Education and its purpose is a quite debatable subject to comprehend. There are multitudinous dimensions to education. But is the modern education system justified? If yes, then why is Dance and Art make up the least prioritized areas of education? What we need to ask ourselves is if what we are learning serve any purpose in making this world a better place? Does mathematics help in rejuvenating a person? Dance just might.
Sir Ken Robinson says “If you are prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” Rightly said, but do make justice to that statement with the modern day education system. Children are blanched of being wrong. If the education system has to be changed, who is to take the initiative? Now that alternate career options are growing, should the children still be groomed to industrial extremity? Teachers are Gods imparting knowledge, but is the system doing enough to them?
All these are some questions that made me write this post.
1. Industry or otherwise:
Ask a child in SCHOOL as to what they want to become and you are likely to get an answer as Doctor, Engineer or a Scientist. Ask a boy playing in the PLAYGROUND and you are likely to get an answer saying Cricketer or a Footballer. So the kids these days are biased by what perspective they have been tuned to think from. Most of the bias comes from family values and the educational institution.
Schools must look at eliminating the bias and induce open minded discussions. The world does not need a 1000 doctors passing out of every college in every corner of the world every year. It indeed can use some quality musicians, artists or writers. Finally, after over 60 years after independence, India is thinking about alternative career options. If all the students are still educated only as per industry requirements, it is likely that the economy gets stalled. The system has to make sense on the entrepreneurial front.
2. Education and creativity goes hand in hand:
Education and creativity is often perceived as unrelated. There are school in Japan that have no paper policy, only Laptops and Tablets are being used by children. Yes, a very Green move, but digitization has a toll on the children. Spellings, handwritings and other basic learning auras are at risk. No point of being a graduate who cannot spell “Stupidity” without the help of a Laptop. Certain schools in India too are looking at introducing Tablets in schools. One advice, don’t kill the children’s creativity and impair them for life.
Education is indeed killing creativity. Some countries are still stressing a self-learning model, it is required to motivate the students to be learn. A direction without motivation is like a ship without sails.
3. If Globalization fails?
What if you wake up one day and find that the stock markets have crashed and there are less or no jobs in the corporate? The knowledge that has brought us up the ladder could prove to a weight that we carried to nowhere. Education system has to domestically tune the mindsets of the students and prepare them for adversities. The tune has to be set in such a way where the students are not left at bay when they lose a job or don’t get one.
In fact it is important that students be made aware of the adversities that may come and prepare them upfront. Most MBA colleges guarantee placements after the course completion, and so the students are tuned in a way that they are studying to just to land a job and not for the knowledge purpose. If the placements don’t happen, then the value of knowledge will be acknowledged.
4. Opaque structures:
The education system portray that they are transparent but they are as opaque as a stone wall. Education has become a business model. It has been observed that India spends up to 4% of its GDP on Education.
The visions statements of the educational institutions are tampered and made up to suit the business model. But in the making, the purpose of Education is lost. 26 universities across the country have been declared fake, and the MPhil and PhD degrees accredited by these universities have been designated worthless, by the Dr. Babasahib Ambedkar Marathawada University (BAMU), which includes, Jagdishprasad Jhabarmal Tibrewala University in Rajasthan, Chandra Mohan Jha University (CMJ) in Shillong and the Algappa University in Tamilnadu. The issue was brought under light when three BAMU professors were found to be in possession of degrees accredited by the fake CMJ University.
Most educational institutions are run by family owned trusts which follow no practicable systems of accounting. Accountability has to be demanded from such institutions.
5. Arts, Dance and Music:
Be it any country’s education system, Arts is the prioritized below Mathematics, Science and Commerce. Why a perspective is created that arts shall confine only for a few creative people? According to me all are born creative, it is us that kill creativity in the name of education. Not that education kills creativity, but it in some cases make creative people think that they are not.
Ask the so called well educated people to address a crowd and they will shiver from their bones. 95% of the employees think that they are not creative. Not because they are not in the creative field, but they think that there is no room creativity in what they do. Creativity dies in the first sight of assumption.
