It’s exam time for college going folks and there is a lot of tension in the air, but are we forgetting something?…
The linearity of formal education as identified by Sir Ken Robinson (TED talks!), and famously brought out by writer Chetan Baghat (3 idiots) remains unsolved and buried under the sands of time. Any developing country at some point of time must answer this question, but, in a big democracy such as ours, new scandals or IPLs always catch the headline obscuring the bigger problems. Yet, every time when exams are scheduled , the linearity shows itself up and I think it is time that I expose it a bit.
Is there a crisis?
It is not uncommon to hear news about young people committing suicide just after bad exams results but, one step further, we have seen a child go violent and kill his teacher(Chennai,2012) this year and all this points to a crisis that we will have to answer inevitably and that I think is the bigger problem, the crisis of the mind.
“Every education system in the world is being reformed at the moment and it’s not enough. Reform is no use anymore because that’s simply improving a broken model. What we need is not an evolution but a revolution in education” Sir Ken Robinson
Imagine this,.. Imagine Einstein has an accident and becomes something of a Gazhini Aamir Khan(The short term memory loss guy), and then, unfortunately gets to study in a commonplace Engineering college in India that follow traditional exam system, what would he do?.. He is likely to become insane, not himself.
This is the big problem with exams because people are different and not all have enormous memory capability. Exams only test what I remember during exams and not what I have learned during the course. There are a lot of undiscovered Einsteins and Tagores in our country who never became one.
If one gets to learn something, what really matters is what he does with what he learns- how he uses it, and how he learns to apply it. Whereas, a traditional approach only tests what a person retains. This changes the purpose of education. When the goals are changed, everything changes. A student studies for marks, not to learn something new and passion-less teachers become common. This perspective of exams interfere with the process of teaching and inhibits learning itself.
Schools and colleges have become mark factories and not a place where a student discovers his talents and abilities. How are we going to solve this?
“The current system of education was designed and conceived and structured for a different age”Sir Ken Robinson
“Education is modeled on the interests of industrialization and in the image of it” Sir Ken Robinson
I think the problem has become a political one than an educational one, yet, I believe that we already have all the elements we need to solve this crisis, but the one thing missing is SYNERGY between the element viz. ideas (to be worked upon), money(to fund the idea) and minds(to pursue the idea) ,and a place where they come together. When the real power of democracy is understood, it will be easy to solve any crisis of any magnitude.
A child is like a butterfly in the open.
It flies swiftly around meadows , plants, flowers
and follows the beautiful morning rays of sun
shone on the little pink flowers.
It is not bound to any restrictions, as free as the blowing wind.
Flying happily in its own path. A path it chooses on its own.
It remembers its days in the cocoon, gaining wings and strength to face the world.
Without which it would never have made it to the world.
Children in their early years are like the larvae in their cocoon.
And the cocoon, I believe, is EDUCATION, without which, a child is like a boat
in the mighty ocean without an oar. Bad education is a flawed cocoon. Luckily, Butterflies build their own cocoon, but we ought to build one for our children and children’s children. Why not build a better one….?
“ The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion as our case is new so we must think anew and act anew. We must dis-enthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country” Abraham Lincoln.