By Srishti Chauhan:
Recently, the National Literacy Mission in collaboration with the authorities in Tihar Jail have come up with a program that intends to educates the inmates of the Jail and equip them with the ability to read and write in simple text in English as well as Hindi. Moreover, they will also be taught to do calculations and basic arithmetic and science in order to make them enter the ‘literate’ population of the country.
This gesture is a long overdue reminder that needs to be given to the society and the government at large. It is necessary for us to look at education beyond the RTE Act. Why should education be restricted to a particular age group or a particular class at all? Why can a person who could not complete education when he or she was young, continue their dream and learn when they are old?
This wave brought about the National Literacy Mission may just be the harbinger of a new era in the field of education.
Today, to apply for graduation in various colleges, you have to be less than a particular age. Beyond that particular age, you lose eligibility. This system is quite regimental. What if a person is learning just because they have an interest in a particular subject?
Moreover, the idea of continued education is still a far-fetched idea in India. Indians suffer from the mentality of studying in a 10+2 system, graduating and then working. Recently, however, the MBA boom has led people to turn to post-graduation and then work.
In many developed countries, working people are regularly expected to polish and add to their already established skill set. Also, continued education helps a person get acquainted with the new ideas and discoveries that have come into practice. A field where continued education should be but mandatory is medicine. Development of new medical technologies is a continuous phenomenon and acquiring knowledge about the same enhances a person’s skill as a doctor.
The same idea applies to all other profession. For a teacher, getting to know new ways to enable a class to think and apply ideas is necessary. It leads to rejuvenation of the mind and injection of creativity and freshness.
However, the lack of exploration and adaptation of new skills is felt unavoidably in the present stringent mentally. Education, by the National Literacy Mission, for the inmates of Tihar jail is being seen as a medium of therapy as well as alleviation of social stigma. Many are of the belief that educating criminals is an irrational idea as it does not lead to any benefit. However, experts agree to differ. Education widens the horizons and forces people to think beyond what is normal and usual for them. Psychologists are of the opinion that education opens the mind and frees it from many evils. Creative thinking enables people to interpret and analyze the consequences of their actions and also look at the wider picture which forces them to rethink what and how they’re doing.
This measure is a definitive positive that has come to light in recent times. Not only is this a step towards reorganization of the system but also a move towards freeing the mind from the strictures that have bound it for so long.
So, for all those who feel education is waste on those who are no longer minors, should rethink their philosophy as a new system and outlook towards education seems to be underway!