Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Brahmanising education

What is the definition of education? Is it teaching letters and getting bookish knowledge ?

As per some source, education has following explanations

According to some learned people, the word "Education" has been derived from the Latin term "Educatum" which means the act of teaching or training. A group of educationists say that it has come from another Latin word "Educare" which means "to bring up" or "to raise".

Through Education person develops some understanding about the deeper things in life, the complex human relations, and the cause and effect relationship and so on. He gets some skills in writing, speaking, calculating, drawing, operating some equipment etc. He develops some interests in and attitudes towards social work, democratic living, co-operative management and so on.

As per Rousseau,  "Education of man commences at his birth; before he can speak, before he can understand he is already instructed. Experience is the forerunner of the perfect".

Does our education in India reflects any of these opinions? The thrust is more on learning by rote and passing exams. Even what we are learning, is also a second hand product of western system.

Are we creating a good farmer, a carpenter, an artists, an industrial worker, a goldsmith or any profession suited or required for our society ?

How can you create a good farmer, when nothing related to farming is taught in first 10 years of our education? So is true for a blacksmith, carpentor, etc. All we are creating is hordes of clerks for service sector, who should know --- i mean just know, not feel or realise, what is happening everywhere by just reading.

What farmer has to do with probability theory as part of his basic education? Should he utilise this knowledge to select seeds -- which seed to sow ? What carpentor has to do with "reasons for failure of Greek or Roman empire" ?

Some of these topics are definitely required, only for those who take up such field later in their academics or profession. Yes, we are creating mathematicians or historians, NOT any one who produces something for us.

Lot of things children learn by observations and by surrounding environment  ---
How the people interact with each other; how our surroundings change based on time of day, week, month or year; how the buildings or roads are being constructed around us; what kind of trees, animals are there in our area and how they behave, etc. All these can be learnt by children naturally, just by being there. 
This learning also includes that of language. Only representation of language i.e. letters, need to be taught. That's all is the role of basic education. History, science, two languages, grammar,  etc are unnecessary load. You cannot teach about tigers by showing its picture (or even video for that matter). It is futile exercise and why should we sow seed of fear about unknown/unfamiliar/unseen tiger amongst children.

Veda, Upanishads, Vyakarana(Grammar), etc are stuff of higher learnings. In olden days, children used to play and learn, may be till the age of 10 or 12. No schooling till then. Thereafter Brahmin boys used to go to Ashramas to learn Vedas and other boys to their respective professions -- directly on the field. Those who went to Ashramas used to spend a decade and may be more, to rote Vedic mantras and  only 2-3 decades later they could realise meaning of the roted mantras.

Our current education system in India, the Ashram education starts right at the age of 3 or even earlier, almost jumping one full set of education by environment. Everyone goes to Ashrama kind of education system, creating only clerks required for service industry -- in India and Worldwide.

Can we become superpower by such education system ???