Education: How Should it Be? by T. A. Ramesh SignUp
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Education: How Should it Be?
by T. A. Ramesh Bookmark and Share
 

1. Education for Human Development

Modern economic thoughts of many nations are giving much importance to the material values at the expense of human values. Hence money has become more important than anything else. The thought on social development has lost its relevance. Corruption, malpractices, favoritism and superstition have taken the place of honesty, sincerity, integrity and reason. Between the two ' Education and Money ' man's mind embraces the latter once one knows a little about Letters and Numbers. So, where is the time for man to have the pleasure of learning useful Arts even?

Education for Freedom

Long ago Alexander Pope has said in his essay, On Criticism that 'a little learning is a dangerous thing.' It is a true statement applicable to most of the men even today. Achieving the materialistic End through any Means has become the Aim of everyone! Hence man has not bothered about liberty or love either. The sole thought of man is that he could buy everything or solve all human problems in the world with Money. Ignorance and new diseases are catching them unaware while they are hurrying in pursuit of their ends through incomplete and immature means. Actually people are living and working like slaves under the influence of this or that evil without any hope of liberation in the world. So, what is most needed now is an education for freedom from such evils that are listed above so that everyone can live as freely and happily as the birds flying in the sky.

Liberty

But the individual liberty at the expense of the social liberty is intolerable and uncalled for in the society as per the view of A.G. Gardiner in On the Rule of the Road. The uneducated or the half educated people without knowing how to behave, pretend by aping others in the society. The pretensions and the insolent behavior of the individuals cannot be tolerated in any society.

Systematic Education

To understand the value of freedom and how it has to be used for the betterment of all, a systematic education is very essential. The systematic education only can build up the character and strengthen the mind of everyone in the school level. Then the college education has to give opportunities to augment the intellectual power of each and everyone. The improvement of the body and the mind is possible by games and books. The development of the spirit is possible by the deep contemplation or meditation over the truth of the all pervading Universe. The proper use of the body, the mind and the spirit is possible only with the attainment of true knowledge. Therefore knowledge alone can eliminate ignorance and fear in everyone.

The educational background would enable everyone to understand the value of love and friendship that later on would help much to increase the happiness and the peace of the world. Therefore the systematic education is necessary. Hence it has to be noted that the education could train everyone as how to lead a better life rather than to make profit in the jobs of deceiving innocent men in the society.

Need of Culture in Education

The education that does not provide much scope for the understanding of Human Nature, Culture, Literature and Social Life but gives more importance to the attainment of knowledge in Scientific, Engineering and Economic courses and adequate opportunities to the studies of Commerce, History and Geography will only turn out immature and incomplete citizens in huge quantities. The uncultured way of bringing up people will gradually or otherwise turn the direction of human civilization in the reverse order. The result will be quite horrible to think about as in the Brave New World by Aldous Huxley or Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell. As in the post war periods i.e. just after the two World Wars people with indifferent attitude, insensible nature and inhuman approach will increase in more numbers and will create strange situations and problems as depicted in the poem, The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot which will jeopardize the peaceful functioning of the world.

Through education it is expected to have a society of individuals with human value and not a herd of machine-beast-like-men who aspire for high achievements in terms of material value only. The education that kindles the individuals to aspire for the cultural advancement in life enriches human value in the world and this alone can lead men towards perfection, which has the power to appreciate beauty in everything, bring out the truth in everything, disseminate love and joy everywhere and manifest divinity everywhere. This is what expected of sincere individuals to accomplish in life. For them, true knowledge comes of the intellectual understanding of the Self and the World. This is certainly reliable as True Knowledge alone can reveal what for one is born in the world and what duty one has to perform both for one's Self and the World. That is why knowledge is virtue and power for men in general. In this respect the ideas of The Republic and The Bhagavad-Gita are relevant and still useful.

Cultivate Habit To Think in Education

It is well noticed that educational institutions impart the same sort of knowledge which have been experimented and experienced by the past personalities without having direct reference to the all round developments of the world, the need of the hour and the interest of the knowledge seekers. As a result, such institutionally fed knowledge has neither any relevance nor use for the future developments of the educated and the educational degrees on the hand nor serve as sure licenses for getting satisfying jobs too. What is needed actually from such a sort of education is the cultivation of the habit for the learners to think independently and work with pleasure in future in a creative manner that are in reality out of the range of the present day educational institutions. So, after the education, everyone has to get oneself trained in a line or faculty so that one can work hard with some hope and pull on in life. Otherwise it would be very difficult for anyone to stand on in life.

