The Education Muddle
Why Education in India needs an overhaul to better reflect modern society’s methods and needs
What exactly does education do? Why is getting educated a priority for everyone? Education is a transition from being just a human being to becoming a human resource. It brings in with it a revolution. It has been described as a ‘path towards progress.’ It has been quite a challenging journey for education to be at the same level as it is today. It is in itself a very vast subject matter to argue about.
Is there actually a problem with today’s education or are we just making a fuss about it? The real essence of education has evolved over the years. But the methodologies alone can’t be still functional today. There was once a time when education was just a means to attain a job. But today if we look deeper the scenario has completely changed.
Education has not only become the means of getting a job but it has been trying to give the students the career of their choice. For example in this situation of a pandemic where social distancing is a necessity the face of education has changed completely.
One would never have thought that schooling could be made possible through the online mode. Yes, I know there are so many con’s to this method, but we can’t imagine any other way out of this situation in times like this except for a year taken off from schooling or university; which most of the parents and children are not in favor of. It is either this or nothing. One has to make Sophie’s choice in these unprecedented times.
Apart from gaining knowledge just from books, students and teachers have rapidly progressed to online mode as well as a three-sixty degree mode of teaching and learning. It has taken a long time but we all have realized that knowledge lies beyond books. This means that a student of engineering today has the skills of copywriting, sales, marketing, finance, and is quite confident about what she/he wishes to do.
The most important thing for this century is to stay relevant. This has been possible because the reach of education today is everywhere. Even if education is reachable it has not been handy for all. There have been various limitations that have still kept education absent from most of the population.
Education is an amalgamation of students and educators. Both need to contribute their own part in their own ways. It is never a one-way street. Students need to have the time, patience, and willingness to learn and educators need to teach new ways. Because education is something that is passed on to the generations to come.
What really is the problem with today’s education is the absence of good educators. Wherever you go you will only find teachers but not one of them can teach their students about understanding life and its challenges. It is not only from the teaching side alone but also from the learning side. The attention span, focus, and willingness to learn are omnipresent.
The problem also lies among parents. They are not ready to accept the fact that their child doesn’t know something or is weak. Pampering is something that should now come to a halt. There have to be mixed efforts from both students and their parents.
How should one approach education? Ideally, there are three branches which are Formal education, non-formal education, and informal education. I have tried to shed a light on all three of them.
Formal Education: What all of us have been seeing through all these years in front of our eyes. The schools, institutions, teachers, certification, degree all of them are a part of formal education. It is structured and the most convenient way of learning.
Informal Education: It is what should be inculcated. Real-life examples, mobilizing local resources, diversity in learning methods, and content. It is based on the learner’s participation. It is not structured and it is becoming prevalent in today’s times. It is an unconventional way.
Non-Formal Education: It is what all of us are not ready to learn and accept. Includes learning from home, work, environment, people surrounding you, and your experiences. It is based on your observation and willingness to learn. It can’t be taught by anyone, you need to seek it.
Yes, there are both advantages and disadvantages of all the three branches. A person is educated if he masters all three types. The first type is what we call gaining knowledge. The second one is applying knowledge and the third one is broadening one’s knowledge.
What you need to achieve is the masterstroke behind the three forms which is perseverance and patience. It will not come to you right after you graduate school or college, life will teach you a little bit from all three branches.
In the end, I would like to conclude by saying that problems in the education system are never-ending and it will always be a question of arguments. But always looking at what is wrong instead of looking at what should be done to undo this wrong seems to reduce the confidence and belief of students from the whole education system.
So it is better to bring about some changes in our perspective, learning approaches, and ourselves as well. The present need in our system is a little bit of maintenance in our education system and a curriculum where there is room for holistic development. I hope that after reading this; we just ponder over what we have learned and what we have shared.