I have always believed that the moral degradation is the root cause of all the problems India is facing today. Enacting any number of laws by parliament will not help to solve them fully. The ultimate solution for all the problems in the country lies in the class rooms of our school. Future statements, scientists, police officials, bureaucrats, journalists, artists, authors, medical experts and business tycoons are sitting in the class rooms of every school. Among them there are many who are destined to be greater than Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekanand, Edison and Tagore.
The little children who are in the class rooms are like diamonds in mines. These rocks need to be identified, broken and polished from the early days of their school which usually does not take place. Instead of drawing out (educare) the best from the students, both teachers and parents inject and impose their ideas and unfulfilled dreams on innocent students. They limit the scope of education.
Our education suffers today due to the lack of quality teachers who inspire young students. A vast majority of these teachers are there by chance rather by their choice. Circumstances forced them to be teachers. Naturally, they neither have sufficient knowledge nor experience in the field of education to inspire and guide students.
Today’s teachers lack clarity about the purpose of education. They don’t even know the meaning of the word ‘education’ which is derived from ‘educare’ meaning ‘drawing out’. When they do not know the fundamental nature and purpose of education, how can they dedicate themselves to identify and nurture the builders of the future? They merely take up a job to earn their daily bread without realizing the wealth and power entrusted to them.
When teachers and parents do not understand the meaning of education as ‘drawing out’ the best from the students, they will continue filling them with their routine ideas, practices, and prejudices.
Schools will function as centers of instruction which the students could get easily from the internet. They do not help the students to recognize their energy, talents and mission of life. Teachers and parents feel that they have to condition and control them for their safety and future. As a result, the children stop learning and discovering themselves. They do not acquire an awareness of their unlimited capacities without developing a vast dream, a holistic vision of life, they just do the minimum to pass their examination or entrance test.
In this context, it is worth remembering the words of Albert Einstein, “the greatest genius does not use more than five per-cents of his talents and energy during his whole life”. If that is the case with greatest genius, what could be said of the students and teachers of our schools and universities? It is because of this failure to draw out best from the students that India fails to prove excellence in any field despite producing the largest number of engineers, doctors, scientists and university degree holders.
The reason for failure of our teachers in ‘drawing out’ the best from students is because they never drew out the best from themselves as students and teachers. Only a person who had discovered oneself will be able to guide others to discover themselves. The best can be drawn out of students only when the teachers have brought their best out of themselves. When they have discovered their potential and used it for productive purpose they will be in a position to motivate. The teacher has to be an ‘acharya’ who teaches students by his/her ‘acharan’. The first priority is to improve the quality and standard of teachers both in knowledge, skills and above all, character.
Class Educator: Jr 2A