That is the outcome or the sorry state of affair of the education for the present day educated. But the lucky few who have tasted the pleasure of pondering over things of their own interests or truths just in moments of enthusiasm due to some unexpectedly favorable circumstances, there will be a great world of wonders waiting for them to explore, discover, invent and create. Such few lucky persons only are capable of analyzing what they have studied to find out whether there is truth in them or not, preserving things of interest or rejecting irrelevant things contrary to their convictions and developing upon the preserved knowledge some new ideas or truths with pleasure are the really learned men, who can go ahead freely and independently with a spirit of adventure in any field in the world.

Learning of Arts

Learning makes one civilized. Through learning and practice men of culture maintain human values which are essential for keeping up the harmony of human life in the changing world. But Art and Science help all human beings to develop themselves and the world to a great extent in the present age. Art is the source of inspiration for human beings. All arts are within the scope of men's learning. It is impossible to learn all arts. But some basic arts are useful both for the life and the works of men. Speaking, Reading and Writing are the vital and essential basic skills everyone has to learn. The purpose of education is to impart the knowledge of such skills and to give trainings in those lines to everyone in such a way that individual natural talent of each one can be successfully expressed by oneself for the satisfaction of oneself and others in the world.

Art of Writing Important

Among the basic arts, the art of writing is most important. The art of writing is the expression of assimilated thoughts, imagination, feelings, experience, knowledge and so on through writing. From the written articles a person's personality can be understood. The clarity of written expression tells the stage of perfection of a person. Hence education gives more importance to the written works than to the oral answers in the examinations before one is considered for promotion to a higher stage or a qualification in a line. Even in the Court of Law the cases are mainly judged upon the evidence of the written facts. The famous essayist Francis Bacon has also stated in his essay, Of Studies that 'Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man.' The more writing is most important the more it is difficult to practice too.

Thinking and Talent

Every human being whether one is literate or illiterate is considered to have six senses. Only when one uses the sixth sense i.e. the capacity to think, one will be considered to be a rational being. If one fails to use this sense, one will naturally be equal to that of a beast. Thinking is not an easy thing. Thinking requires a clear head and most of all a calm and serene atmosphere. Thinking is very much needed for solving a problem in Mathematics or proving a rider, theorems in Geometry or understanding natural phenomenon or principles in Science. A good education gives a sound basis for everyone to think logically or scientifically to understand the subjects. Therefore only when one thinks well, one can understand; only when one remembers well one can use anything effectively well. That is why thinkers are less in the world and true thinkers are rare.

Memory may be a boon to many (Macaulay). But memory alone cannot make anyone a great thinker. Many people memorize lessons, write exams, get hold of a University Degree and soon forget what they have studied so long. Because they have not understood the subject through proper thinking, they cannot remember what they have studied and use beneficially in life and work. Such literates are equivalent to illiterates only. That is why there are a large number of unemployed Degree holders.

This is not the purpose of education. The purpose of education, to put it specifically, is 1. to give practice to everyone to think clearly in order to understand anything, 2. to make one to discover what is ones interest, talent and in what subject one will be best at through thinking and to gain and develop knowledge in that line and 3. to make anyone to use such knowledge in ones duty in order to express out ones talent in life.

Continuation of Intellectual pursuits towards perfection as Culture

In the modern times the world men are living comfortably and enjoying the fruits of the labors or noble efforts of such intellectuals. The scientific inventions like Electric bulbs, Telephone, Television, Rail, Car, Ship, Aero plane, Rockets and so on are the outcome of the thoughts of the great scientific thinkers. Not only by Science but also by Literature, Arts and Philosophy many thinkers have achieved wonderful things for mankind both for the body and the mind. Everyone should know about the great achievements of those great men.

After them too, some more intellectuals like Einstein, Russell, Sir C.V. Raman, Tagore, and Gandhi had done remarkable things in the world. In line with their activities, there are many intellectuals still continuing with the experiments left by those masters in the unfinished stages. It is said that culture is the study of perfection and doing things in the manner and means of such perfection that could be achievable. So, the process of perfection has to be continued by all the intellectuals in order to develop the civilization of mankind. This is all possible only after a fine foundation has been laid through education by responsible educators.

Communication through language

Through the English language it is possible for everyone to know about the scientific developments and the international understandings, and have cultural ties and friendship with various peoples of the world. Through the National/state language (if there is any) and the mother tongue/vernacular language one can have mutual understandings, good working relationships, and easy communications with everyone in the national level and in the local community level.

