Monthly Archives: March 2011

Where is the Indian education system heading?


The chronicles of education in India

The  history of education in India is quite fascinating and splendid. Studies have shown that the scholars and sages have been imparting education orally since the 3rd century BC. Later, palm leaves and barks of trees were used to disseminate education in written form by the scholars. Community centers and temples were the schools’ premises during that period. The Vedas, Puranas, Ayurveda,Yoga, Kautilya’s Arthasahtra are only some of the milestones that the traditional Indian knowledge system boasts of.

The person who provided the world with the studies of economics for the first time

Chanakya

The developer of economics.

Gurukulam

There are evidences of providing formal education in ancient India under the Gurukul system, in which young boys who were passing through the Brahmacharya stage of life had to stay at the Guru or the teacher’s home and complete their education. With the introduction of Buddhism, education became available to every Indian and this led to the establishment of some world-famous educational institutions Nalanda, Vikramshila and TakshashilaNalanda University was the oldest university-system of education in the world, which flourished from the 5th to 13th century AD. This university had around 10,000 resident students and teachers on its roll at one time. These students included Chinese, Sri Lankan, Korean and other international scholars.

Nalanda University

In the 11th century the Muslims established elementary and secondary schools, which led to the forming of few universities too at cities like Delhi, Lucknow and Allahabad. Medieval period saw excellent interaction between Indian and Islamic traditions in all fields of knowledge like theology, religion, philosophy, fine arts, painting, architecture, mathematics, medicine and astronomy.

Although the ancient system of education has produced many geniuses and still a major area of research, it was hardly egalitarian. Women and people of lower castes gradually lost their right to educate themselves. The spread of Jainism, Buddhism, Bhakti and Sufi movements did have some liberating effects on the condition of the women, Sudras and Atisudras. But it is the English language and the reformation movements of the 19th century (with the help of the European missionaries) that had the most liberating effect in pre-independent India. Thus, the Britishers, although rightly criticized for devastating the Indian economy, can also be credited for bringing a revolution in the Indian education system. Since then, Western education has made steady advances in the country. With hundreds of universities and scores of colleges in every discipline, the education system in India is the third largest education system in the world.

A British School

Future Of Education In India?

Education must be of a new type for the sake of the creation of a new world.
– Mahatma Gandhi

I don’t know! I have no idea where it is heading! But I guess, I HAVE THIS LITTLE THEORY OF WHERE IT SHOULD BE HEADING… Then what does the heading of my post signify? Its simple, I would like to know where it is heading, so everyone who comes across this post, is free to answer my question.

My theory

What I personally believe is that an education system should be the one in which a student not only learns languages and memorizes the theories of sciences and practices mathematics (obviously they are the very integral part of education everywhere around the world and I am not questioning their importance at all), but it should be able to create a good, civilized and independent person out of that student. The main aim of the parents who send their children to schools is to make them capable enough to support their family financially when they grow up, and that of students is to merely “pass” all the exams (of course with different target percentages and motives). What is important is the transformation of a child into a socially responsible citizen (of not only her/his nation but that of the world), which is more than often, overlooked.

When the western education became ingrained into Indian society with the establishment of the British Raj, India lost its native educational system. That is really something that I wish should not have happened. Only if we could merge the subjects from western education and Indian education, we could have done so well. It would have been the blend of morality and practicality. “If only”… it sounds so rhetorical. I strongly believe in what I typed above and I am surely going to do something about it. I strongly believe that knowledge should be free and open to use and re-use. I strongly believe that education should be able to make the students much more spiritually conscious, competent, strong-minded, decisive, independent. I strongly believe that education should not be confined to the simple linear forms that today’s textbooks present. Our focus has tended to be on inputs and outlays rather than outcomes. We continue to talk about ensuring enrolments, attendance and completion of schooling. We don’t pay enough attention to the learning outcomes at the end of schooling, and improving the quality of teachers and teaching in both Government and Private schools. People should receive credit and kudos for contributing to education and research. The concepts and ideas of imparting education should be aligned in innovative, unusual and surprising ways. The silicon technology has a large potential in this field and it will help eradicate illiteracy. Sanskrit and Hindi should be taught in a way that kicks off in students a sense of pride towards these languages, they should not be treated as mere subjects, rather as national heritage. Moral education, environmental studies, disaster management should not be treated as mere scoring subjects. A chapter or two from the Ramayana and Mahabharata should not be included in course, rather they should be boasted about as value added services by the schools. Even the parents and grand parents should read such epics to their kids in their homes. Teachers should educate children in such a way that when they grow up, they would be able to opt their stream without any advice from career counselors. Parents should allow their children to enter the field of their choice and only guide them throughout the stage in which they actually decide what they are going to do in their entire life. And may their choice be to become a doctor, engineer, actor or a musician, parents must support them in every way possible. Government should carry out programs that will educate people about the educational opportunities along with the importance of education, nationwide. Financial support should not only be mentioned in government policies but should actually be implemented and the process of taking loans should be made simple and easily accessible. Sports (not only cricket, others as well)  should also be given equal importance. Parents and teachers should encourage their children to get involved in sports etc., without pressurizing them for becoming all-rounders. Politics must be eradicated from all the universities. The division of Indians into castes and accordingly reserving seats and reducing fees for under-privileged classes should cease to happen, because it prevents talented students from getting into the college they deserve. This creates a dividing line between the general and the other castes of people. Many have committed suicides in revolt and many more might. This also results in reserving seats for management quota in schools and colleges to cope up with losses (or rather, make some more profits). How will the government explain the so-called “RIGHT TO EQUALITY” when, what it is actually doing is, discriminating its people on the basis of castes. One more thought that comes to my mind is that the students should be injected with the vaccine of nationalism in every stage of their life, so that when they grow up, they will be ready to serve their nation before serving their families.

