The contemporary education as a system is mostly ego enforcing and devoid of the connection with soul or spirit. It bumps out materialism and individualism. That way, it is an enterprise of selling and buying information, running almost parallel to the actual needs and abilities of a child. Instead of learner oriented, it is focusing on to achieve the mastery of subject matter for getting better marks or grades but very less caring about the genuine intellectual elevation of learners. If it still continues in twenty first century, it is disastrous.
The aim of education, according to all prominent educationists and philosophical discourses, is to bring out the latent inherent capacities of the learner, the potential secret within every human being. Its aim is not to promote competition but harmonious learning in cooperation with and from one another, for personal growth to realize the purpose of education in its truest sense. It potentially churns the theory and praxis of physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual faculties of an individual to bring out a beautiful human being with a pretty soul. The system can make a wonderful confluence of Western scientific rationalism with Eastern transcendent metaphysics into a harmonious intellectual journey towards reality of life meeting the contours of idealism, realism, naturalism, and pragmatism.
At this stage, the mind, heart and body are lined up and turn to be enough mature to initiate the process of understanding and dialogue for an integrated personality. Here, education doesn't teach individual as a separate entity in the universe rather a homogeneous part of it, the way tide is a part of the sea. Such an integral system provides a free and creative environment to the child by developing his interests and creativity and affords him the opportunities to chisel his mental, moral and aesthetic ores. This opens up the channels for his spiritual powers.
It has been established that a child has an innate potential for physical, mental, and spiritual learning. Knowledge is lying dormant in him. He needs help to exalt it out. Here starts the task of a teacher who is not there only to share information but to guide the learner about the ways of acquiring knowledge. The teacher’s task is to show the student where it is lying and how it can be worked out to rise to the surface. For this, the teacher must be soft, kind and caring but overwhelming to his mission. If he is rude or lacking ethics, he needs to be re-educated before being sending to the school. He should not force his students to follow him. He should be rather followed. Once the combination is strong, new vistas of knowledge and light from within, for sure, shall glow the world around, as well.
The current system of education per se results in a persistent harm of a child. His growth is mutilated and perfection is defaced by keeping him off his true self. The repercussions are rampantly evident at societal levels everywhere through a variety of characters. Three important components of current education set up, to me, are directly responsible for such a damage.
First, the leadership, whether at top level or at school level, is mostly traditional not in its values but its ignorance. Save a few, they are devoid of the sense of understanding of child's mind, body and soul relationship. They are harsh in behaviour and attitude which hurts the soul of the child in school. Once the soul is broken, even the strong mind-body equation drops on the mat, and the essence of education is pathetically defeated. And when the tradition is encouraged and justified, the results seize to be discussed, wise men understand them well.
Second, teachers, with certain exceptions out there, don't understand the bonding of child's vital formation and make up. They allow them to stay in fragmentation, so is the fragmented learning outcomes.
Third, the examination and evaluation process is alien to the integrated personality assessment and analysis of a child. It is still utopian even in the current dynamic society. Child always prepares for examinations not for life. It takes on his brain and shrinks the channels of understanding and fails to collaborate with all encompassing potential of an individual to make him ready to face the tough challenges in real life situations ahead. Rote memory education is banking type education where you deposit the information in the mind of a child, not the soul, who gets back the information during examinations, the way you get the money from ATM. It is just a hallow bargaining with little or no benefits.
Unless, education reaches out to the transcendental being of an individual, the focus on mere body and cognitive construct can't bring out influential beings. Spiritual intelligence, a significant window to look at the world in all dimensions, needs to be explored among children. It connects the mental and spiritual life in schools to their performance and functioning in society to accomplish the true mission of education.
(Author is a regular columnist of Rising Kashmir and can be reached at email@example.com