If a country wants to earn demographic dividend it must learn to invest in its youth. The future not only of Nations but that of the Universe at large is a dream that can only be realized by the youth.
All over the world the youth is being educated and trained to shoulder the unprecedented responsibility of steering the future in the right direction. It’s not a mean job considering the dynamism of demand and also the static nature of resources of supply.
The 21st century brought in some critical changes in the environment, the materialism started growing at the cost of humanity and technology started growing by displacing the at humans. These changes were rapid and unprecedented. Changes in any civilization are inevitable but they become a concern as soon as they start having a perceivable impact on the moral fabric of the society. Unfortunately people occupying significant chairs and positions all over the World had not made themselves or ready for these changes, and even worse…they are not preparing the future incumbents of the World either.
This is where I see the our role, role of educationalists across the globe to not only attend to the changing demands of the environment but also preempt them timely, in fact I would go a step further and cause the changes ourselves. Here I am talking about creating an expectation bandwidth.
A child is educated on the basis of the aspirations sets he is brought up with. His capabilities then become captive of the expectations he lives with. The society, parents, peers and even schools just act as locks of the closet of the mind and imagination. The least education can do is to open the gates and let him fly with his own vision and efficacy.
The big question is how do we initiate this process?
In this article I want to touch upon the basics of education and suggest a model that may sound very radical in nature but has gone through the deepest of the thought processes. I am talking about the breaking of the moulds rather than changing the models. Let me arrange my thoughts in a logical sequence,
CHANGING THE DIRECTION
If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.- Chinese Proverb
For years we have been trying to change things with the objective of improvement and betterment, but have we really achieved it?
Probably no. All our resources, time, energies and money have gone waste because our efforts missed the directional astuteness.
- PARADIGM SHIFT
We have been changing the paradigms without measuring the incremental changes that have resulted from it…let me put it simply, we changed text books, teaching patterns, subjects because we thought that we can only augment if we change, we however forgot to see the value addition part. As s a result education patterns did go through cosmetic surgery across the globe, but the real ailment was not even diagnosed forget about curing.
- Rearranging the priorities?
Before we start working on any thesis or anti-thesis we need to answer all sorts of questions that define the purpose of an exercise which in this case is the change. Well the first two questions WHO and WHEN have simple answers.
- Who will bring about the change?
- All of us who are stakeholders in this society have this responsibility.
- When do we bring about this change?
- The time is now …and will be there forever.
The other three questions are the most important ones and we may have to rearrange the sequence. For decades we have been researching to answer How to teach and what to teach, however the most pertinent question why to teach has been grossly ignored, and today if we find our education a captive of its own system, it’s because we did not answer this question.
- CONSTRCT OF A CHILD
It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us to escape, not from our own time – for we are bound by that – but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time – TS Eliot
The Child is the axis of the education system. Let’s not forget that he is the reason of education and not its product. The basic purpose of basic education is to make a child’s brain poised for further education and to make his perceptions free of any perceptual biases. We need to make our children future smart. We need to work on models where we can create learning space in the minds of children.
- HOW CHILDREN FAIL AND WHY CHILDREN LEARN
“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him.”
~John Holt~, (1923-1985) American Educator, How Children Learn
Children have a strange defense mechanism, their shutting down of the learning hardware is instant and educators would never be able to decipher what stimuli he takes from the environment and how he responds to that. So how do we decode that?
The answer his simple …allow the child himself to decode it. Give him a favorable and conducive environment and allow him to maximize his potential in the favorable zones. Once this objective is served, we can gradually experiment with other domains; chances are that he will have far better acceptability because his mind has been expanded to fit in the knowledge.
- CHILD’S POINT OF VIEW
We all have a pattern of thinking which moves in a logical cycle. This cycle has three components
IMAGINE- IMPLEMENT-INNOVATE and then again imagine. The major discoveries and inventions in the world have been done on the basis of this cycle. The crop of the mind is dependent on the fertilizers of knowledge but more important is the soil of imagination. We are the curators and custodians of the future; hence we have a great responsibility towards this society. We have to understand that we need to keep the soil of imagination fertile so that more and more ideal can be sown and wealthy harvests can be reaped.
-By Chandra Shekhar Varma