Education: Marks or Values to take life head-on?

Each time we hear of a relative, a friend, a neighbour or an acquaintance having acquired a conventionally heavyweight degree from an IIT, IIM or equivalent – we are invariably either overjoyed or jealous or absorb the news as an aspiration! The same sentiments connect us with students who hold ranks and whose names are found sneering down on us from school and university notice boards. Parents present targets for marks, ranks and percentages year after year and thus the children move from one class to another missing the most important lessons an education could provide.It’s only much later in life when one faces the onslaught of the biggest of challenges. These then call for quick thinking, logical and practical reasoning and calculation on one hand and compassion for the old and needy, decorum, conscientiousness and benevolence on the other. Self-confidence and self-belief would add to these! The marks or ranks one may have got in 15-20 years of formal education do not always imbibe these values in us but our learnings,  experiences and lessons do – and most often failures equip far more than success!

The need of the hour, besides of course guiding them through chapters in their text books and question papers, is to arm our children with self confidence, respect for others, honesty and integrity and to hold on to the truth no matter what. This has to start early in a child’s development and could there be a more apt venue for its inception than home – in the heart of the child’s nest, around his creators? A child learns what he sees, not so much what he is taught. Be honest, polite, dignified, disciplined and sincere with him and he shall return the same behavior. A child emulates his Parents’ conduct and as he grows, he consciously or sometimes sub-consciously wants to be the same as them. While his genetic make-up might provide for some part of this objective, how he is nurtured plays a pivotal role in what he becomes eventually. These basic values integrated timely would then prepare him to take appropriate decisions that would take him ahead in life. So, let us attempt to make Education more inclusive and less objective, more enjoyable and less tormenting and let it then spread its wings to fly high in more liberated skies!

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