Need To Retrace Roots

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Apr 2018 10:58:32


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The era of competition is so gripping that marks and competitive acumen are the only yardsticks of a good education. But that simply means that whoever mugs up better, does better in life. That is one reason we have plenty of technocrats but few scientists of world repute.


Our education is often disconnected from the realities of life around us and what we study in school hardly helps us out on the street, simply because we have a western imported education which stifles free thinking and independent intellectual explorations. We just have to digest what is handed down over to us.

Expressing concern over the growing involvement of school-going children in various crimes, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu recently proposed ‘overhauling’ the education system and suggested to retrace ‘our roots’.


Addressing the Silver Jubilee convocation of an Institute of Management in Hyderabad, the Vice-President said that the education system from the school-level to higher education should be completely overhauled to “ensure that the institutions churn out ideal citizens”.


“The present-day formal education should make the students acquire new life skills, enable them to innovate and think out-of-the-box to face a globalised and competitive world,” he said. He said that the study of Indian culture, civilisation and history is essential for the students to develop a proper understanding and perspective of our glorious past. He said that education was a life-long process and does not end with the acquisition of a degree or post-graduation certificate.


Naidu also underlined the need for participation of students in sports and other extra-curricular activities, including gardening and crafts, which he said would help in the development of students into “good socially-conscious citizens”. He said that like in the past, regular physical exercises, drills and lessons on moral science should become part of the syllabus in schools to ensure that children develop into complete human beings. Rote method of learning should not be the basis to test students’ skills and knowledge,” he said.


Vice-President Naidu also suggested that the academic atmosphere on campuses be not allowed to be vitiated or disrupted by activities which are detrimental to students’ interests.


He urged the students not to consider education as merely for employment but for enlightenment and empowerment. There is no gainsaying that the education system in our country, especially at the school-level, needs a complete rejig.


The stress is so much on results that education has remained only a test of excellence in mugging up information. The Macaulay pattern of education that was suitable to produce babus in the 19th century to serve the English interests, still, unfortunately, forms the basis of our education pattern.


This happens when most of the world, including England, have long ago moved out of the obsolete system and devised newer innovative ways of imparting education and formulating the syllabus that is more in sync with modern day professional and societal needs.


The need has been felt for long to change the curriculum and make it more holistic, inclusive and India-specific which gels with the Indian mindset and ecosystem and also equips our students better to adjust with the present-day requirements.


Our education is often disconnected from the realities of life around us and what we study in school hardly helps us out on the street, simply because we have a western imported education which stifles free thinking and independent intellectual explorations. We just have to digest what is handed down over to us.


The era of competition is so gripping that marks and competitive acumen are the only yardsticks of a good education. But that simply means that whoever mugs up better, does better in life. That is one reason we have plenty of technocrats but few scientists of world repute. We are one of the worst among countries when it comes to the number of research papers our universities produce.


Our universities and institutes rank embarrassingly low in all global listings. This is all because we have failed to develop a genuinely new, unique and innovative curriculum and teaching method in the country that is suitable in the Indian context and that can prepare our students better to face the world.


Life skills and vocational education have always taken a back seat in our schools and colleges. This reduces a human’s productivity and curtails his capabilities.
This is one reason we are so poor in games and sports. Moral and cultural education is never a priority in most schools. Most children are not aware of their country’s cultural values and the historical roots we need to derive our strength from. Children blindly imbibe the west, little realising the implications. This is one reason we are producing children who are rootless and maverick.


The ethos which defines India is corroding due to the faulty education model. The ‘enlightenment’ part of education is nowhere to be seen today. It is only a utilitarian tool that provides a livelihood opportunity on the strength of a degree certificate. Due to lack of upgrading and poor industry interface, even that education is incomplete and shoddy that renders most of our degree-holders unemployable.


Bookish knowledge is supreme while practical know-how is poor, which is exactly opposite of how today’s education should be. The developed and evolved societies have long shifted to an education format that gives ample hands-on experience to students so that by the time they are out of college, they are fully industry-ready, but India is just waking up to this pattern.


The infrastructure and paraphernalia are simply not there which could integrate students’ education with the industry needs. This is giving way to unemployment, poverty, and frustration.


Indians are unhappier than most of the world and suicide rate among the youth is one of the highest in the world. Somewhere it has to be the education system that is responsible for promoting such a morbid atmosphere in the society.


The purpose of education is to help the inner potential of every individual bloom and flourish. Our education, instead, has become so insipid, repetitive and unrelated to realities that it sucks the sap of life and leaves us dry and exhausted. We are happy getting away from the ‘burden’.
There is nothing called the intrinsic pleasure of learning. Our education doesn’t make us good humans, it only teaches us the trick to keep milling, pass exams and earn brownie points. We are satisfied at that as if the goal of education is reached since we know no better.


The Government has to think seriously of setting up an erudite expert committee of assorted intellectuals and pundits from diverse fields and get out of them the best they can provide to change the jaded and archaic education system.


We need nothing but the best for our children. They are bright and hold immense potential but they need the right direction, right moral grounding and the right set of skills to make a mark in the global arena.


By the way, we need a different outlook and approach towards education and come out of the mould of a bygone era where things were drastically different. It is time to aggressively embrace the tenets of a new world, where excellence is not measured by the degrees one holds but by the capabilities one shows.