Believe me, I am questioning myself. I am not one of those pessimist types who neither have hopes, nor any dream to realize about the future that has no promise for them. I am one of those incorrigible optimists who are generally confident about man’s capacity to dream in whatever circumstances he is forced into.
I have been very critical about the education system, generally followed in modern times. I think that the new generation is fed with heaps of worthless information, and is hardly encouraged to question or critically examine and investigate about the direction in which the humanity is being guided to. With all the information forced into the minds of the new generation, it is lead to infer that whatever, animate or inanimate exists in the world can be viewed as distinct objects, many of them being even intelligent objects having pre-programmed abilities to manipulate the inputs being fed to them, in expectations of almost predictable outputs. The modern man has no problems in ‘living’ like intelligent objects as long as he can personally live with sufficient physical comfort deriving marginal sensory pleasure from his physical existence. The modern man is intelligent enough to think like an object. He is a modular thinker, and is very proud of his compartmentalized thinking. He is generally overjoyed with his intellectual ability to successfully roam around the highly sophisticated labyrinth ‘designed’ by him with enviable ease.
The pathways the modern man has made for himself are luxuriously glittering, but they are not meant to carry the man in a forward direction; they are meant to shuttle the man to and fro or to make him move in fascinating circular paths like that of the merry-go-round. The paths have been carved out to extract the last drop of renewable essence of life with a pace that does not allow renewal of natural life for the survival of the entire mankind. The modern man is in a great hurry, competing with each other, to corner whatever it can lay his hand on. The major population of the mankind, however, does not fit into the definition of the modern man; such population finds it difficult to survive happily, but has great patience to continue traveling on the difficult and dilapidated pathways searching for the clean and well lighted pathways first, and then the fruits of modernity. Perhaps, the modernity is a myth circulated by a small population of the man that is devastatingly greedy and powerful.
The modern man, the victim of his ego and arrogance, is superstitiously confident about finding a technical solution of all the nasty problems that are not visible to him, who has blinded himself with the sparkling glitter of the momentary flashes of glorious but imaginary future.
What is it that I want to speak to the modern man who is thoroughly intoxicated by his intellectual abilities, technological prowess and acumen of amassing wealth justifying whatever he does in his self interests? If I am convinced that the existing education system should change, I must have a clear picture in my mind as to what all must be discarded from the intellectual field of the new generation and why. I must also know about all the tools used by the modern man that need replacement and why such replacement is essential; further, I must also know about the tools that must be experimented with before presenting them to the modern generation. I need answers to all the questions beginning with ‘What’ and ‘Why’, before I speak what I must speak.
Our modern education system makes one much fascinated by the questions that begin with “How”; once the answer is known, one enthusiastically goes about implementing the “What’s” and justifying the “Whys” with the help of the answers he has received for the “How’s”. The technology, the emotional flame of the modern man lures him because it satisfies many “How’s” of the man, and thereby fuels many more desires in him, compelling him to stay in a perpetually excited state. The modern education system is without a sustainable core, with its exterior being often polished and decorated with layers of “How’s”. Those who find it inadequate in helping the man find the right direction to his life, go about implementing superficially more fascinating changes in it so that it provides greater insight and ability in the students for doing the things already being done by him, a little more efficiently, much more easily and in great style. No one ever thinks about the exact purpose of the education because he is not able to imagine as to what must be installed as the core of the education; after all, he has never learned to deal with “What’s” and “Whys” of modern life.
I, still, do not know what to convey about the modern education system; I have, so far, learned only as much as to know what I must not speak about it. It is not easy to tell someone that he sits on nothing.
PROMOD KUMAR SHARMA
[The writer of this blog is also the author of “Mahatma A Scientist of the Intuitively Obvious” and “In Search of Our Wonderful Words”.]