Therefore it is very essential to know how to read, write and speak in 1. the World language, 2. the National/state language (if there is one language), and 3. the Mother tongue/vernacular language. With the knowledge of these languages, it is possible for anyone to work effectively and live happily anywhere in the world. Besides this, whether one is a specialist in any branch of a profession or not, if one maintains, according to the changes of time, 1. One's General Knowledge, 2. Common sense and 3. Presence of Mind, one will certainly be a happy and successful person in the world, or at least have an interesting conversation with a variety of individuals whether one is an intellectual or an artist or a scientist or a philosopher or a professional or whatever one is.

2. Education: A Continuing Process

It is predominantly felt that everything should start with education. It is realized that education is indispensable to everyone for the smooth running of human businesses, works and activities in the world. Can't these be done without education? Why is education a necessity?

Traditional Education

Human activities beginning from feeling, imagining and thinking, proceeding through expressing such inner things to doing things as a result of that in order to satisfy the needs of the concerned require a standard for everything for the understanding of all concerned in the society so that everything can go on smoothly in a routine manner. To do that knowledge of a common standard acceptable to all is very essential and that can be achieved or done through a common type of education only. Therefore the necessity of education to produce standardized people who can think, express and do things in a standardized manner which everybody can understand and appreciate arises. This is what traditional type of education is doing for many generations.

Change in Education Needed

The times have changed now. Today everything is compartmentalized. There is no link between Art and Science. Therefore only specialists who are capable of doing jobs of particular types are produced in large numbers instead of persons of general abilities who are capable of doing different types of jobs. The result is the education people get is incomplete and so, it is meaningless, worthless and useless now-a-days. So, there is widespread complaint that present day education is producing only mediocre type persons who cannot shine in any field later on in life. Hence a clear appraisal of education by all concerned is very much needed.

Kinds of Education

As many say the functions of education are restricted to two things that are

  1. To give basic knowledge which would be helpful for doing work in the world and
  2. To bring out the latent thing in such a manner that it would be useful to do creative or inventive work in the world.

Among these two, the present day education is mainly concerned with the first one only. Knowledge is a renewable thing. That is why it is said that education is a continuous process. So, unless it is continuously renewed, education will not be doing much good to anyone.

Drawbacks

By the present type of education only out dated knowledge is given to everyone. Therefore it is neither giving useful knowledge nor bringing out the talent but is merely exam oriented and the Degree offered after the memory testing exams is unproductive and useless. Likewise there are so many drawbacks which are being discussed by experts without any effective solution to stop the harmful effects of education.

Real Purpose of Education

In reality the problems of education do not look to be an impossible thing to solve if we approach them with common sense taking into consideration the views of great men all round the world.

John Milton says in his Tractate on Education that with the knowledge of education one should be capable of doing the work of an office both in private and public justly, efficiently and excellently whether it is in the war or in the peace of a nation.

S.T. Coleridge in his Lectures says that the purpose of education is to make one 1. to work by love and so, generate love, 2. to habituate the mind to intellectual accuracy or truth and 3. to excite power.

Albert Einstein in his views On Education prefers a generalized type of education to specialization and suggests that by education one should be capable of thinking independently, judging independently and doing work with love rather than a standardized individual doing work like an ant or bee in a community without personal originality and personal aims having no hope of development for the community.

The Indian saints and philosophers like Vivekananda, Gandhi and others have opined that education should mould the character and make one a perfect person.

So, it gives a clear idea that the purpose of education is to make everyone a cultured person and by education one is supposed to be a developed person in all respects i.e. physically, mentally and spiritually. Therefore the present day educational system should be modified in such a way that everyone should have the access to all fields of knowledge and training in arts and technology so that a person can be really free and independent to do whatever work one likes with pleasure after education and achieve excellence in it.

3. Present System and Purpose of Higher Education

The present system of higher education does not serve the purpose for which it has been started. In general education itself has become so profitable a business that quality is lost in the increase of quantity of professional institutions with quota system and politicisation adding fuel to the fire of spoil system, thereby increasing unemployment of graduates without quick relief to mitigate their sufferings in the job market of the country. So, the drawbacks of the higher education system underscore the need for reforms to make it worthwhile and beneficial to all concerned.

Competition

Next to China, India is the most populated country in the world. Naturally there is too much rush and competition in every field. So, rush to technical and higher education has increased as scope for arts and science has become lesser and lesser due to lack of reforms and up gradation in the course structure and materials according to the developments of the world. Also, qualification in higher education gives added advantage to face successfully competition in the job market.

Purpose of Education

All round development of personality is the purpose of education. But the present day education is neither imparting true knowledge of life, world and helping one stand on one’s own leg nor improving the talent of a student by which one can achieve laurels in the field one is interested. So, combination of arts subjects and computer science and science and humanities or literature should be introduced so that such courses could be useful for the students to do jobs after recruitment in some companies which would reduce unnecessary rush to higher education.

