For greater good

Last Updated 27 February 2013, 18:54 IST

Unless a person receives value education, (s)heis only well-read, writes Srijaya Char.

 Being in the field of education for many years, people do accost me with the question “What exactly is education according to you? When I ponder over it, many things come to my mind. Education is a broad concept. It refers to all the experiences in which students can learn something. Instruction refers to the intentional facilitation of learning toward identified goals delivered by a teacher. Teaching refers to actions of a real live instructor appointed to impart knowledge to the students. Training refers to preparing the students with specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that can be applied immediately upon completion after passing an examination.

Is this what I am interested in? Unfortunately not! It put me in a quandary. I started wondering how people perceive the meaning of the word ‘Education’. For many, education means school, college, academics, studies, degrees, and certificates. But in a broader sense, education means something more. It should not become something like measuring the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of a child, boy, girl or a person.

In fact in the present context, The IQ of a person is not measured by intelligence alone. Many times it is measured in relation to many other quotients that a person needs to possess. There is the Emotional Quotient (EQ), Spiritual Quotient (SQ), Civic Quotient (CQ) and many more. Unless a person is well balanced in all the areas of these quotients, he/she cannot be called educated. We can say “He/she is well read.” Many people who call themselves very intelligent are unable to get along in life. They fail miserably in social values and communication skills. They lack soft skills in terms of management of their own emotions.

They cannot control their anger, jealousy, and avarices. Many still believe that a man who is capable of earning a lot of wealth and owning a number of properties, cars and has a huge bank balance is very intelligent. Well, I personally do not think so. Instead, if only one has enough Emotional Bank Balance. He is wealthier than the man who has millions.

Intelligence quotient (IQ)

According to the definition of IQ “An Intelligence Quotient or IQ is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests attempting to measure intelligence. The term "IQ," IS a translation of the German Intelligent-Quotient, and was coined by the German psychologist William Stern in 1912. Yes, to pass this test one needs to study. Go to school, reach college, pass exams, get good scores, and collect certificates. What has bookish knowledge taught the people of our country? Has it made us civic conscious? Do we care for our surroundings as much as we should? Do we have honest politicians some of whom are from Harvard and Stanford?

Emotional quotient (IQ)

What exactly is Emotional Bank Balance? How do we open such an account? How can we be certain that we have enough of this in deposit so that our cheques will be honoured whenever any emergency arises? Let us consider the proposition from this standpoint. In our ordinary affairs, we of course know that we have to deposit money we have earned in a bank and that our cheques will always be honoured unless we have overdrawn the account.

Now, the same rule is true concerning our Emotional Bank Account. But the earning of the supply or the substance for our Emotional Account is somewhat different. It consists of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and the ability to manage conflict and emotions. If we fail in any of these, then we will not have enough of what we want in the Emotional Bank Account. For here, we earn the ability to draw on the Bank of Life through our knowledge and practice of faith and love. This we can do only if we ‘treat others as you would want others treat you.’

Actually, an understanding of this reality brings us to the most beneficial use of the Law of Cause and Effect. In fact, compassion is one of the traits that can make a man highly educative. What exactly is compassion? 

In fact it is said that ‘compassion’ is the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of emotional maturity. A man who calls himself educated and lacks compassion is not educated in the true sense of the word.

 Education should facilitate love, compassion, patience, tolerance, humility and forgiveness. In the Indian context, it is termed as dharma, karuna, and seva. They are seen as the duty of every human being who is born on this earth and a harmonious co-participation of all these makes a man educated.

Spiritual quotient (SQ)

What is spirituality? Many times it is confused with religion. Frankly ‘spirituality’ has nothing to do with ‘religion’. While religion begets orthodoxy, rituals, idol worship and caste consciousness, spirituality is a highly evolved process. Many adherents of orthodox religions who regard spirituality as an aspect of their religious experience tend to contrast spirituality with “secular worldliness" rather than with the ritual expression of their religion. Spirituality is all encompassing. It neither opposes nor defends any religious belief.

A person who is spiritual is a ‘secular worldly being’ who believes in himself and it usually means he believes in a greater purpose; that there is some invisible fabric that ties all beings together. It is an affirmation of love and the importance of compassion and patience, it's a declaration of the inherent beauty in nature.

Civic quotient (CQ)

It is rather embarrassing to end the article saying that “We in our country stand a ‘ZERO’ in this part of education as I have nothing to say.  A lot of lapses have been identified in every aspect of this process. There is lack of capacity to make the desired impact on the social lives of our countrymen, politicians, administrators, citizens, or even children. All are increasingly indifferent and irresponsible in this area of education. Unfortnately, this handicaps my ability to comment any further on this quotient.

So, education according to me is the blending of all the quotients in the right proportion. It is only then that one can call himself/herself educated. Sadly, most of us are only well-read.

(Published 27 February 2013, 16:55 IST)

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