Changing facets of education

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Changing facets of education

In this era of computers and cloud storage, data banks, laparoscopic and laser surgery, microchips and smart phones, technology has moved so rapidly through the past few years that the blink of an eye will cause us to miss out on a new gadget. Changes are occurring very rapidly, and anyone who hopes to succeed must place education and training as high priorities.

Therefore, we can conclude that excellence in education is not just a matter of acquiring  knowledge from the books, but to ignite and shape young minds for a globalised future. It’s time to empower our children to be responsible citizens, who can step up to be leaders, depending on situations, and this has resulted in an ever-altering facets of imparting education.

Educationists and teachers have a great role to play in imparting education. We often quote children as our future citizens. But the greatest responsibility lies in the hands of those who are entrusted with the task of moulding them. We have to realise that our actions are born from our thoughts. Our thoughts are the products of our values, and values come from our belief system. If we believe that our next generation is going to be miserable, we attract misery. If we believe that our coming generation is going to be beautiful, we attract happiness.

We get what we focus on. So, let’s focus that good things would happen to our children, which is one of the strong variables which would have an impact on them. And while we strive to give our best, we should also understand that children are not against advice, but are very sensitive to the way it is administered. We need to be optimistic in our approach.

Coming to the question of what kind of education is to be imparted, it is of course a challenging task. We all believe that true education should integrate all spheres of human consciousness — physical, mental,  moral and spiritual. Education must be upgraded to meet the requirements of the changing times. It needs to provide real life skills, encourage innovation and support student talents. On the whole, true education should lead a person to ‘success’.

The definition of success

But what does success really mean? Many people think of success in terms of wealth, fame and material grandeur. Sure, money, recognition and material belongings are necessary, but only in lesser degrees when placed in the overall mosaic of a truly successful person. Success is doing and giving one’s best in whatever one does and it is pure folly to measure it in relation to the accomplishments of others or to determine it by any other standards.

Children should be made to understand that they all have different potentials and each must determine the degree of their success, by how completely they have realised their own particular individuality. The education system should help students have a deep belief in themselves that they are going to be successful.

Telling them the life history of successful people would go a long way in making them understand that they are a part of a solution rather than a victim. And more than anything, education must contribute in making them understand that ‘Satisfaction is success’.

‘Living moments of awareness’ is another important quality that can be nurtured to help children reach greater heights. Awareness is a key indicator of success in a range of performance environments. It allows one to become ‘proactive’ rather than ‘reactive’.

As philosopher and writer J Krishnamurthy once said, “Awareness is like living with a snake in the room; you are very sensitive to the slightest sound it makes. Such a state of attention is total energy; in such awareness the totality of yourself is revealed in an instant.” Students should be trained to develop this kind of awareness in them.

It is not surprising that education and competition are intimately related. Some argue that competitions are an effective way of motivating students, while others believe that students can be put off by competitions.

Strive to be better

In spite of the contradictory opinions about the relevance of competition to education, healthy competitions are beneficial because they challenge the participants to give their best, which in turn would prepare them to face this competitive world. Proper guidance can even make them accept failures and assimilate that every failure is a stepping stone to success.

Another very important skill that education should focus upon is the ‘adaptability skill’, which is as important as the technical skill or the language skill. Let us recall as to what Charles Darwin has to say about being adaptable to change: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor it is the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Every person has the basic capability to be adaptable — without which we would not be able to function in this world. Embracing change is better than resisting it. Helping students say ‘yes’ to challenges, showing a positive attitude and keeping an open mind would go a long way in helping them grow, transform and become better versions of themselves.

(The author is lecturer, CMR National PU College, Bengaluru)

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