As usual Professor R. Vaidyanathanji [link of this short interaction given at the bottom link no 3]. This interaction though brief and bereft of his pleasant humorous interludes once again throws open debate on some thought provoking ideas that are much needed especially on education.
I have been writing to many global educational research institutes about the necessity to look at what for we get educated?
That is to look into the purpose /meaning/role of education rather than getting into philosophical/verbal debates about defining ‘What is education?’
What are/what must be the components of education which need to be prioritized according to situation/context?
What are we going to do with the education that we impart or get?
What are the aspects of life/society/nature etc that education must focus on?
How are we going to include creative thinking, experimentation, observation, clarity of thinking, curiosity to learn etc in the education system ensuring once again all these are according to contextual relevance?
How can we inculcate the importance of value and process of marrying data with technology as a tool to decipher many areas of human life and understanding the dynamics of life as a whole?
How are we going to ensure better preparedness of human beings to face the ever changing challenges in many spheres of human activity?
How we are going to educate even young children to be street smart and politically wise both in terms of understanding politics and playing politics as these are becoming not only very important but sometimes indispensable survival skills?
The importance of literacy and certain level of formal education is a fundamental basis or a given or a premise. But then we need to decide as to what are the subjects that need to be included in this process? And what are the things that need to be chaffed away, churned out/in, continued, carried out as the most important etc?
Practically I feel it must include awareness; method of observation; using relevant frames of reference to evaluate anything or anyone; making everyone understand the importance of reason and logic in terms of contextual relevance; imparting knowledge about how everyone and everything are inter connected, inter related , inter dependent and interactive etc; importance of how therefore we must relate with everything and everyone; all these will include acquiring enough knowledge about our body/health, mind, social awareness as it is existing not as envisaged and idolized by some ideology or ism; appropriate utilization of natural resources; importance of relevant attitude to ensure collective survival in comfort and life in peace and harmony; awareness about what we must consume as food, how much, and what are the edible commodities grown/cultivated/available near one’s place of living etc.
Inclusion of all these and many more aspects as part of education needs to and leads to drastic changes in the methods of teaching/learning etc and how are we going to generate all those ?
Are these too many to start off? Not at all because data and easily accessible technology offers vast area of synergy with which we can actually address these, if not all, at least many of them.
Neither certain basic material aspect of life nor political influence /impact can be ignored in any sphere of activity. So they need to be factored in as part and purpose of education without pronouncing any hypocritical idealistic preaching against them. Children observe and they see through the hypocrisy of elders.