09 21st Century - Whither education? - Sr Gerard Paul, RJM

posted Aug 29, 2018, 10:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 29, 2018, 10:02 AM ]
Education is at a crossroads today, where there is a vast gap between what we perceive and what we achieve. It is a window to the world and a powerful weapon to eradicate the evils of society, bringing in the winds of change to move towards progress.

We expect our schools to shape young people, to teach them knowledge, skills and values, but also to overcome the same social problems that we as adults have been unable to solve—to reduce poverty, to build the economy, to save the environment, to include the excluded, to look after oneself and care for others, to overcome materialism.

No doubt, Education today is a far cry from the ideal. Schools cannot achieve all the things we want from them, and they cannot satisfy all the expectations we have of them, perhaps because the goal of Education has shrunk to earning a livelihood.

Learning seems to stop, in most cases, with formal Education. The larger horizons of life are shut out of our vision for Education. The noble and sacred profession compromises its relevance and reverence, creating a severance between knowledge and experience, learning and life. Students do not experience what they learn in classrooms, yet every theory of learning avers that children learn best by doing.

The true purpose of education is to prepare children for life ahead, and what lies ahead we can only narrowly envision, blinded by the multiplicity of innovations, challenges and demands made on both teacher and the taught.

Our educational arena provides wide scope for an urgent need for introspection, leaving much to be desired. We are moving at an immeasurable pace with the advancement of technology overtaking us at every mile.