“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the narrative of the world.” ~ Nelson Mandela.
Education is the mouthpiece of one’s overall personality and outlook. We all are perceived, assessed in a different light, the panorama that abounds our worth, our perceptions, our perspectives is only measured and distinguished in terms of our educational credentials. Education is that manure that makes the garden of your knowledge greener and abundant. A useful duster that dusts off the glasses of your understanding to facilitate the clarity in one’s thoughts and renewed sense of ‘self’. But, “how many times we have ruminated considerately over the significance of the quality of education we are being subjected to in our country?”
Ours is the society that boasts round the day the selection of ‘ its most prodigious achiever’s ( Sharma ji ka ladka of the town) selection in the most prestigious international school, nestled in the heart of the city with a sprawling campus and extravagant facilities that is enough to leave Sharma family unceremoniously glorified and their neighbors in a state of indistinct awe/adulation or aspirations.’
Also, the likelihood of people mocking and looking down upon and calling names behind the backpack hung tightly over the shoulders of a government school’s equally prodigious, intelligent and ambitious ‘vermaji ki ladki’ is not something that prevails in the form of a fig leaf. It permeates our society, corridors of academic culture and the virtually liberal mindset of its elite class, modern members like a hollow chamber of atmospheric gases encircling our surroundings.
But one cannot remain blinded to the fact that the entire academic and educational environment has been vitiated due to the poison of ‘commercialization’. This poison has not only corroded the purpose of education but the quality has also culminated the new ‘lows’ over the years.
BR Ambedkar who always emphasized the prominence of ‘skill oriented’, value based and the aspects of moral education to empower the youth and children would have cringed to see today the parrot training being venerated as quality education in our country by the widely renowned educational institutions and organisations.
Here, in India, Students at school learn the variety of subjects, their fragile shoulders are pushed to carry the weight of societal pressures and their prying, unsympathetic eyes from their tender years. Their innocuous minds are suppressed with the baggage of rot learning, cramming whole day and whole night to triumph over their companions in this mad race. Their ingenious brains are mushroomed with everything that is good enough to excel in the exams of educational boards but not the exams their life would hurl at their faces outside the cocoons of these ‘temples’ of education located on every 2nd Street. Our schools only institutionalize the retention capacity in our students by constantly putting them through the rigorous tests and conventional learning methodology. The idea of holistic education is viciously equated with a stylistically subtle form of pressure to grill these young minds to conform to the particular idea of achievement. ‘is there any space for the ones who are not stereotypical “nerds”, “book worms”, odd balls or anyone who dances to the melodies of a different drumbeat rather than that beats only the preexisting sounds of conundrums in their ear chambers?’ That is good enough only to boost their ability to memorize things but abysmally useless to strengthen their creativity, rhetorical finesse and quotient to raise questions.
I am eagerly awaiting for the day when
Indian education system would become a space that offers holistic education in their classrooms, not just on their hoardings and glossy advertisements of city newspapers. When the essence of these taglines is being practised as realistically as it is being used as a marketing tool to sell the particular school in the education market. The day when students are exposed to learn not just the bookish concepts but critical thinking, the pressing matters of society, issues of gender, gender justice, their impacts, their adversities, their in depth analysis and how gender justice can become a catalyst In the equal empowerment of both the genders in an environment free from prejudice and favours for either prevailing equal prospects of growth, opportunity and all round development.
The day when our students will crack the cocoons of stereotypical pedagogical content and write their own theories. No matter how pithy their statements and aphorisms appear. Because brevity often blooms the creativity in its most squalid space.
The classrooms where observant eyes are applauded and ingenious minds are shaped up.,where they are pushed to become aspiring leaders not the subordinates.
I am waiting for the day when the tattered pages of antiquated books of principles are replaced with books of innovative ideas and dynamic creativity.
When quality education is the REALITY, not just a marketing tagline!??
~ SHEETAL VERMA