Education – Then and Now (Part 1)
Education, a Vehicle for Knowledge
An Education system is the knowledge delivery system for a civilization.
Education is a vehicle, a Vahana for Knowledge, Jnana.
An effective education should deliver comprehensive knowledge, comprising of
- Dhi – Intelligence
- Dharma- Values
- Daksha – Skills.
Dhi – to gain intelligence by learning to see, understand and analyze everything correctly.
Dharma – to develop values of Universal order, so that one can discern the right thing to do.
Daksha – to acquire dexterity in body and mind, to do that right thing in the right manner.
Man – A Twofold Being
Man is basically a twofold being,
- A Spiritual Being
- A Material Being
A balance between the two is essential.
Ancient and Modern Focus
A community’s view of education depends on their “existing knowledge then”, of arts, humanities, sciences, culture etc.
The understanding that exists in a land, during a particular period, defines the focus of education for that era.
In Ancient and Medieval India, the focus was on greater life.
In the Western World and present day India, the focus is on apparent life.
Unfortunately, these remain exclusive and the present system is also experimental being merely a couple of centuries old. Our main stream system follows the Macaulay system, which wholly revolves around knowledge to be gained from books and recorded facts.
While the present educational system, in many developed countries have evolved and are evolving according to contemporary times, India sadly is still stuck in the same old Macaulay system of education since the last 200 years, unwilling and afraid to change.
Soft Skills and Hard Skills
The difference between the Ancient and Modern system of education is in the timing, handling and imparting of Hard Skills and Soft Skills.
Childhood is the period, when a child absorbs the most and forms his concepts about life. The brain is like a sponge, a receptacle.
In the Gurukula system of education, Soft skills were given importance in the early days of education, while in the present day education system, it is Hard Skills that take precedence.
What are these hard skills and soft skills?
When we look at the difference between the English system and the traditional Gurukula system of education, the difference is telling.
What we need is a blend of the Traditional Indian Concepts, Methods, Techniques of Teaching and Modern Technology and Information.
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