Right Course of Action

In India around 240 Universities controlling somewhere 5000 colleges of various courses churning out lakhs and lakhs of graduates seeking jobs in vain due to lack of employability, communication skill and entrepreneurship quality. In Tamil Nadu State of India alone from 2000 to 2006 more than six lakh students and now in 2016, 20 lakh students are hunting for jobs without hope due to political rivalries and lack of investments in job generating manufacturing units and companies. This is one side of the picture.

On the other side, all want to become Engineers or Doctors or Computer specialists in IT or Software, which is beyond the reach of many and also, all cannot shine in such a line if not suited later on. So, to overcome disappointments in the working life clear appraisal of one’s Self is necessary before pursuing a course of action.

  1.  For that not specialisation but general education covering all subjects (arts, science, literature, technology, agriculture and defence studies) is very essential.

  2.  After education, tour to all the places in India and world as far as possible with the cooperation of government is necessary so that one can understand about people, culture, arts, literature, religions, technological developments and progress of human society in the world.

  3.  Basing this knowledge one should have a vision of one’s future life and work in the world and decide about the future course of action, i.e. whether to go for higher education or do job suitable to one.

  4. Finally, based on knowledge only vision of the future life and work can be had; based on this vision only a broad ambition can be fixed for oneself; and based on this ambition only one can lead interesting life doing satisfying job to do remarkable achievements in some field in the world.

Individuality

Otherwise, the life of one will not be interesting but rather boring, monotonous and frustrating. This is mainly due to parental interference in the education of the children. Parental guidance is necessary but it should not interfere in the creativity or individuality of the students. Also, in spite of the obsolete type of education system, some are achieving wonderful things in Sports, Music, Dance, Painting, Science and Technology in the world! This is only due to the encouragement of the parents and some dedicated teachers in the educational institutions.

Higher Education

Higher education is necessary for one to achieve excellence in the line one is best. But one should be selected for higher education on the basis of merit only. Further, fees for education in general should not be high; especially, the fees for higher studies should be within the reach of every class of people in the nation.

Standard

In any nation education is the basic necessity for the socio-economic development of the individuals and the society. In reality only 20% of the population is educated in India. Also, only 25% of the Universities are having world class education. So, improved standard of education as first priority should be offered to the majority by the govt. authorities with sincere political will. Also, privatisation of higher education is absolutely necessary in a vast country like India as government alone is helpless to do so.

Quality

That is the way people’s quality of life can be improved and also, the nation can economically compete with the developed nations of the world. So, private educational institutions can give higher education to all irrespective of economic status of the students. As far as quality of education is concerned it should be under the control of a central institute such as All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the respective Universities concerned.

World Class Education

Indian government is not giving priority to the development of Standard in education. India should aspire for the international standard in education. To achieve that goal it should adopt uniform international syllabus in its educational institutions.

Many national universities like in the USA, UK, Australia, etc. allow studies in higher education for foreign students in their countries and through correspondence courses as well. In the same way India Universities of world class education can also offer courses of studies to foreign students taking advantage of the globalisation process.

Personality Development

Finally, education should be for the flowering of personality but not for the suppression of creativity or natural skill. In the globalised world opportunities for the educated people are naturally ample in scope. As a result business process outsourcing (BPO) activities have increased competition in the world trade leading towards the production of quality goods and their easy availability everywhere in the world market. That is the way the world can be developed for peace, prosperity and progress by able and skilful men.

5-Mar-2016
More by :  T. A. Ramesh
 
Views: 180
Article Comment A comprehensive exposition, including many famous source names, on the structures of human life. We human beings have an inveterate tendency to stylise experience which become the basis of theories. The result is in schemes devised and professed to work with mechanical efficiency. Education is one such case. The moral component is assumed as accomplished through education. Rather is it the case that the educated mind assumes mastery of stylisation of forms. Everything is known as defined: and conclusions drawn. This is carried forward most noticeably in politics - the stylisation of reality. Yet, stylisation is radically a mis-perception of reality, and can be readily appreciated for its component of presumption that is suppressed. We cannot in truth prepare for anything in life but in immediate terms, and here is where the presence of God kicks in. Only in the present conformity to God's will - that occurs anyway but is not perceived as this, but somehow the will of man - is stylisation given the lie. It can then be seen that stylisation of reality is a divine concession to human frailty, and assumes the appearance of reality, but that reality is only within God here and now.
rdashby
03/11/2016
 
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