Reforms are required in Indian Education System
Education system’s main goal should be to ignite the passion, expand the horizons of our thinking, shake us out of our comfort zone and prepare us for the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world, and ensure that the learner has adequate ability to withstand physical, psychological and emotional stress, bullying, criticism, flattery and humour, at ease.
|1. Poor Education System=Poor Performance|
2. If you are not born equal, only your education can help you. Education is a great leveler.
3. YOU cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find within himself. (Galileo Galilei-1564-1642)
4. Education is not just about reading History but, about learning from it, and making History!
5. Incremental changes will not deliver the breakthrough which the education system needs. We must remember the fact that: “The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles”- Oren Harari.
I feel an entire reform is the need of the time in our education system. This needs a global consultation with all stakeholders and not just academicians, on what level of skills and competence do we need at every level in the education system.
There are many personalities like- Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, Azim Premji, Raja Harishchandra, Chanakya, A P J Abdul Kalam, whose biographies should be taught in the form of brief documentaries or stories in school. The learners should be taught about People from different fields to inspire them. All these stories/life sketches should not be more than 15 minutes. So, in a class period of 30 minutes, two life sketches (one local and one global) can be taught, along with what were their hardships, achievements, and life lessons.
Also, local achievers should be chosen from all walks of life; business, sports, spirituality and religion, politics, officials, etc., and interactions arranged with learners. These interactions will inspire the young minds with real life examples.
Also, to make the brains think beyond the routine, some examples with explanations like, bumble bee as per the laws of aerodynamics should not be able to fly, but it does. Similar examples be taught to teach them how to accomplish the impossible. Also, how the inventions like wheel, electricity and internet changed the world. So that these kids can have a futuristic mindset and they may make space travel a faster reality than we can think, and address the key ecosystem challenges for which we have been struggling for generations.
Thakur Rabindranath Tagore’s three core principles of learning: Anand (joy), Prakash (expression) and Atmashakti or atmapatritha (self: governance) (Pathak, 2016) are important for reforming education.
Our system has to move from assessing Three Rs = reading, w(r)iting and a(r)ithmetic and the goal of education is to remove the mind from authority and mental boundaries and bring in curiosity and large canvas thinking.
People who are capable of using logic can never be controlled by their emotions (Damon, 2017). Our education system has to instil this in our learners.
Also, education system has to enlighten the learners to help gain control 0Ver their subconscious mind, which can help accomplish anything in life. psychologists have stated that the subconscious mind cannot differentiate between reality and fantasy and is a storehouse of reactive information, which is accumulated over time for a quick reference, and developing social skills do require “8 to condition our subconscious mind and this helps to avoid self-sabotage. It iS also important to note that conscious mind can have between 10,000-20.000 thoughts at day but the subconscious mind can have up to 100,000 unique Thoughts a day (Damon, 2017).
We need to focus on the Intelligence Quotient, Physical Quotient, Emotional Quotient, Spiritual Quotient and Imagination Quotient. Some of these Parameters are well established and some need more scientific research.
REPORT CARD OF THE FUTURISTIC LEARNER
The report card of the futuristic learner should be based on learner’s self-awakening, and understanding of where the learner stands, learner’s intelligence, interest and adaptability, and should put his/her scores in relation to learner’s psychometric analysis. The report card must cover the following to assess the learner with regard to outcomes and holistic development.
Self-appraisal should be the first part. If the learner does not know where s/he stands with regards to various aspects, then we have not built in a mechanism of self-assessment and self-actualisation. This will help the learner to introspect honestly and judge what needs to be done. The self-assessment should cover a learner’s:
- Reading and writing speed
- Physical fitness and health (including posture)
- Etiquette and mannerism
- Imagination Quotient
- Spiritual Quotient (SQ)
- Emotional Quotient (EQ)
- Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
- Handling of mental and physical stress
- Practical and Application orientation
- Core strength areas
- Life skills
- Potential areas of excellence
- Core competencies acquired
In nutshell, we need a clear metrics to measure the contribution of education to the society, country and the economy. Since, we do not have that as yet, it might be a good idea to see where India stands with regards to other nations on key national metric and also, domestic indicators, to establish if India, as a nation, benefitted from the education system.
Also, my belief is that though financial power is vital for a nation, but without educational power, financial power cannot remain with a nation for long. Better education is the key to solving all challenges, and if the education system is not progressive and future proof, a nation must not dream big, and Politicians should not become loudmouths about development.
I passionately believe that for a Lower Middle- Income Country (LMIC), like India, the priorities should be- Education, Health, and Infrastructure. We should never forget that if we don’t teach – we don’t reach! To reach our goal of a developed country, we must teach like a developed country.