Education- An Awakening
What the government does and how it affects the youth of tomorrow
Author: Vandita Sharma
Education is a window to the world and a powerful weapon to eradicate the evils of the society, bringing in the winds of change to move towards progress
Our moral responsibility is not to stop future, but to shape it…to channel our destiny in humane directions and to ease the trauma of transition. -Alvin Toffler
directions and to ease the trauma of transition.-Alvin Toffler Education is a window to the world and a powerful weapon to eradicate the evils of the society, bringing in the winds of change to move towards progress. The Government to alleviate, the disparities and differences, formulated the National Education Policy and provided a framework for the same.Education is the planned process of inducing those attitudes and transmitting those skills that are essential for local, regional and national development. Thus the NCF 2005was framed considering the articulated ideas in the past –
- To shift learning from rote method
- To ensure overall development of children
- To integrate examination into classroom learning and make it more flexible
- To identify the caring concerns within the democratic policy of India
- Nurturing an over-riding identity formed by caring concerns within the democratic polity of the country
The educational institutions of India have to follow this framework provided by the Government because through the National Policy on Education,ittries to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry. Therefore, the policies formulated on the national level have to be undertaken by the states and incorporated in their curriculum. Along with CBSE, ICSE and ISC we also have State Boards which have their own curriculum to meet the needs of the state hence the inconsistencies begin. After appearing for Class 12 exams the student realises that he is incompetent to take in different national level competitions like JEE, NEET, the result being, hopes dimming. It has been observed, Boards cater to different competitions and so no uniformity in their syllabi.
There is a lacuna in the designing of the curriculum. It is designed by those people who are not a part of the Educational Institutions and executed by a different set of people. Thus, the ambiguities arise. The educators who know about the finer nuances of catering to the students are not the policy makers. Thus the ball is bowled by a person and played by the students who have become mere puppets.
NCF 2005 has givenan overview of what is required for the holistic development of a child.The government,the Central as well as the States need to go in for a thorough research and strategic planning to put into action their thoughts which they have envisaged. They also need to incorporate the views of the educators as equality, quality and quantity are the exclusive triangle for Indian education.It also statesthat the foundation should be laid strong and firm. primary, upper primary and middle school should provide the space for children to explore and develop rational thinking that they would imbibe in them and have sufficient knowledge on concepts, language, knowledge, investigation and validation procedures.
Isn’t it ironical that even after knowing so many languages we converse in English – a language imposed on us during the British Rule? Keeping this in mind NCF 2005 propagated the three language formula to promote our regional languages and making Hindi in the true sense the National language, where instead of interactingin an alien language we would be promoting our language worldwide and could make it an International language thus promoting our culture and diversity. This is a step that needs to be applauded and adopted to be truly a part of Incredible India.We also need to acquire 100% literacy. Thus to promote literacy ‘SarvShikshaAbhiyaan, ‘BetiPadhao, BetiBachao’,Right to Education(RTE) and various other programmes were launched. We must keep in mind that for a strong building the foundation i.e. our youth needs to be taken care of. There is no use of education if it cannot help them to accept the challenges of life.
It is sad, shocking and unfortunate that even after 70 years of independence and so many policies, commissions and omissions, we are still experimenting with our future through the out dated British era Macaulay model, of course with some combinations and permutations – whether to award grades or marks. Furthermore, we tried to emulate and implement the rejected failed model of CCE in our country. Alvin Tofflerhad said, “If you don’t have a strategy, you’re part of someone else’s strategy.” How true these words proved when CCE was imposed on the educational institutions without giving a thought to its consequences. What CCE was about and how it was implemented are two different stories, where neither the educators nor the students knew ‘what was expected of them’. Instead of relieving the students of stress, it added on to it. The stress increased with the paper work making teachers, clerks rather than educators and students reeling under this stress, where no one knew what actually CCE was all about.
There is another flaw that needs to be deliberated upon. The marking system of different State boards creates disparities in admissionsto coveted colleges. This competition has led to mushrooming of Coaching Centres by the same teachers who are unable to provide quality education in their respective classes. Recently in AISSE 2017 Moderations(grace marks) were done in various subjects thus on one side benefitting the average students but on the other side frustrating the high achievers as the average were at par with them in marks. This was all because the policy planners are people who have no idea about teaching-learning experience. Isn’t it a big question mark on the standards of CBSE? Why does this not happen in other Boards? Has the inflation in marks actually helped the students? Will it actually help them in the long run? Are we helping them acquire knowledge or marks? Are they perfect that they can get 100% in all the subjects? The present generation might get admission in various renowned colleges but at the end of the day they are unemployed and a frustrated lot because 85% of what is taught in schools is not beneficial in life. (wherein Sin, Cos, Thetacoming in life) The Education system is producing ‘Educated uneducated youth’ who have various degrees to their credit but are not only lacking in knowledge but in soft skills and values too.Thus itbecomes imperative to answer these questions before designing the curriculum.