That’s all for now but this is not all, this is what I could think about right now. There are a lot more issues like education for girls, women, adults, role of media in education, government policies and literacy rates, and much much more.

Thank you for reading.

Good day 🙂


Invictus


Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever Gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

 

A friend of mine once asked me to watch the movie Invictus. The movie enlightens and inspires!! A must watch for all those who believe that good exists, and that to achieve what you want to, all you require is determination and sincere efforts!!


Sheesha : Mirror for the Indian youth?


HISTORY of Shisha in INDIA (copied from Wikipedia)

The concept of hookah originated In India, once the province of the wealthy, it was tremendously popular especially during Mughal rule. The hookah has since become less popular; however, it is once again garnering the attention of the masses, and café and restaurants that offer it as a consumable are popular. The use of hookahs from ancient times in India was not only a custom, but a matter of prestige. Rich and landed classes would smoke hookahs.

Tobacco is smoked in hookahs in many villages as per traditional customs. Smoking a tobacco-molasses shisha is now becoming popular amongst the youth in India. There are several chain clubs, bars and coffee shops in India offering a wider variety of mu‘assels, including non-tobacco versions.

Koyilandy, a small fishing town on the west coast of India, once made and exported hookahs extensively. These are known as Malabar Hookahs or Koyilandy Hookahs. Today these intricate hookahs are difficult to find outside of Koyilandy and not much easier to find in Koyilandy itself.

 

The following are my views!

Shisha is a very popular consumable amongst school going kids (class 9th on) and college students in India. A basic shisha order would cost them a minimum of Indian Rupee ₹150 and takes almost an hour and a half to consume one order. School going children prefer to go to shisha lounges while bunking their coaching classes and college students are not usually time-bound. Every other student who says no to shisha is usually teased by his/her peer group and ultimately tries it out for the sake of his/her reputation. It’s very addictive and very easily accessible and so usually the youth develops this habit of smoking shisha at a very small age. Girls are not left behind when it comes to the consumption of shisha.

More than 50% of my friends have never told their parents that they hang around at such places and consume shisha. they usually bunk their coaching and college (even I did twice) for such hang outs. 70% of these have the membership cards which provide them shisha at a cheaper rate. So, it will not be wrong to say that some of my friends buy their own losses at substantially lower prices than my other friends do!

Advantages of this habit

1. Helps in creating a so-called “cool” image among your so-called “friends”.

2. Helps in socializing. (This would be the last way to do so, for me at least)

Disadvantages of this habit

1. You are actually becoming a fool and those friends will not help you in establishing your career.

2. Most of the friends you make while wasting your time will not waste their time on you when you are in need.

3. The time that one should spend studying is “used up” while making smoke rings.

4. The discussions carried out in such rap sessions are usually meaningless.

5. Money – you burn your money with coal and smoke it!

 

There may be other harmful effects of shisha, which I’m not familiar with, at the moment. There must be many other disadvantages which I’m not aware of right now!

This is not all. I have many ideas for the question: Where one could possibly spend his/her time (the one that was about to be wasted while consuming shisha) instead of killing it?

  • Attend your regular classes. (I know you will probably hate this idea)
  • Complete all the pending tasks. (We all have this bad habit of procrastinating)
  • Meet and talk to your grandparents. (They love it when they have someone to talk to)
  • Teach your favorite subject in orphanages. ( It will help you create a self-positive image)
  • Do a part-time job (and save the money for future use)
  • Help your parents out in their regular tasks. (It will make them happier)
  • Do something good for your own country. (You and I are the future of this nation, and we can’t blow this responsibility away as smoke)
  • Create groups of people with similar hobbies and aims and hang around with them for similar activities. (You’ll get to learn so much, specially about your own potential)
  • Read newspapers and magazines. (Knowledge is power)
  • Play some sports and devote our time to our hobbies. (You’ll discover the better self of yours)
  • Clean up your room, arrange your cup-board, wash your clothes once in a week. (It will make you independent)
  • Go and meet your cousins and relatives. (Family supports you when no one else does and more than any one else)
  • Visit old-age homes.

There is so much you can do, this is just a fraction of all the possibilities! Please suggest your friends not to kill their most crucial time in life by indulging in such activities. Once or twice in a blue-moon is okay, everyday consumption of shisha is not a healthy habit!

Thank You!


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