This series is a humble attempt to create a solid framework that has been worked upon by me towards a better and more effective education system. I am sure that there would be a lot in the asking even after (and if) all I have suggested have been taken into consideration. Yet, I deem it necessary that something is started. Not wanting to waste words and time, I shall delve into the topic right away.
Education is a means to perceive the Universe which we are a part of. The root of the word is ‘educe’ which means, ‘to bring out’. (The greatest distinction between other beings in creation is that they are all aware of knowledge predominantly from the inside – most of which is intuitive – but man is the only being who is capable of vast non-intuitive knowledge from external sources. This is to such a great extent that often man forgets intuitive internal knowledge! Before I take this digression any farther, let me be reminded to return to the topic.) Pursuit of knowledge, big and small, has been man’s preoccupation as far as mankind’s history can be traced back. Man also realised that the way to preserve and grow the knowledge gained is by imparting it to the younger generations. Viewing it from such a perspective, we realise that education is of paramount importance.
Knowledge is best transmitted when the seeker finds the necessity for it. This would be best when there is integrity between the individual, the society and the economy. This would automatically mean that each individual has a place in society based on their own inherent nature and abilities. Transmission of knowledge must cater to all these at once. A standardised ‘one size fits all’ education system is too crystallized and does little to support an organic entity such as an individual or a society. The formal education system must be evaluated and re-configured to cater to the actual needs of the individual as well as to the society.
Who Benefits Now?
Every individual that takes birth is born to be happy. This is the natural state of the individual. If an education system is created, there must be an assurance for happiness for the individual, despite the hardships on the way. However, what we largely see is that none of the parties concerned viz., students, teachers, parents as well as the society at large seems to be anywhere close to happy. Students view education as a painful chore; teachers are way more concerned with the syllabus and the results to think much of the students; the parents are misled into persuading their children to perform in exams than to get educated in the true sense and the society seems to be getting poor-quality “educated” people. And over the years, this only is getting worse!
The only beneficiaries are the private school managements that churn money without any sort of accountability.
These are signs of a grossly ailing institution. We have the largest school-age population on the planet now. Unless we revisit and re-work on what the objectives of education ought to be, we will be feeding and nourishing a failed institution. The quality of people will be compromised at all levels and the future society will be a huge loser.
I will be focusing on school education as that is where the first changes must be brought in.
What are the Changes Needed?
Presently, there is an urgent requirement for change in –
- Who is providing the education (Govt/Private schools)
- How students progress through the education system (Education Structure).
- What students learn in the formal education system (Curriculum)
- How teachers work within the system to nurture the students (Teacher Training & Remuneration).
- How students are evaluated (Examination System).
- How the education system is truly integrated with the society.
What Key Points must be Factored in?
- We have a large network of infrastructure which has been created over the decades to cater to the Macaulayan education system. This infrastructure must be used to its fullest.
- Presently we have a certain budgetary allocation for education. Is it possible to go ahead with the same allocation? What adjustments might be required?
- We have a dearth for quality teachers primarily because of the poor remuneration that the job attracts. The ‘how?’ of this is to be addressed.
- We have a growing need for high quality skills but fail to match the needs with supply of suitable candidates. This needs fillip for short, medium and long term. How will this be managed?
How do we go about the Revamp?
- Studying education systems around the globe that are successful and borrowing relevant ideas from there.
- Identifying the in-built strengths of our social systems and utilising these in our education system.
- Exploring the parallel traditional knowledge which have been hugely sidelined by West-imposed education and integrating these into our education.
- Create a system which will bring together students, teachers, parents and the society at large, thereby creating a vibrant learning and teaching environment.
- Create an open system where education opportunities do not end for any individual due to any reason.
- Utilise student strength and abilities for nation building.
In the next part, we shall explore the education systems around the globe…
More posts by this author:
- A Shortcut to Meaningful Education – Introduction
- Education Revamp in Bharata: 2. EVOLUTION OF BHARATĪYA EDUCATION
- A Shortcut to Meaningful Education: Discussion – 1
- Flipped Classrooms and a More Meaningful Education
- Hinduism through History