In the aftermath of getting up from a dogmatic slumber the Government is reverting to its old system. But the gruesome reality, it caused a haywire in the entire education system causing a setback which will take years to rebuild. The students have again become scapegoats as they are unable to adapt to this change in such a hurry. Today the all- pervading factor is, we are running the nation according to the whims and fancies of the so called policy makers and the consequences – we are paying through our nose for these uncalled for flawsin the Education system.
Education is at crossroads today where there is a vast gap between what we perceive and what we achieve. Each individual’s growth presents a different range of problems and requirements, at every stage from the womb to the tomb. The catalytic action of Education in this complex and dynamic growth process needs to be planned meticulously and executed with great sensitivity. The Government should realise Education is a tool which benefits the receiver and the giver alike. It is not a child’s toy to be played with and later thrown away.
Furthermore, there are so many Government schools in our country but everyone, including the Government servants, want their wards to study in expensive public schools. Have we ever stopped to think why such long queues at the gates of public schools? Why are the public schools monopolising the education system?
The answer – lack of proper infrastructure as well as unavailability of good teachers in these schools has led to this sorry state of affairs. Along with this many of the schools are in name only and are run by greasing the palms of the officials.
There is a difference in what we want and what we actually do. These discrepancies have created lacunae in the entire education system making it faulty and producing slaves rather than leaders. The need of the hour is to sit together and plan a strategy that will give direction to the students, entail dedication within the hierarchy and also shape the country through decision making. < / span >
Education is at crossroads today where there is a vast gap between what we perceive and what we achieve
For this we must lay stress on the 3Ds – Direction, Dedication and Decision making.
Direction:Our Policy makers need a sense of direction before they formulate and execute a policy. They need to discuss and decide what the aim of education is, how it is to be implemented and whether it is catering to the needs of our students. The policy makers and the educators have to direct their thoughts fruitfully to provide the best knowledge possible elsethe entire system will be waylaid leading to waste of both time and money.
Dedication: If we have a sense of direction then only can we dedicate ourselves towards a purpose. If the top of the hierarchy is streamlined the lower order will be too or they would make a conscious effort. Teaching is a noble profession but they who prepare CEOs, engineers, doctors are the least paid, thus a paucity of good educators. The Government needs to think on this issue so thatthere is a dedicated staff who join this profession by choice and not force. If this is taken into consideration all would have a common objective with a dedication to match their passion that would be transmitted to the students.
Decision Making: This is one attribute that is missing in our society. We need to decide now and decide well. Our decision today will affect our tomorrow. We need to decide what we want our future generations to inherit- a sense of direction which helps them to be dedicated towards their future, with an ability to withstand the challenges and be able to decide well or be frogs in the well who cannot think beyond that well.
The time has come to revert to our time tested Education System where it was not on paper but was applied in real life, a holistic approachthat challenged the mind, where knowledge pervaded the system and where the perspectives of NCF2005 were put into practiceproviding the 3Ds in life. We are at the threshold where reverting is a Herculean task butas Alvin Toffler said, ‘The responsibility for change…lies within us. We must begin with ourselves, teaching ourselves not to close our minds prematurely to the novel, the surprising, the seemingly radical.”We need to ruminate on this fact and take stringent measures to give a better future to our Gen next instead of worsening it by our own actions.
Ultimately it comes to the fact what Aristotle preached centuries earlier,“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
We need to create a modern, progressive, vibrant India,
Where knowledge is a priority,
Where values ingrained are not transitory,
Where Education is remembered till eternity,
Where Education is not a dream but a reality.
Where Direction is a part of Education,
Where Dedication and passion go hand in hand,
Where Decision-making is a balanced trend,
Where bookish knowledge is not a reckoning,
Where Education is all about an Awakening.
Education is an endeavour on which the entire society rests. To give our thoughts a shape, to recreate history, to become the golden bird once again, spreading its wings towards excellence and perfection, let us all join hands and embark on a journey where learning is an on-going process, where education is a supreme art to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Education is a supreme art to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge
About the author
Vandita Sharma is a passionate educator. Being an alumna of St. Mary’s Convent, a Catholic school has been a boon and an added advantage to be a teacher, guide, friend, philosopher and mentor. For the last one and a half decade she has worked in some of the topmost schools in the country beginning with DPS Varanasi to Birla BalikaVidyapeeth to Pilani, where she is presently working. Her innovative methods, experimentation and understanding the idiosyncrasies of her students have helped them in securing good results.