By Debalina Bhowmik Nag
Education is the process of acquiring knowledge and skill for the overall growth of mind, body, and spirit, and thereby preparing oneself as intellectually sharp, spiritually uplifted, and physically strong so that the person becomes an asset contributing to the development of the society, nation and the world as a whole. Education is the training of the mind to think rationally and judge with reason. Education is inculcating humanitarian values in oneself so that one becomes emotionally and intellectually mature as one attains adulthood.
Education today has narrowed down to gulping a few alphabets and numerals so that the individual can score high marks with the only motto to get admission to a renowned university/college and finally get a high paid job or establish as a successful businessperson. So as soon as a child is born today’s society wastes no time but throws the infant into a cradle of alphabets and numbers and rhymes and by the age of three, the little champion is introduced to the best available institutions with all modern amenities and the institutions which teach the art of scoring good marks so that the career is ensured. There is no other purpose.
The child does not have the liberty to enjoy childhood because the adults have taken the responsibility to educate the child. But is the adult educated enough to educate another human being? The question lies unanswered. How can one who lacks proper education teach another?
The child is innocent and everything in nature stirs the nascent curiosity within the child. He wants to learn everything and know the world around him. No, she does not want to know with the intention to fetch marks in exams but to simply know…knowledge for sake of knowledge. But adults do not spare the child. They rush in and treat the child as a mere puppet who has to be taught the art of winning and the poor fellow is left a victim to the whims of the adults who know only competition but do not know compassion; adults who are literate but not educated; adults who are mature in age but not in wisdom; adults who know to read and write but do not know to love and respect.
The outcome is pathetic. Society is full of young individuals who know how to win a trophy and coin money but do not know to love and respect. Their life centers around profit and loss. When they fail, they are overwhelmed with a sense of loss because they have been taught to win . They have not learned to value human life but value money and fame. So when they fall short of achievement,they fall prey to depression. They are easily frustrated and in frustration, they are entangled in vicious cycles of sins. On the other hand, the individuals who bask in success turn into money-earning machines who do not bother about anything except fame and glory. We need to rethink the way we educate our children today. But before we educate our next generation we need to re-educate ourselves because time is high enough we rectify our mistakes and fallacies. The sooner we change, the better it is for ourselves and for our children who will bear the torch of progress in the true sense of the term.
Today where is a true human being? Where is a person who is intellectually sharp, physically strong, and spiritually uplifted? The number is a countable few. There is an increase in cases of murder, rape, suicide, divorce , child molestation, drugs, etc. But definitely, today’s generation is more educated and the literacy index is much higher than it was forty years back. So the question arises are we really well educated today? If the answer is in the negative we need to evaluate the education policy today so that future generations may contribute to a better society than what it is today.
The purpose of education should be not marks but a lifetime learning of values. The purpose of education should be all-inclusive growth. Moral education and ethical principles and that too not for the exam but for life should be given more emphasis in educating a child. Up to a certain age let nature be the sole teacher of the child; let the child roam free in the lap of nature and spend time under the open sky. It is important that the child spends time with a wise person; a child doesn’t need to be taught. In the animal kingdom, the babies learn by seeing and are free to do what they are able to do. They pick up by observing and need not be taught anything by force. For instance, when the mother duck wants to inspire the duckling to learn swimming, it does so by swimming continuously with patience until and unless the duckling picks it up. Everything is so spontaneous in nature. The birds fly free in the sky because they have been born to fly and there is no dictator to interfere with their inherent ability. So when a human child is born, let the child grow up freely without any interference or pressure. Let the adults behave wisely and imbibe principles of morality and ethics. Instead of focusing on the children, they should teach themselves so that the children can grow by observing the adults. Let the child discover with what ability s/he has been born with. Let the child fly free and enjoy life.