Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Education and society


Nothing can be divorced from anything because in a way the whole of life and by extension all its activities are interconnected, inter-related and interdependent.

Universe is not earth centricEarth is not human centric; Humanity is not any specific or particular ideology centric (be it religious, political, economic, social, regional, linguistic and so on).

Education defies specific definitions and extends far beyond institutions.

1. Real SOPS of LIFE are about the

Links of



Evolving through


Synergy of all social engineering institutions

Opportunities arising out of, for and by these institutions

Priorities based on a wide range of perspectives to pervade in these institutions

Supporting a society where sense of balance, equality and harmony prevail.


Social engineering institutions here may include some or all of these academic, political, religious, cultural, economic, scientific, corporate etc.

“In the end nothing less than the whole of everything can be the truth of anything at all”- William James.

If realistically narrowed down the trade-off of time, money, energy, and more importantly the mind-space that is occupied by role and relevance of education by all stake holders -from students to parents to teachers to institutions- is focused on certain expected outcomes.


2. We need to be clear first about what outcomes? And why? 

3. There are two things that are inevitably interlinked:-

a) Clarity of understanding a subject or issue through grasping it by subjecting it to contextual relevance and interpreting through proper perspective-which is visualizing the wider ramifications and requirements. b) Being able to articulate such an understanding lucidly and precisely.


4. Having said that, mostly, the discourse and narrative on various types of learning are hugely confused from using multiple frames of reference based on expected results, resources and restrictive ideologies.


5. Therefore, very often the canvas of learning is painted with a brush dipped in many colours starting from basic literacy to curious interest based self-generated avid learning to acquiring academic qualifications for various purposes to over philosophizing the concept of education into some abstract idea.


6. This creates a great confusion among those who are entrusted with the responsibility of imparting learning to youth.


7. I always maintain that there must be more emphasis on quality created through effecting synergy (at all levels starting from 6 year olds) of at least the following aspects:- Content and methods of delivery; Experiment based activities; Exploration- driven approaches; Giving adequate scope for curiosity based activities, creative and original thinking and freedom to question; 


8. We need to steer clear of all assumptions and prescriptions based on either copied models or overzealous addiction to any traditional methods even though they may be good or great.

9. This does not mean that we need to ignore either of them, as both are very essential for continuity as well as global competitiveness.

10. However, knowing the ground reality of purpose of academic pursuits will enable us to suggest a package that will synchronize with constant churning of life in all spheres.

11. Let us be frank in accepting the fact that a vast majority of academic courses are pursued in nations like India by the majority for livelihood.

12. In present day context, despite vast range of opportunities, livelihood depends on various factors some of them may be listed as focus, perseverance, updating of development across various domains and countries, predicting probable changes (most of which are not gradual but sudden and disruptive now), a comprehensive survival tool kit that enables a person to work with knowledge and awareness  through the legal rights and duties,  social responsibilities, economic imperatives, humanitarian and environmental concerns ( which include primarily knowing what are the natural resources near one's surrounding), financial management, cross cultural adaptability, domain knowledge and specialization, personal and family health care and so on. 

13. In short one must be equipped to relate effectively and efficiently with everyone and everything.

14. Real intense motivated learning will anyway happen in the realms of following one's innate interests, hobbies and passions and enhancing some unique talents.

15. Institutions and those at the helm of affairs of running educational institutions must keep in mind to prioritize the livelihood based requirements of academic pursuits and draft and deliver contents accordingly.

 Most importantly we all need to be aware that everything and everyone in this world are interconnected, interrelated and interdependent and hence, any academic pursuit in order to have a competitive edge must incorporate, as Rupamanjari Ghosh pointed out in an article in TOI a few months back, 'interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach' to be of some relevance in the intensely competitive context of present existence and life. I would like to add academics must also take into consideration the various dimensions and the multiple dynamics of all the dimensions. 

