I am a Mother to 3.5-year-old twin boys, who recently started Nursery in one of the ‘Top 5’ schools of the city. Of course, like all modern parents, we have a parents WhatsApp group for their batch, where we often discuss the happenings of their school. The more we discuss, the more I feel, that the future of Education lies in regressing to the past, to the ancient methods of Indian Education.
Let’s take an Everyday scenario – More & more urban parents focus on Gentle parenting and are soft with their children. Parents also scrutinize how much children play, view screens, write & read, and the food kids consume. Then we discuss these things with more friends to evaluate if what we are doing is right, or in sheer enthusiasm to guide others instead. We discuss how the teacher ‘scolded’ our child, and how school pressure is too much for our children. Every day there are rants about the current school system all day. We love to exclaim – “That the best of schools treat our children like that, what to expect from the worst!“.
It just made me wonder, is our current education, despite its modern amenities, the best that we are giving to our children?
I totally believe in the fact, that the future of Education in India lies in regressing to the Past.
Not just a few years or a couple of decades, but Centuries.
I believe reading & learning in the Gurukul System of Indian Education had some amazing features. Those can be adopted and amalgamated with modern amenities, to get the best out of it. Here’s what my vision for the ‘Future of Education’ looks like.
Imparting education in the arms of nature
Being out in the open, sitting, probably in sunlight, under a tree has more health benefits than sitting inside a closed room, in artificial light. Breathing Morning fresh air and viewing in natural day’s light has benefits of stress busting, and improving health. If not throughout the hours of schooling, at least some of the morning hours should be spent out in the open.
Certain distractions like sounds of the birds can also help in soothing the mind, as well as enhancing the child’s focus. The child learns to ignore the sounds and focus on the assigned task.
2. A School away from the comfort of home
Some of us as parents are way too protective of our children. We find it difficult to adjust if anyone in the school scolds our children, asks them to finish their tiffins within stipulated break time. Sometimes, we are not quite accepting of strict disciplinary actions being taken in school.
Somewhere down the line, it hampers our children more than our assumptions of it being beneficial. We unknowingly overdo the comfort padding around them, which may hamper their growth as an Independent individual. In my view, Future of education will consist of schools away from home can help them learn a lot more on their own. The stepping-out-of-their-comfort-zone VS constant protectiveness is a crucial aspect here.
3. Fair, Square & Equal
In the future of education, I wish there were no reservations or quotas. I hope in the time to come, most communities would have risen to a certain level, minimizing the gap. I also wish that the fee structure to be stabilized – where either the Government funds all education, or at least a part of it, for all. Or the minimum, that schools across the country follow one single slab.
4. Getting Rid of rote learning FOREVER!
Rote learning does no good to anyone. May be methods of examining a child’s learning need some great brainstorming to get out of the idea of exams and mark sheets.
5. Jobs & Earnings
We study several subjects till the 10th standard. Then we move to a specific stream. Choosing the specific stream sometimes is based on how well our marks turned out during the board exams, or because family or friends say so. It is high time we include aptitude and interest profiling for a child enrolled in the school. Let the interests and aptitude be their career counselor.
It is important to then move children to specific streams, which help them do the best with their set of capabilities. That is when their jobs can be interesting, and their efforts can be more rewarding.
So we’d have lesser cooks trapped in a Sales job, and fewer architects wasting their life in an ill suited job.
6. Behavioural Skills
Being from the psychology stream, I realize that a lot of us do not know how to introspect, or where & how to vent out our emotions. It is a growing challenge to identify when we are thinking negatively, and when we are depressed and need help – given the magnanimous form this devil has taken.
We have pretty much no clue about the basic 8 emotions that we are all born with. A lot f us have no idea that we do feel those emotions, positive or not, and there’s nothing wrong with them.
How to identify when someone is lying, how to get rid of guilt, how to overcome your anxieties, ideas on choosing a life partner, sorting out arguments, how to empathize, and so on. Does any school-going child learn about this?
Picture Credits:- Psychology Today
But don’t all of us need tad bits of these things in our everyday life?
Who has the onus to coach us on these aspects?
Currently, no one, and that is quite alarming!
8. Life Skills & Parenting Skills
Within walls or out in nature – schools today essentially lack the concept of training on life skills.
Sewing, helping with household chores, taking care of a new born baby, breastfeeding, how to swim, what to do when someone around you, or you have severe period pain, basic cooking skills , the science behind cleaning & washing clothes and other such life skills should be a mandate.
We struggle throughout our lives hoping ‘someone told us’ about these things well in advance. Why shouldn’t schools do this?
9. Social & Civil Skills
What happens when someone attacks you or your sister? What do you do if you find an accident Victim? Whom to approach if you have a crime situation around you? Who should be approached if someone you know is sexually assaulting someone? What are the procedures for making a police complaint? How to move out of abusive relationships? The types of lawyers there are and what can they help with. What are the impacts of a divorce?
I’m sure some bit of us really wished they knew about these things well in advance before catastrophes struck them.
School fees, weight of the school bag and such things make headlines everyday. But, seems like no one has given a thought on these things. In my head, this is what the future of education should hold – a more developed as well as aware individual.
This blog is a part of the Blogathon organized by the Festival of Education, Jaipur. You can visit their site for more info here.
If you agree with my concept of the Future of Education, do leave me a comment in the section below.
You may also like to read my friend Charu’s Blog on the Future of Education here.
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