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Saturday, September 27, 2014


I know it is an interesting piece I saw it already a week ago. I also read another one written in an Indian online magazine which was very critical about Indian system of mere rote education and in that article also there was lot of appreciation about the education system in Finland.

But all these apart, many great scholars , scientists, saints , philosophers, politicians, social workers , artists, writers, even film stars have said many wonderful things about education. I am not passing judgments on any of them but making some very generalized observations out of those scholarly outpourings.

They start from one extreme of seeing and viewing it only as a passport for an entry into a job market [inevitable in the materialistic world wherein post, position, power, pelf are the ultimate image/individual evaluating factors] to education enhances understanding of  others human beings, other living beings, environment of this planet and knowledge about other planets etc to education that helps one to grasp mystical and supposedly great truths about the self, reality, spiritual dimensions of life and things etc beyond even logical reasoning and normal knowledge and understanding. Other views which see education getting into territories with emphasis on imparting skills necessary to enhance understanding of many things to explore scientifically many possibilities to improve living conditions and improve life and to develop technologies that can help us understand as well as approach knowledge in much deeper dimensions and make life more comfortable and connected or at least to understand how everything and everyone is interdependent, interconnected, inter-related and therefor must learn to interact effectively with everyone and everything in a contextually relevant manner which will design our reciprocation and define our relationship with everyone and everything else.
First we must clearly understand therefore, that there are many things or methods  which the knowledge industries across the world [ we cannot call then educational institutions] try to incorporate in the curriculum as well as the testing methods that are adopted to test and verify ones capabilities in those areas.

  to  difference between certain things which are normally confused with education mainly academic qualification. Academics is what you are offered, exposed and expected to acquire while education is what acquire through experience, learning, observations, creativity, original thinking and reasoning, what you learn out of passion and imagination etc.
A Leo Da Vinci, a Kalidasa, a Shakespeare never had any academic qualification nor did Dr. Samuel Johnson but no one has surpassed anyone of these giants.
One thing that we must appreciate in all these various views, definitions, methods of education, is that are all attempts to help us to learn, experience and explore life in different ways in different situations and contexts. They were done with a good intention to make life better for every individual each according to his own frequency and the social context.
The processes and methods of learning may differ from place to place , from one goal to another, from one objective to another, from one context to another, but all learning other than extreme form of original creativity or chance discoveries require fundamentally some methodical preparations and being conversant with the existing data of knowledge in relevant subject instead of redoing what has already been discovered, experimented, applied and explained over the centuries for our convenience like for example a readymade mathematical formula to find out the area of a circle , instead of taking the trouble and spending several months or years on trying to discover originally deriving a formula with all our efforts.

At the same time, spending too much of time only on collecting existing data, memorizing it etc without applying it and also thinking new areas wherein such existing data of knowledge can be applied or thinking of coming out with a newer/modified/improved version of the some of the existing data etc will be suppressing thinking, creativity, imagination, inquisitiveness, original understanding and experience etc which are the aspects that are going to contribute predominantly to newer discoveries, inventions, enhance the process learning by leaps and bounds.
A good system of education must therefore balance acquiring enough existing knowledge, encourage original thinking or at least original interpretation and application, creativity, experimenting etc.
There must be a balanced blending of quality and quantity.
Acquiring knowledge and wisdom, enjoying learning, experiencing the subject of study in terms of its relevance to individual life, social living or spiritual understanding etc must be part of any educational system.
At too young an age too many conflicting opinions about the methods, goals, intentions etc of education will confuse young minds. So young minds must be motivated to enjoy learning and enhance understanding irrespective of the ultimate utility of what they learn to themselves or society or bothering about what type or quantum of outcome of ability or capacity that such a learning may confer on the individual etc
For example there are more than thousands of educational methodologies and thousands of educational psychological approaches etc.
Unfortunately no system of education in any place in the world can be tailor made to suit everyone. However, in most cases after adolescence every individual is aware of his/her potential[unmanifested/unexplored abilities]/interests/attributes/obligations/life's inevitability etc and also the awareness and realization of what they want to prioritize [potential/interests/obligations etc]. It is left to the individual.
But mostly each society adopts the system best suited for it like how each child naturally starts the process of its learning through inquisitiveness and imitation and adopts and selects what it likes, what it is more comfortable with, what is available around it etc based on its natural instincts and impulses. Sometimes some situations/contexts create a very competitive and conducive atmosphere for certain areas of knowledge acquisition over the rest and certain areas of knowledge predominate even globally at such times, broadly viewed, for example philosophical inquiry and study of astronomy and elements in the 17th century; art, drama and literature in the 18th century; scientific discoveries, invention of machines, manufacturing, commerce and trade in 19th century and electronic and sophisticated technology in 20th century etc

A child is born without any culture, any knowledge of any language but if we take a child born in India to two illiterate parents in Bihar and make it to be adopted by two great Japanese research scientist couple, it will not only pick up Japanese language soon, it will adopt well to Japanese culture, it will also show interest in science because natural learning process initially is through inquisitiveness and imitation. So any type of learning method or education must instigate inquisitiveness and create a conducive atmosphere where the child can imitate worthy things and not Bollyhood stars.
Having said briefly all these, some people are born with a natural intelligence which enable them to understand, learn anything anywhere. Similarly if parents encourage the children to express themselves freely, intelligently analyze things and help them understand things and people around them in life without imposing any social or religious or ideological bias such children can manage anything in life and handle any situation in life with equanimity, patience, tolerance etc.
All these are based on manipulating different aspects of the attributes of the child. But life moves ahead with another important factor called attitude towards education. Attributes are natural and the different process of education offers an opportunity to manipulate them. Attitudes are nurtured.
Certain activities that the children are motivated to adopt as a part of their natural being help them to become more intelligent, more expressive, and more broad minded in their early life itself and become wiser as they grow. The most important among them is the development of habit of encouraging the thirst to learn, habit of reading, instigating the hunger to know more about anything , playing with others, socializing etc. The worst among them are making them passively watch television, cinema etc for mere time passing or entertainment etc as these have been found by leading psychologists to blunt the process of thinking, reasoning and becoming responsible etc
So parents play a huge role in a child's education. They need not necessarily teach him or her complicated trigonometry or grammar. Parenting is the joy of watching, observing, participating and enjoying the process of growth and development of a child's strengths, passions, reasoning through several methods including provoking and instigating arguments to scan the depth and width of the child's intelligent approach. It plays it part in everything staring from potty training to facing the tantrums thrown around when its cravings are unfulfilled, to trying to understand and adjust ourselves its adolescent hormonal changes influencing its attitudes and actions etc.
Parenting is watching the child grow from its birth to as long as you live, even if your child is 60 years old because it is still your child, may be now he or she is a parent himself/herself. But we must participate with him/her, always relating with the a huge amount of love and affection and also allowing freedom at all times with calculated concern towards his/her safety and welfare, involving without interfering, motivating without bothering about the results, always interested in the child's happiness.

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