“The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one”. – Malcolm S. Forbes
India follows the colonial age education system brought by Britishers. They replaced our traditional education system with English ones. We ought to understand that the education system introduced was not for the welfare of their renowned Asian colony (a gem of their crown) but to help them exploit it.
It’s ironic that even after 75 years of independence, we still follow our colonial legacy. Actually, after the British left, we have gone from bad to worse at following their education system.
What is the basis of my argument?
India has not created a Nobel Prize winner in science since 1930 (CV Raman). As of July’21, India is ranked 45 out of 55 countries in the International Intellectual Property Index (that is certainly not glory for a 1.3 billion nation). In the Healthcare system, India ranks 66 out of 195 countries in 2019. These are just a few popular indexes of a good education.
Not to be said, India has not improved, but the pace of it.
What went wrong?
- Since the medieval period, India has been ignorant about scientific revolutions around the world. We still are carrying some of it.
- Two third of our population still lives in rural areas, which could never grow at par with their metropolitan counterparts.
- Questioning norms and thinking out of the box is discouraged in most domestic or educational spheres.
- Our approach is still problem-centric, and not solution-centric
- Obsession with western culture and language (English)
In 2020, the Pandemic happened, and we all were forced to change the norms of almost every sphere of our lives. But, every cloud has a silver lining.
The New Education Policy launched by the government, though very late, could also be seen as timely in the context of the pandemic.
Teachers on their way back to school
The past two years have not been easy, but rather a nightmare for so many people. Stories of loss of jobs, loved ones, and uncertainties all around it.
While engaging in deep conversations with our teachers, they shared stories of distress, burnout, and moral injury.
With the grace of the almighty, we are fortunate to have the courage and support of the entire G.D.Goenka family as Best Boarding Scool in Delhi NCR, that we fared well. Working in a school with high positive morale, you realize it is not luck but years of discipline, and hard work. It is through this commitment, inspiring and visionary leadership, and honest heart-to-heart conversations that schools like G.D.Goenka have protected and maintained the high morale and well-being of our staff.
Building that morale was important as these staff had to endure the years of quality assessments and individual and institutional accountability coupled with pandemic teaching and mandates.
Students eager to return to schools
Returning to CBSE school in Gurgaon is an exciting time for students, something they have been longing! Picking out your first-day-of-school outfit a night before, the smell of Crayola crayons, arranging the books and notebooks in bags, and finally meeting the friends.
Below are things to be done to ease their return:
- Returning back to the old normal: At G.D.Goenka, we understand that changes can be stressful, and the students will take some time to adapt to these changes. Every child is unique, and so is our approach to them.
- Dealing with anxiety: Through proper morning schedules, we can help relieve the fear of the unknown by letting children know “what comes next”, which will create predictability and confidence. Practicing the same schedule will help in unwinding the subconscious memory, building confidence, and relieving anxiety.
- Connect with the Classroom: Regular students or new admissions, after such a gap, these students arriving at schools will naturally be missing the connect with the community, so, this needs to be addressed. It can be done through interactive games, mentor-mentee or peer-to-peer interactions, and of-course with the due course of time.
- Social-Emotional Learning: This part of learning has definitely gone amiss in the virtual mode of learning, which forms a base of other social skills (man being a social animal). When all the stakeholders emphasize on the self-consciousness among students, self-management, social consciousness, building relationship management skills, and responsible and accountable decision making, to create leaders of the next generation.
Gone are the days when education used to be about having degrees. Today, it’s all about learning new skill sets to set you ahead of the norm.
At G.D Goenka, we encourage our students to think out of the box and ask questions others never thought of. Just asking questions would not suffice, rather finding answers on their own is what our mentors teach these bright stars of our sky.
This pandemic has definitely forced us to upgrade our education technologically, giving us the time to contemplate on what transformations can be made to change the fundamental values around education in our country. Since we are already in a momentum, we believe this is the time to bring in the changes.