A good education system is fundamental to a nation and for a nation like India which is growing, it is of paramount importance to reflect on our present education system and incorporate sustainable changes in it, to make it compatible with the global dynamism.
The word education comes from the word ‘educere’ which means to bring about what is already in. As Swami Vivekananda said, “Education is the manifestation of perfection, already present in man”. The purpose of education is to detect talent proactively and the purpose of school education is to guide the child’s discovery of himself, identify and nurture his potential to the fullest. Teachers must perceive children as seeds to be nurtured and not as clay to be moulded. They must act as gardeners and not as potters. This attitude must change and if it does so would the education system. It is essential that education should be based on application and intelligence instead of trying to test memory of knowledge. Memory doesn’t have much relevance in today’s times given the volume of information which is available on the internet. It is the application of information that matters and be tested.
Our present education system lacks practicality and relevance. It’s time for the educationists to instill some life in the system by connecting classroom lectures with real-life experiences. For example, students must be taught the management of money and people because nobody in practical life can escape management of money and particularly in the current era which is full of new challenges.
The system lacks personality development lessons, moral and ethical teaching. Children must be taught to go beyond religion, region and language. Our current endeavor must be to create ‘One India’ transcending all parochial barriers. Only then our children would grow up to be sensible, sensitive and responsible global citizens.
The present education system does not prepare a child for life; rather, it prepares him for an exam. It is based on a premise that needs to be challenged — that is getting outstanding grades is the secret of a successful life. They must be taught not to chase Grade A and instead be taught that it’s one’s attitude that determines success. Thus, the present education system unfortunately leaves behind the millions of average children with an incredible potential, but who are paralysed by the fear of “failure”. Getting good grades is not a problem but allowing grades to dictate one’s life is. This defeats the whole purpose of education which is meant to build and not destroy.
We must evolve a system that is not one of indoctrination. Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left alone to educate themselves. A true education system must be organic to the process of nation building.
“When a child grows so does the nation.”
—Author is principal, dps Mathura Road, New Delhi