“Knowledge is power” – the great philosopher and the creator of the empiricism Sir Francis Bacon had made this sacrosanct statement in the 16th century. Although, it contains an irreversible truth, we seem to have gone miles away from the original intent behind the phrase. We have improvised the meaning of the word ‘knowledge’ to suit our convenience, over the years.
The entire education system in the present scenario is paradoxical in nature. It fails to understand, analyse and fulfill the basic essence of the word ‘knowledge’.
The first part of the word ‘knowledge’ is ‘know’. Question is, know what? The present education system is solely, if not primarily, concerned about knowing only the domain knowledge. Period !!! We are totally depriving and deviating ourselves from the word out-knowledge. Educational institutions are more concerned about imparting, if not injecting, domain-specific and exam-oriented information inside a student’s head.
Here comes the entry of two words – TRAINING and TEACHING.
The literary meaning of the word Training is …”to educate or instruct for a particular role or function”. When Ivan Pavlov talked about Conditional Stimulus (CS) and Conditional Response (CR), experimenting on his dog, he was merely talking about training. We can train a dog to look for explosives or a tiger to stand on two feet at the strike if a whip – but we can never teach them.
Unfortunately, we are exactly doing the same thing not only on animals, but also on homo sapiens. We are being ‘ring masters’ and not ‘masters’. Right from the time a child enters a school arena, we start training them – for scoring high marks, joining the rat race, getting a good job with a hefty pay package. That’s all!!! We train them to envisage a professional degree to fill up their visiting cards. What about KSA, knowledge, skill, attitude? What about life skills? What about proper grooming?
Here comes the necessity of a TEACHER. A teacher is a complete package of a trainer, nurturer, motivator, friend, philosopher, guide and mentor. A teacher is a medium for rejuvenating oneself.
Presently, we are in dire need of teachers and not trainers. Enhancing the overall out-knowledge of a person is the need of the hour. Building good human beings, and not good students should be the motto of educational institutions. It should be remembered that training is a mere subset of teaching. Teaching includes training and not the other way round.
Albert Einstein had defined education as something that remains after one has forgotten everything learnt in school. Keeping that in mind, students should be groomed to adapt themselves to the ever changing environment.
The CCE (continuous and comprehensive evaluation) pattern of education followed by CBSE schools is a positive forward step in this regard. Evaluating a student depending on classroom and internal projects rather than external examinations, is an ideal concept in bringing out the latent potential of a child and helping in the overall development.
As long as we remain in the age-old outdated concept of ‘chalk and talk’, we can never come out of the shell and face the real situation. The world is moving forward and we cannot afford the luxury of lagging behind. We have to put our sole focus on teaching and preparing a child to face the outside world of cut throat competition. A competition of not only getting high CGPA or percentile, but about being a complete educated and knowledgeable person.
How can we forget what a long bearded gentleman dreamt and actually started implementing about a century back in a repose called Shantiniketan? Tagore had thought it long back what we are still searching.
Being an optimist myself, I leave the remaining to my readers to answer. The teaching fraternity, I guess, surely would give it a serious thought for due consideration.
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