Arts and Dance forms have to be encouraged. Music is said to possess the power to heal diseases. It certainly deserves to be a part of the syllabus. Creativity has to be revived and embedded into the roots of education.
6. Gurukul is the best practice?
Gurukul system of education, a traditional practice of education in India is now being followed in many foreign countries. We have failed to realize the importance of our tradition. Gurukul is the most personalized and intuitive way of learning, where the focus is on the Knowledge inflow to the student and not money inflow to the Gurukul.
Hence after the west realized it, certain institutions in India are trying to revive the tradition or parampara of Gurukul. Gurukul may not again uphold creativity but it does provide the student with ways to cultivate creativity. Creativity is a byproduct of open-mindedness. Gurukuls make the student ready to face the outside world by readying them to the challenges that may be faced and giving insights on effective decision making. Gurukul system may not completely work in today’s world but certainly the concepts can be extracted from the traditional systems to be imparted in the current scenarios.
7. Practicality matters:
If a student interested in Commerce is spending time studying Physics, it is indeed like walking in the opposite direction. Interests have to be analyzed and counselling must be provided at earlier stages to ensure that the student is driven in the right direction from the earlier stages. More insight hast to be given on the importance of specialization.
There has to be practical ways to impart knowledge. Parents must learn the interests of their children and guide them and motivate them to pursue their interests. Some schools realize these ideologies, but are more or less devised as a business model. A hint of practicality has to be there in introducing a particular subject to a particular course.
8. Students – The ball is in your court:
Students who are reading the post would be happy to blame it on the system. But a certain blame is on students too if they don’t stand up to what they want. The voice of students is meant to be heard and there are various means like College Unions and Student forums which have to be utilized to effect change.
We have to devise a plan for ourselves wherein we get what we want. Maybe not everyone is in a position to afford to be in their areas of interests but we have to find ways to satisfy that urge. A hobby or a part time work in the area of interest would help boost the morale. There are a million ways to learn, one has to just be open to the idea of learning. Music or dance has to be a part of any person. Music and dance are equivalent to meditation, it is your own time.
9. Collate and quantify:
All that we do in this digital era can be collated and quantified. But what if we do something that cannot be quantified. The art of making people laugh cannot be quantified. The lives we touch cannot be quantified. Not being a Chartered Accountant, or an Engineer you can touch hearts. You need to be much more than your profession permits you to be. We are only as good as the world allows us to be, but we can erase and draw our own permits.
Education should provide ways for people to stay focused and show people and life skills rather than just academics. Exams just test memory power, situations test intelligence. Real life scenarios are to be created to ensure that the capacity to handle situations are taught. One should not just be in a mindset that the books are to be studied only from an exam perspective. Only when the sense of collation and quantification is eliminated true intellects come into play.
10. THE TEACHER SATISFACTION:
In India Guru is considered Gods in human form. Gods are satisfied only when the student absorbs all the knowledge that has been imparted. It is easy to satisfy the teachers, you just have to be prudent. That’s pretty much what is required from the student’s perspective.
But educational institutions do not treat teachers as Gods but as a resource. Institutions have to realize that they are able to brand themselves as a successful school or college only and by only the efforts of the teachers. All others are secondary services. Proper consideration has to be given to teachers. It is what they deserve.
Most of the donations that are taken or hike in the fee structures do not benefit teachers. All are either deposited to the trust and are to the disposal of the beneficiaries. Teachers are given least preference in terms of monetary benefits. Most schools and colleges do not have pension plans for teachers. For persons who are dedicating their lives to improving the economy, they deserve as much as any defense personnel. Laws have to be devised to check if teachers are given justice. A recent study suggests that 78% of the teachers are harassed by the institutions. It is the responsibility of the parents and the students to question the institutions on the wellness measures that are taken for Teachers.
All the views that I have tried to provide are to enable a positive direction of an education system. We are a part of the system if we agree or not. All we have to understand is whether our role is a student here, or the institution or a parent, the basic idea of education is knowledge to live life to the fullest potential and to attain happiness. If any of the criteria’s do not oblige, then the system has to be overhauled and the change comes from within.
I would take this opportunity to thank all my teachers and parents for helping me become what I am today.