. Learning was through experience, solution was for the real life problems. More stress on personality development, anger management, social compatibility, morality, social responsibility, nature conservation, almost all the areas covered by the modern educational experts were taught by the Gurus without much effort and sweat through simple narrations and practical sessions. The practical sessions tested the depth of understanding the pupil carried and how he could successfully apply it to solve a a complicated problem. Bhakthi (devotion) was the key to manage all the hurdles, mental stress. People cross questioned their own actions and the reactions of their actions. Patience was another powerful mantra for success. Managing the difficulties associated with life was considered to be an inevitable elementary skill every human must possess.
Gaining knowledge was never considered a means of attaining economic independence. The range of knowledge one had, defined his status, not money. They didn’t mind to wander for their daily bread if they couldn’t afford it, but they excelled in Vedic and moral studies. Those who couldn’t study, were familiarised with the essentials by the one who possessed immense wisdom. Gurus equalled God and serving him in all the possible manners was considered another way of worshipping and serving Him. Still they were successful, without chasing or racing anyone or anything, without pulling each other’s legs. The latter was out of their curriculum.
Well…we have come far beyond. Modern education has its own modes of functioning now. Sometimes I feel that it has gone beyond our hands. Still chalk and talk mode is popular in India as it is one of the best interactive mode. The teachers find it effective too, they can easily monitor their pupil. Distance education has never been popular in India. Even now, I vouch. Online education too has its own limitations. I was wonder stuck at the feedback given by the most gadget loving students on this particular mode of education. Apart from the connectivity issues, they didn’t find it effective. The bulk of the modern generation are fans of classroom, interactive mode of teaching.
I would request the designers of Indian education to design an educational system which would fit into our framework. One which incorporates activities than theories. Yes, it involves a marathon work, not at all easy. One may have doubts if our youth would fit into the global market, don’t forget, Indian intellectuals have always established themselves in foreign lands. Where else do the students carry so many books to their schools? Where else do they return home with weary faces and tired minds? Where else do the parents and students think only of competitive examinations?
Our education has narrowed down the vision of the community to merit only those who choose only professional courses. Those who could hoard money or make money are successful, as per their definition. Shall we broaden our vision? Learning, to a child or an adolescent is no more a fun. Shall we give them some space so that they can breathe? Let’s define it differently than leaving some among us to mutter the lines of Shakespearean Sonnet:27.