– D.Ramakrishna Rao
India by 2050 is poised to become a superpower as per the predictions, opinion of analysts and international agencies. Our country is slowly emerging as a global magnet suggesting a golden age for India in all fields. Now that we have to put our best possible efforts to become global leader and competitor in the field of education.
MANAGING YOUTH QUAKE:
It is to remind that Bharat is set to become world’s youngest country by 2020 with 64% of its population in the productive and working age group. Because of this youth quake or bulge much care is to be taken at the post-secondary or higher education, because of the demographic changes and less dependent population. Recent international reports suggest that inspite of youth explosion, access to quality education and skill development are becoming a myth and a big challenge. Hence our watchword in future should be quality, technology, excellence ethics and value base in education.
GOING GLOBAL BY PROTECTING OUR IDENTITY:
Leading countries of the world with their specialities, priorities, nature, character and needs protected, have established global standard educational institutions with required quality by mapping the latest trends in the world. Chinese concentration on vocational education, Japan’s relaxed education with a big scope for learning in nature and outdoors, Australian’s problem based learning for real life experience, Finnish focus on high quality education without believing in competition, grading, punitive measures with all encouragement to trust and equality – resembling our traditional gurukula system where care and character building are supreme, South Korea’s rigorous and fierceful competitive training by working for very long hours and American’s more flexible education have allowed them to be global leaders and players with quality being the guiding principle. Hence we should make our best possible efforts to meet present challenges to reach global standards in very near futures by not ignoring Bharateeya philosophical, psychological and sociological foundations of education, not forgetting our requirements, maintaining our identity and character.
REINFORCING NATIONAL VISION FOR BHARATEEYA MODEL OF EDUCATION:
Seven decades of independence finds Indian education to be a nightmare. For very short term objectives our national vision is divorced. There were attempts for reformation but not for major transformation leaving our system to be more Eurocentric and western-influenced rather than Bharat centric. We should have our own alternate Bharateeya model of education by getting away from the misconception that our time tested ancient culture, education and knowledge system have no relevance to current problems and challenges.
EMPOWERING GURU TO SUPERSEDE GOOGLE BABA:
Teachers have a greater role in grooming children and moulding them into humans with a broad value base. It is google which now provides unlimited and instant access to information of universe but formation of character is only possible by Gurus, whose profession and life is for this purpose. Hence teachers are to be empowered, enriched, enlightened and equipped to nourish native and natural intelligence of a student above the artificial intelligence. Teachers education in India is to be reorganized and restructured to meet our national aspirations and activate nation building activity, as teacher is the fulcrum and pivot on which the quality of education depends. He also adds value to the life of a student beyond the question paper, text book and classroom. The teacher ceases to be a simple dispenser of knowledge like google but starts playing the role of being an initiator, facilitator, guide, critical thinker and helps to share, discover and interact.
MOTIVATION FOR INTENSIVE USE OF TECHNOLOGY:
In order to improve Indian student’s capacity, resorting to intensive use of technology with human face, caring hands, thinking mind and concern for the society is a must. Access, quality and equity are the three problems which can safely be addressed by technology in the classrooms and by providing on line platforms. It has been proved again and again that technology enables high quality learning experiences even in the case of slow learners. We have to develop technology-friendly classrooms and ambience across the country. Technology intensive infrastructure is to be given top priority to withstand technology driven global competition. E-learning shall be the future Indian learning system because of technology invasion and success of this depends on skilled teachers.
LEARNING TO BECOME CREATION OF KNOWLEDGE:
Spoon feeding and mere large scale consumption of knowledge, spells doom for imagination, innovation and thinking skills leaving our young students far behind in the global race of creativity. All learners in future shall be trained to become producers of knowledge rather than consumers. Introduction of case study method, project based approach, field trips, paper presentation, experimental learning, seminars, workshops, group discussions, blended learning techniques, comparative study, surveys, interaction sessions etc. force a future student to play an active role rather than passive one.
RESEARCH INTEGRATED CURRICULUM AT THE POST SECONDARY LEVEL:
To make higher educational institutions becoming centres of innovation and creation of knowledge, research integrated curriculum is a must in future. For post graduates 40% and under graduates 20% weightage is to be given for research. Small project work and dissertation is to be made compulsory. Student should also be trained for carrying out action research to help in identifying small social and economic problems in the society, in order to find a feasible solution. Then students shall definitely become valuable assets in India’s knowledge driven society.
ANY PLACE, ANY TIME, ANY PATH AND ANY PACE LEARNING TO REPLACE CLASSROOM LEARNING:
Technology invasion and E-learning platforms made education possible, more personalized and individual oriented learning, away from the class room in the lap of nature and under the sky. After school or without formal schooling, summer camps, other concentrated periodical purposeful camps and home schooling movement are fast catching momentum with youth, 4 favouring and proving that there can be learning at any time, any place, any path and any pace, which would be a leading edge of future education. Travelling classrooms along with laboratories may add flavour to it.
“LIFE SKILLS AND SOCIAL ORIENTATION AS PRIORITY: Future education nourishes student’s skills, aptitudes, attitudes, interests, emotions, competencies, abilities, capacities and integrates him to society and the nation. Development of social, thinking, analytical, decision–making, problem–solving, interpersonal, emotional, spiritual, self-management and other life skills shall be the priority during 21st century. Social orientation and awareness shall be the parameter for a student’s successful life.
Future India would definitely make path breaking and valuable contributions in the field of education not only for India but also for the entire world. As our education system was effective in the past with man-making endeavour focusing upon every individual because of well developed constructive, artistic and natural process, which was also remarkably effective in addressing the needs and aspirations of the society. As Dr. Altekar put it – Infusion of piety, formation of character, personality development, inculcation
of civil and social duty, promotion of social efficiency, preservation and spread of national culture were the aims of ancient in Indian education and I hope our countrymen would come around to agree with this and follow this in principle and practice for a better India.
(Author has Retired Principal and National President of Vidya Bharati)