The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

India has had a very inspiring contribution to schooling and education. Unlike any other nation or culture in the world, India has historical references of schooling and education through her mythologies and ancient traditions. ‘Schools’ were known as ‘Gurukula (गुरुकुल) or ‘Ashrama (आश्रम);  while the teachers who taught and groomed children in these ashrams were known as the ‘Gurus(गुरु).

There are great references of schooling and education in the stories of Rama, Krishna, Arjuna, Karna, Ekalavya and many other Indian scriptures. If we deeply study these eras and the social dynamics that prevailed in those times, we understand how minutely the ‘Vedic Education System‘ was observing the social changes and being constructively responsive to it. However, it strictly followed some principles. It never accepted deviations that would potentially impact the core aspects of human wellbeing in its students ~  ‘the shishyas‘ (शिष्य ). That was the main reason why there was a supreme value for morals and ethical decision making in the Indian businesses. This made the Indian businesses unassailable from the domestic or foreign social parasites.

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Since ages; Infrastructure, Technology, Scientific Research and Human Perception have always seen a progressive elevation in the society. Innovative research and progressive development was happening in these fields even in those times. However, the gurukulas responded very smartly and aptly to such changes – without forgetting the gravity of its social impacts.

Today, many of us blame our current education systems for many reasons. One of the main pain point is that our Education system is not being responsive to the changing dynamics of the industries. Today, there are many schools in big cities who understand this concern, and groom children with innovative ideologies. Each school has it’s own niche and core competence to achieve greatness and shape the society. However, many times ‘greatness’ gets a very dis-aligned definition from the players in the educational segment. This is a big thing of concern for the Indian society and the Business community as well.

We will not get into how the vedic system of education worked and what were its merits or demerits. We will neither compare it with today’s education system, as almost all the underlying dynamics of education have changed. If we do so, it will be like comparing the flight of an eagle with that of an aeroplane. Let’s keep it open for the readers to associate the ‘Eagle‘ and ‘Aeroplane‘ to their respective perceptions of the two education systems. Just something that shall be considered; Eagles are difficult to hijack and they never crash. They build their entire system of working ‘within’ themselves. For instance, they do not need any help from the external technologies such as Radars, Mapping systems, Black Box, etc to function efficiently and in the harmony of the nature. They are groomed that way. They are taught that way. That is a natural and harmonious  process of learning.

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Today, many schools and parents are focussing only on how they can equip their children with the understanding of latest technologies, general knowledge and the technical knowledge of different things. Complimenting it with the social inclinations, these children are becoming greatly knowledgeable; but equally dependent. Their dependence has greatly increased on acquiring knowledge of things before they can apply their common sense and develop their own perspectives. This is leading towards two great disasters for their lives.

Firstly, this constant quest makes them greatly knowledgeable and starts nurturing a silent ego since childhood. This ego develops a perspective of judging people only based on the knowledge they have. Age or any other element does not matter. Hence love, compassion and respect is gradually getting diluted from the thought process of the upcoming generations. Many children do not even have these feelings for their parents.

Secondly, children forget to explore the thin line between ‘Knowledge‘ and ‘Information‘. And to our fortune, we are gifted with informative platforms like google. Google is not the source of knowledge. It is a source of information. This trend of dependence on google is making our future generations informative; but not necessarily knowledgeable. How does that matter?

Let’s consider an example. Suppose Amit wants to learn how to swim. Now, he goes to google and types “How to learn Swimming by yourself”. He gets some articles to read and a few videos to watch. Amit feels he knows how to swim after watching all these links. Now, Amit says he wants to swim in the river. If he was your son, what would you do? Would you allow him to swim alone in the river? You won’t; because you know if he has to swim, he needs some more help than mere reading and watching videos. He may be able to survive, but not swim. Mostly, there are greater chances that he may drown. Hence, in absence of the necessary perspective, Amit starts becoming an elegant knowledgeable idiot within himself…!

In the Vedic education, the guru observed the progress of the child’s perception and then offered him further steps of learning. Gradually, we generalised it through the common examinations. Schools and Parents are giving extensive importance for technology based learning and assessment. Children are getting exposed to innovative technologies and devices. This is making a false impression of their smartness in front of our ‘guests’. Whereas within themselves, children have started walking the path of Amit.

Today, children are getting these tools of smartness without any consideration for the underlying perception. Vedic education has given an equal importance for knowledge, perception and its application. The design and strictness of that system did not allow application of knowledge to the student without developing the necessary perspective.

Many schools are employing counsellors to handle these elements, but it isn’t helping greatly.

Our Schools are doing a great work in grooming the education and knowledge oriented aspects within students. However, very few are closely focussing on shaping these children with the humanitarian perspectives. Many schools are employing counsellors to handle these elements, but it isn’t helping greatly.

Studying from the Vedic Education System, we need to show our children – How to integrate Education, Knowledge, Information and Performance? How we can have Inspiring Careers by adding an essence of great perspectives to our aspirations? How we can manage their 1000 Interests and choose one; and craft an inspiring career out of it? And most importantly, how our careers contribute to the constructive development of our society?

This will help the children in developing a deeper understanding and make them more sensitised and constructively responsive to the social changes and industrial dynamics. By doing this, we will contribute towards building an inspiring business community for the future that is more harmonious within themselves.

Our Education Pathway Programme works exactly on these elements and helps students and schools with humanitarian and inspiring futures. We have been fortunate to touch the lives of children from diverse backgrounds with these perspectives. Do communicate your interest for further details.

We will be back on next Wednesday with our next Article on Education & Careers. Till then, “Keep Smiling and “Enjoy Learning”..!

For further details, mail us on pushkar@milastic.com

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