by Priyanjali Bhalla
Over years people have been counting literacy rates. The statistics state 74.4% people in India as literates. We see people becoming more aware about educating their younger generation but what they are looking for is just superficial knowledge .In a fact not even knowledge what they are preparing their kids for is how to be suitable for a good job .Every day new schools are opening, new admissions are taking place. Still we see that the very basic ‘civic sense’, the simple common sense lacks in almost 90%of the population. What is use of sending kids to school then? What are they learning then? Our teachers used to say that an individual’s behavior reflects his family background .That statement is more applicable in these times. An individual for a family, a family for a state, a state for a nation. That’s how it goes .Even one individual’s wrong behavior reflects badly on the nation and the entire system of education prevalent in the society .What is being taught in school is just superficial knowledge of existing facts rather than gaining education. Knowing facts is not education. William S. Burroughs said, “The aim of education is knowledge, not of facts but of values”. If all the education you receive in the first fifteen years of your life can’t educate you to behave properly and act in an appropriate manner, what is use of such education? Today’s methods of education are making one only a literate –one who knows how to read and write (that also not properly).Students are just made to mug up the text books and jot down on examination sheets . And these ‘marked sheets’ serve as your educational identity in a world where well literates are being brought up and not well educated! These literates can give a turnover of a crore to the company but when asked about who brought up these ideas of marketing they are blank .They just know methods to produce money but have no clue about the history of their particular field or what led to such changes in the new world market .Their knowledge has become more money focused and materialistic. They know only that much which is sufficient to make them earn a few good dollars .That’s it! Such practices are leading our society to become hollow where education and knowledge are concerned .An educated person is someone who can well understand a concept and its outcomes and deal with it effectively in benefit of the society and everyone rather than just personal gains. Someone who knows the reasons of existence and the phenomenon of the surroundings and humanitarian methods of behavior.
Gurukul system of education prevalent in the Vedic Society of the ancient world taught their upcoming generation the skills and values needed to uplift the society and the living standards of the individuals .In comparison to that system modern schools have a subject called Moral Science or Character Formation in their curriculum which is mend to impart humanitarian and societal values. Parents take such a subject as just an extra burden .They don’t hesitate to compel their child to do rote learning. Such inert and dormant methods of learning do not initiate new ideas or trigger innovations .They just add on to the already existing huge number of dumb graduates with higher degrees from famous universities and lack of the fundamental knowledge and source of the new ways and technologies .There is fault at the very basic level .Students seek more tuition centers which feed you with more ways to get more marks considering marks as one of the “survival skills”. This in turn pressurizes students to greater extent leading to depression among students and development of hatred towards books and education .Such pressure gives rise to aggression and recklessness in thought ad behavior which altogether fails the entire education system. All they are concerned about is then of marks and marks alone .Cheating and coping from guides, guess papers, chits, phones, etc. only add on the marks and not knowledge.
What we see today is that a student of commerce stream is blank about the basic biological facts and biology student is blank about the basic hardware knowledge of their laptops. All that students learn today is how to produce money from there narrow subject knowledge and if their child comes to ask them about ‘why February has 29 days?’ They might respond –I’ll tell you tomorrow! The irony is that people are not even sure about their chosen fields .A lawyer does not know the spelling of the word ‘Affidavit’, a doctor prescribes same medicine for same ailment to different patient when it is common sense that everybody is different and same medicine does not suit everyone suffering from a similar disorder ,teacher only makes various grammatical errors in her speech what would she teach her students, a computer students doesn’t have knowledge about the motherboard of his PC ….The list is endless and it’s not funny !It shameful and a matter of grave seriousness which needs to be solved soon .Such examples keep coming up every day and every moment reflecting the major fault in our society .Just a few days back a student from Doon International School (DIS) came to learn spoken English in my institution .If this is the case what has the child being doing all those years in school !He was unable to learn English in an English medium school. Again a student from Touch Wood of fourth standard who could not read the word ‘friend’ until someone tells her how to (she suffers from no learning disability) . There are hundreds of such examples in our society .Reason of this state of education is negligence on the part of parents ,teachers ,students and other heads of the education system .Now a days parents look for an institution based on its infrastructure ,number of branches and placements offered ,tie-ups ,etc. rather than looking up for the quality of education they deliver to their students .This makes the students dumb and incompetent when compared with students of other countries .
When this is the state in a city like Dehradun which is known to be an educational hub what about other states .Whom are we then trusting with our child’s future then ?This is the future India awaits ahead ?!This system has made the mind devoid of rational and divergent thinking .There is no place left for innovation or improvisation ,though there is a need but there is no acceptance .If we continue with this ineffective education system we would never be able to rise .Our history holds witness to various geniuses like C.V. Raman ,S .Ramanujan , Aryabhatta ,Charaka ,Rabindranth Tagore, etc. who were far ahead from their times and brought about great revolutions which changed the entire world. Such people were a part of our society who took India to greater heights .It’s not that this land has stopped producing such geniuses .Many recent examples are still there. Rifath Sharook (12th pass) who recently invented world’s lightest satellite (64 gms) ;Shiva Ayyadurai (14 yr old) invented Email in 1978; M. Tenith Adithya (15 yr old) who has 17 inventions under his name and there are a lot more such geniuses in our country .All that is lacking is an efficient system to support and motivate the young generation to search out or the truths –in depth truths ,complete truths so that they could create new ways of life rather than becoming slaves to the rotting methods of life .Time for change has approached . Change for the up lifting of the individual, of the society, of the nation and of humanity as a whole .We need to point out the wrong in the prevalent system and replace it with new systems which create creative individuals rather than manufacturing another herd of dumb followers .Education reforms needs to take place because “Education is not preparation for life, it is life itself”.