Education is what every parent hopes will open the doors of success for her child. The educational institutions too have perfectly understood this need of every gullible parent. Their expertise now lies in a search of methods to lure the parent for her wards admission in the respective institution; using skills of attraction. The location of the institution, its heritage structure, its modern artifacts, its ancient cultural values or its latest trends and applications are the hoardings different institutes hang on to, to advertise themselves, forgetting that the crux of the material of an educational institute lies with its educators and its matter and not its walls.
Education which in fact should be teaching simplicity as a great virtue, has today become complex because complexity appears to be selling more and faster. Ironically what follows then is that one has to work harder to achieve simplicity. The tragedy of this story of education is that people are not either rightly educated or educated enough to appreciate such an achievement. A lot many of us are sadly not sufficiently nourished in our souls to appreciate matters sans complexity.
In fact, at times I wonder if we are teaching our children to be miserable instead of joyous with our pushing them to become achievers. Perhaps this is driving them over the edge; invariably making them lose the joy of their childhood and dimming the sparkle in their eyes. If only we were to allow them to see the world not through the spectacles of our system of education but with a child’s eye, then it would be so beautiful for them. Learning in closed classrooms only robs them of fresh air and fresh thoughts.
The claustrophobic environment cuts their wings of imagination making their world not as beautiful as it would have been otherwise.
As a teacher it is mandatory for me to first be a learner and then share my learning so that I leave the world a better place than what I found it in. But the system has trapped me in it too, as it makes me wear a coat of guilt. The classrooms only quicken the ageing in the children; burdening them so much and allowing them hardly any play time. Yes, education has brought in technology and technology has been brought back to the children; but has it not to a certain extent made them into couch potatoes? This system has robbed them of the time to walk on grass because they have assignments to complete. It has robbed them of seeing the morning dew because they have to rush to school.
It has robbed them of their youth and made them age before time! In fact we take pride in saying that our children are mature when they should be simply children. This system has successfully locked our children away from the natural environment and instead given them a paper to study on environment science.
In spite of all such flaws, this system has become successful because it has taught our children how to make a living, but in the bargain it has robbed them from the simple skill of how to live.
In a way I’m glad that though the number of kids seeking education is rising each day, the number of schools continues to stay stagnant; at least due to this problem, the day wouldn’t be far when schools will became redundant with their outdated teaching approach and the memory testing exercises year after year building muscles of frustrations rather than plaits of understanding and wisdom.
The pendulum has perhaps been stretched too far and held for too long on one side and may be a time will soon arrive when it will with great force move to the other extreme where our children and grandchildren will not sit within the claustrophobic four walls to learn about the sun and the moon, but instead look up in the sky and feel the warmth and the tingling coolness drizzling down on their bodies from those heavenly bodies. Perhaps then, they will not count dead numbers on papers to learn additions but sit in gardens and count trees and probably even plant more, to increase their skills with numbers. May be they will, not any more fill in the blanks to understand that ‘we can feel with our skin’, but touch and caress their near and dear ones and understand that love and kindness are for real, and not just on paper.
What? I just heard a whisper. It was asking me a question. Alright, here it is for you too, try and answer it if you can.
‘If the world is getting more and more educated, why does it continue to be enshrouded in the darkness emitted from the smoke of war?’