Mail of the week: Education System Needs Overhaul

Posted on January 18, 2010 in Education

This mail was sent to us by Abhirup Bhunia on the 18th of January 2010.

“Ask me my three main priorities for Government, and I tell you: education, education and education”, that’s what Tony Blair had once said while delivering a speech at the Labour Party Conference (1996).

Education, and the manner in which it is perceived, is in dire need for change since it is the backbone of a society, and to achieve any form of progress there is nothing that we require more than literacy and edification. The state of affairs in education calls for urgent metamorphosis. The very manner in which things are looked at needs a different viewpoint. The myths and conventions pertaining to education must be done away with in order to create an educated society which will possess the potency to confront challenges. To start with, education should be redefined wherein it’ll be made clear that knowledge, literacy and education go hand in hand, but education can never be limited to memorizing. A creative and conceptual approach by ingenuous minds should replace memory and learning based education.

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten” – B.F. Skinner

A survey carried out abroad had inferred that intelligences are of different types although there is a contrasting customary belief in India and worldwide. Whether a student can work out a difficult calculus effortlessly or not is certainly not the yardstick for measurement of one’s intelligence. The principal drawback is the reality that all kinds of intelligences do not get the outlet, and that’s owing to the fact that the concept of intelligence is narrowly channeled. I would like to mention two examples of unconventional intelligences – that of a chess player, and of a music composer. Can one think of a way how they carry out their respective jobs without being intelligent? Therefore, intelligence and aptitude is within everyone, and the realization of this very fact demands the need of dedicated teachers.

Teachers, who impart education, are often heard of being incapable. If such is the case, then one will surely not run out of reasons why the education scenario is so bleak and faltering. Mrs. Hillary Clinton during her stay in India revealed in a discussion the fact that, she, some seven yrs ago had suggested ‘teacher-tests’ in her province to remove the possibility of inept educators, and she had also made it public that following the implementation of her proposal, almost ten percent of the teachers failed the test! Throughout the world today, this idea should be implemented. Alongside this, initiatives should be taken to eradicate biasness in appointing teachers, which is seemingly a problem in India. In all developing (and developed) nations, teaching schemes should be put into operation which would require citizens of the countries to teach the needy. This would ensure escalation in the literacy rate.

We can only be optimistically hopeful that the ‘changed’ education will take a marching step towards building a more erudite and literate world.