Education is the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, values, beliefs that enable us to go through the journey of life on this planet. There are three main type of education that all go through and they are formal education, informal education and non-formal education.
Education is a gradual process of acquiring knowledge through study, different methods of instructions added with practical procedures. Education is the most important aspect of our lives that brings about a natural and lasting change in the way we reason, enhances our ability to achieve targeted goals in life. Education invokes in us the desire to investigate our own considerations and thoughts and makes us ready to express our ideas and thoughts in its various shapes and dimensions.
When a child is born, his/her mind is like a brand new diary devoid of any instructions. As a child grows up he/she is exposed to the myriad sights and senses that slowly start filling up the pages of the dairy that is our mind which remains with us till the end of our days in this earth. A child does not know the ways of the world. As the child grows up it is but education that helps him/her to distinguish between the right and the wrong, the good and the bad, and enables one to achieve their goals in life. Absence of education only makes our lives a rudderless ship unable to navigate through the ocean of life and reach the correct destination.
Education is very closely related to every civilization on this planet. It was education that was the reason behind progress of each and every civilization and has a huge impact on human life. As education is an important factor in life activity it is also greatly influenced by philosophy. Different philosophies like social, economic, have a great influence on the various aspects of education whether it is the educational procedures, planning or educational policies and how these are implemented through both theoretical and practical aspects.
How do we impart education? Every civilization understood the importance and made sure that the acquired knowledge be passed down to reach every one. Education is a lifelong process however; to make it simply so that everyone is able to receive education different systems were devised since the early ages. Hence through the ages a systematic institution with proper rules and regulations was devised. For example in the ancient Vedic era, children were sent to the "Gurukul". The education system of Gurukul of ancient India is known for its unique characteristics that are not found in any other country across the globe. Gurukul was an ancient residential school where children stayed with their Guru or teacher in close proximity. The students of the Gurukul resided as equals, irrespective of their social standing, learnt from their Guru not just math, science, literature, philosophy, but it was an all rounded education where children also learnt vocational education, music, dancing, housekeeping, arts and culture apart from helping the guru with the day to day life chores. Probably nowhere else in the world greater importance has been attached to the teacher than in India. The relation between the teacher and his pupil was very mutual. In ancient India it was the function of the teacher to lead his students from darkness of ignorance to light, and they did toil to bring out the best in their students.
As with every other thing, education system also has changed drastically. Now we have a gamut of educational institutes to choose from, and each offering a better methodology of instructions than the other. However, needless to say the quality of education has increased in many aspects but alas the quality of teachers and dedication towards the profession of teaching has certainly taken a back seat. Even a few decades ago, private tuitions were unheard of, as teachers took the pain to go that extra mile to help students with their learning. Coaching center was not a familiar sounding term. Unfortunately, the scenario is much different today.
Over a period of time education has become so commercialized that it has almost become a commodity in India especially when it comes to higher education. There was a time when only few students would score 90% and above, but right now it is just the opposite, very few students get less than 90%. It is almost a rat race. The very Indian concept of teaching as a noble profession has lost itself under the commercialization of education. Students can no longer depend on just the classes that they attend at school to achieve the percentages that they aim for. Nor are the teachers as dedicated as they used to be. Educational institutes have sprung up like mushroom all over but no one can guarantee to really take the responsibility of educating the children in the real sense of the term. Educational institutes have become the source of generating business.
Apart from the schools with the advent of coaching institutes it has become like a second nature for parents and students alike to get admitted into one lured by the supposedly life changing opportunities that these coaching classes offer. Most of the time children are pushed into following a certain pattern irrespective of whether they like it or not.
The whole holistic method of teaching seems to have lost its way in this mad traffic of commercial education hubs.
Take for instance the ill-famed town of Kota in Rajasthan well known for making students ready for the IIMs, the IITs, NITs or GMC. Well it has also earned the reputation of highest number of students committing suicides due to immense pressure. One of the main reasons being children sent without even understanding the potential he or she has or their area of interest.
There has been such an erosion of moral values and these coaching centers encourage competitions amongst peers. It is almost Dog-eat dog mentality. Students get themselves isolated from the world in order to achieve success by any means. These habits end up changing the mindset of these young children in a very negative way. This kind of serious competition makes children less cooperative, they become insensitive. A "scarcity mindset" is developed in the students rather than an "abundance mindset".
It is time we seriously understand the need of our children, their areas of interest. It is not necessary for each child to aspire to be a doctor or an engineer. Ineffectiveness of education provided by these coaching centers reflects in the current generation of students who looks like the mirror images of each other. Growth and personality development on an individual level is absent which is rapidly degrading the purpose of education. Commercialization of education by the ever mushrooming of these institutes and coaching centers are killing the "Soul" of what real education is all about.
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
Posted By - Assistant Editor