16.  Education is not confined to classrooms nor completed through a certificate.

We tend to not only visualize, verbalize but also conceptualize and resort to a presumptive stereotyping a whole lot of terms which are in a wordle with one big aspect of life called ‘education’ like: - classroom, academic qualification, institutions, teachers, communication skills, knowledge, understanding, learning etc. Though every one of these terms may be part of learning and education, if we zoom any specific part as representing the whole, then we may be doing injustice to learning and enfeebling the enormity of education.


17. We must know and understand that learning is neither confined to classrooms nor is it limited to being of some service to others at home or office nor is it confined to mere academic excellence and so on, rather beyond and besides these learning must  

Evolve to experience, to experiment, to explore, to evaluate and to get enlightened,  

Develop discretionary skills to decide, to decipher the different dimensions and dynamics of life.  

Understand the underlying causes and unravel the characteristics of as many things as possible.  

Create confidence and clarity to connect with contextual relevance and communicate effectively.  

Accommodate all possible and relevant frames of references to analyze all things beyond mere academics.  

Think beyond and besides time tested templates and to tread beyond trends, taboos and traditions.  

Internalize intrinsically important values and interpret in tune with inherent attributes and contextual relevance.  

Open the horizon of opportunities with open mindedness and synergy to seamlessly  

Nurture the natural interrelatedness, interconnectivity and interdependence of everything and everyone.


18. With closure of educational institutions during the pandemic many have been discussing about how to make children learn as if classroom is the only place of learning.  

19. In my honest opinion learning happens mainly: - Out of curiosity generated observation and listening; Out of impulse to imitate what or whom we consider as interesting and appealing; Out of fear and/or love through the manifestation of these emotions, with varying degrees of intensities like obligations, rewards, punishments, likings and so on.  So, that way almost 90% plus real learning happens only outside the classroom and besides the syllabus.  

20. However, basic literacy to enable one to learn in a systematic manner or methods or processes may be imparted inside the classroom.  Classrooms can at best instill, motivate and direct to get informed, acquire knowledge, indicate the methods of understanding and allow individuals to explore the possibilities of interpretations without restricting the number of or range of frames of references. Some unique features of human species over the rest like conscious awareness and ability to internalize are very useful tools to learn better, more and use whatever one has learnt.  

21. Learning is a lifelong process. So, as Dani Johnson says, “Never stop being teachable”. If you think you know everything, you will never learn anything.  Then what may be termed as Learning?  The problem with human beings unlike other species is that we are consciously aware, and we can also collect, store and retrieve data and reuse them. This faculty along with our intellectual thinking and reasoning powers hamper us from having humility to accept the mere fact that there are many unknown as well as unknowable elements to life as a whole and even in our individual lives.

22. We either act or react according to what we want, what we can and what we are destined to.  At different times either one of these three predominates i.e. what we want, we can we are destined to do.

23. Knowledge, Information, Thoughts, Ideas and Teachings are ingredients, Understanding is making them into a tasty cooked food, Grasping and Interpretations are the utensils used for cooking, is the process of cooking a tasty, easily digestible, nutritious food.  

24. What for we get educated?

25. We need 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?

26. What are the aspects of life/society/nature that education must focus on? 

27. How are we going to include creative thinking, experimentation, observation, clarity of thinking, curiosity to learn in the education system ensuring once again all these are according to contextual relevance?

28. 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?

29. How are we going to ensure better preparedness of human beings to face the ever changing challenges in many spheres of human activity? 

30. 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? 

31. The importance of literacy and certain level of formal education is a fundamental basis or a given or a premise.

32. 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?

33. 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 ; 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.

34. 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  and how are we going to generate all those ?

35. 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.  

36. 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.


37. The WHYs of education?


 “People lose their way when they lose their why” says, Michael Hyatt.


We need to know first why we are pursuing some education.


Not mere academic qualification or mere literacy, though they too are equally relevant and important for many aspects of social life. Then why we need it? 


38. Whether whatever we do in the name of education are they increasing happiness, adding value to the one doing it and then to others? 


