Why is Education Paramount

What is the purpose of education? Why do we send our children to schools? What do we expect out of a fifteen year process? These are the questions that matter the most when we think about educational systems and its impact on society.

The main purpose of education is to strengthen your mind so that you can more easily learn to deal with specific challenges you will face throughout your life.

In the ancient days Indians followed the Gurukul System, which was known to be one of the best methods of education. This system required children to be sent to a Gurukul where a teacher trained the students in everything, right from concept based training to the necessary skill based training required to survive in that era. A whole load of countries picked ideas from this system and modernized their teaching methodologies. However during the British Raj, the education systems changed and we were given a system that trained us to be clerks and not thinkers. Hence even in those times affluent parents sent their children abroad for further education. Since then it has been a fad for Indians to go abroad for education, as it was believed that education provided in developed countries is far superior to that in our country.

Education has seen a major shift in the last 15 years. Historically parents sent their children to aided schools, where the school fees were minimal and girls received free education. The teacher child ratio was 1:50 (or even more) and these schools were deploying a curriculum that was developed by government appointed universities which was not updated thereafter. With large classroom numbers the schools could only follow a rote method of learning where the child did not necessarily understand the concept taught but was able to regurgitate it orally and on paper.

A recent study by The US department of labour states that ‘65 percent of children entering grade school this year are likely to encounter work profiles that are not even in existence by the time they graduate.’

The only thing we are certain of is that creativity, imagination and entrepreneurship is going to be absolutely important if we want our children to not just survive in this new millennium but to TRULY THRIVE. We know that 20 years from now success will hinge not on how much we know, but on our ability to think and act creatively. Creativity is the driving force of economic progress and the decisive source of competitive advantage. True Education has a lot to do with creativity and not just literacy. Gone are the days when education was all about rote learning and this is where the opportunity lies.

Real learning happens when children connect concepts taught in class and apply and extend them outside the classroom. Encourage children to go on field trips, excursions, outings to engage them with the real world and reinforce the application and analysis of what they have learnt in class. It is only when we link learning to real life, allow children to see connections in different learning’s that children get to see the broader perspective of the subject. For Eg when teaching them how to read the time on the clock you can also teach them maths concepts and angles too.

Toppers in English who can’t speak a grammatically correct sentence in English to toppers in Mathematics who can’t apply their knowledge in daily life situations are no different from the dropouts who appear at the other end of the spectrum. Where is the system then regularly and systematically churning out individuals who are ‘educated’ ‘marks –heavy’ but highly unskilled and market ‘un-ready’?

The cure to this issue is a curriculum that interweaves its assessments so well into its teaching that students do not feel that they are being watched at every moment is the need of the day. This is where schools play an important role, A school that works on a curriculum that is well researched and planned and integrates into its experiences assessments so seamlessly that they form a part of the whole experience without sticking out like a sore thumb.

It is important for all parties involved in the education sector to destroy the old ways of functioning and completely overhaul our education system. We need to objectively and continuously ask this question ‘How do we educate children for the 21st century’. One thing to understand is that the world that awaits us 10 years from now is going to be something we can’t even imagine at this point; and the need of the hour is to develop children with the right kind of skill sets, this is of paramount importance for a better tomorrow.

Let’s educate our children and encourage them to ask more and more questions and make sure the questions are answered.