Education is the backbone of the society and nation at large and reflects mannerism, culture, understanding, and growth – largely the mindset of people. The widely accepted definition of it states that, “Education is the process of facilitating learning or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits”. And the long term goals in education associated is based on the philosophical assumptions and ideologies. Prima facie, the main objective of education is holistic development of the person, which means cognitive, aesthetic & spiritual growth.
I as an educator understand and accept that education is self-realization/actualization and on being educated, it helps in decision making. Education changes the thought process, helps in understanding the ethos of the community, society and nation and it takes us to the new realm of knowledge.
On understanding the meaning of education, a deep insight in the changing perspectives of education compels us to analyze and infer about the present situation. If education is acquisition of knowledge and skills, values and beliefs and habits is it found on completion of the course/degree awarded? (The tool to do so was comprehensive evaluation, ironically it never happened). For every stage/class based on the philosophical and psychological assumptions, the content is incorporated in the syllabus and on its completion; a degree/certificate is awarded. The certificate thus indicative that the person is educated and ready to implement the acquired knowledge in real time – i.e. application of knowledge in day to day life.
Let me give some illustrations and find out whether getting certificate is being educated or no? “Certified but not Educated”, the topic always popped up in my mind during interactions with teachers, parents, students and through interactions among people. It also disturbed me when I watched educated people spitting in public, violating traffic norms, behaving barbarously with family members, spreading communal tensions in society, child labor, gender discriminations acts and so on……
Today early morning the breaking news on the TV channel was about a feud between teaching fraternities from sangli. It made me numb….. A teacher is highly revered and is personified as the architect of the society. To add to it, the news was covered insensitively. Irrespective of whatever reason, the feud questioned the ethos of the profession!!
Few weeks back, a 10 years old girl – Zen Sadavarte due to her presence of mind saved her family and neighbours. She had learnt about it in her lesson at school and applied the same during times of crisis. A big applause to the educated girl for her kind and brave act! This was an illustration of the child being certified (passed for the grade) and educated.
An illustration – during my interactions with parents, I interacted with a gentleman who was the CEO of the company – having completed MBA and some other degrees to his credit. He was called to discuss about his child’s performance – not only about academics but also his overall development. Also his child was caught copying in the exams. The gentleman started by mentioning that he is highly educated and at the top position of the company. He did not accept the punishment given by the teacher and defended saying it is not a big crime and that his son should not be punished. After a long dialogue he talked about how he paid fees and sent his child for coaching class. I wondered if it was parenting and the upbringing of the child. All the questions in my mind certainly had one answer – the certificate did not mention what was the level of education.
There are many such examples to discuss. The main purpose to highlight these issues is to understand the prevailing conditions even around the educated people. Many times the parents do not have empathy for the children or vice versa, there are prestige issues based on the performance of the child and lack of connect between people.
During my tenure of teaching profession, during counseling and visits at different places, I wondered and questioned about the behavioral issues and the mindsets of educated people – be it teachers, politicians, doctors, engineers or so on. At times I came across people who were not highly educated but with lower grade degrees surpassed the understanding of highly qualified people, they learnt from their life experiences and were gentle in their nature. If “Certification is Education”, then I am sure at least those educated people would understand that hurting people, violating rules and norms, discrimination, exploitation and other relevant social issues tags them as UNEDUCATED even after having being awarded the highest degree/certificate.
Let us not harbor the notion that knowledge and education are synonymous. An educated person is wise, understands his vices and virtues and accepts that human being is a social animal. I as an educator firmly believe that merely certification is not equal to education. Every individual needs to introspect on his/her act and things that can bring change are-
- Self Actualization 2. Learning Experiences 3. Love 4. Mindfulness and 5. Empathy
Let us all contribute and make a better place to live with peace and love!!
Ms. Heena Samani: M.A., M.Ed., M.Phil, P.Hd (Pursuing),Principal of Tilak Junior College, Nerul
With 19 years of service in the field of Education, Ms. Samani Heena – M.A., M.Ed., M.Phil, P.Hd (Pursuing) is the Principal of Tilak Junior College, Nerul. She is a passionate, energetic and dynamic educator. Her life experiences has made her strong and she has strived hard for imparting quality education, understanding children from various perspectives and understands individual needs in teaching – learning process. Her dedication, devotion, contribution in the field of education is incredible and is acclaimed by the educators and policy makers. Her wisdom, humility and aura of self-confidence and oratory skills makes her different.
Her freelance social work in field of education, medication and justice for needy people is recognized all over. Ms. Heena believes in empowering the generation by virtues, values, ethics, community living in peace which in real terms is “Education”. She believes that Love can change the world.