39. Whether it is tool for attaining something else or an end in itself?


40. What are all the skill sets we want out of education? Most importantly what is the trade off?  It need not necessarily be the constant obsession with tradeoff for our time and money spend to be compensated with more money without greater happiness, peace and better understanding.


41. Education is not merely confined to making or earning money, skills in communication and calculation.


42. Whether any external coaching can improve intelligent perception beyond knowledge acquisition?


43. Whether anything can improve our understanding or our thinking or more interestingly go beyond the realms of thoughts?


44. Whether any specific method can endow us with some ability to grasp the pulse of every subject or inject clarity of understanding?


45. Normally, the best education starts with curiosity, meanders through imitation- as a natural instinct for short cut- as a child learns to speak the language and words spoken by its parents then expands through exploration, experimentation, empirical verification, rational justification and so on.


46. I have read a lot on the subject of education to get confused enough and I have written enough to pass on the confusion. But when I encounter people, some of the so-called highly educated, groping in the dark clueless in many areas of life or manifesting obvious idiocy, then, I am forced to look into the meaning, purpose and utility of the whole gamut of education. Most of us when we talk of education, in general, not specific education for a intended outcome or purpose, are still swimming in a sea of vagueness and club a wide range of things under one single generic term ‘education’ including in it everything from basic literacy, ability to communicate, better verbal articulation of already available information or interpretation of existing data to making in depth study in the mechanism of the subject of study. There is nothing wrong in this but we need to merely and humbly accept the fact that we do not have enough clarity whenever we use the word education.


47. Like everything else in life education too involves a constant process of adjustment and learning.  “If we know exactly where we're going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we'll see along the way, we won't learn anything”. M.S.Peck.

48. A good comprehensive education qualifies and produces leaders and managers who can involve effectively in Social Engineering and human emancipation with humane values with a vision and mission in delivering the following Real Universal Wisdom.

49. Wisdom is the work shop where works of evolutionary trends and experiences of everyone in it emerge to express wisely the essence of everything to enlighten everyone;


50. A wisdom which prioritizes living in the present context and along with practicing certain time tested values which have relevance in present context but with global perspective to bequeath a livable planet, a lovable society with lovely infrastructures and improved living conditions;


A wisdom that evaluates everything and everyone with contextual relevance and based on the inherent attributes or merits of what or who is being evaluated without extrapolating any  presumptions, opinions, judgments, perceptions, expectations, ideologies, doctrines, identity based ideology and so on;

A wisdom which is willing to make minor adjustments, small compromises, spontaneous cooperation to create compatible and conducive atmosphere with humility devoid of any egocentric pride;


A wisdom with the realization and a perspective that must be aware that life is a constant process of learning of the multiple dimensions of many things and the various dynamics of those dimensions involving the constant interaction and interrelationship with everyone and everything.


A wisdom that is willing to accommodate multiple methods or means of life with some overall tolerant attitude embedded on humanitarian concerns towards all human life and environmental or natural concern towards all other species.


A wisdom that gets its clarity of understanding through a churning process that takes into consideration several aspects from the practical to the philosophical to the all fantasies of the mind. 

51. It would be a mistake if we conclude knowledge and understanding only in certain specific areas or domains of life is enough because life itself is too intricate, interconnected, inter- related and interdependent on various factors each having its own varied dimensions  and variety of dynamics both inner dynamics as well as interactive dynamics.  However, we cannot go on and on, debating and discussing the multiple meanings and complexities of education.

52. We need to start somewhere  for the benefit of maximum number of human beings as individuals as well as social entities and the whole natural environment we need to evolve some forms of education systems with lofty, practically useful, easily executable ideals and goals, all on the whole creating a synergy that will be of great value in any situation rather than getting educated excluding many things which one  may be required to come across in life later on and get stranded clueless and forced to depend on everyone else.  If possible as Thomas Huxley says, "Try to learn something about everything and everything about something."



No comments: