Education forms and transforms. If it doesn’t, then it’s not education at all. Regrettably education today focuses on imparting processed knowledge rather than giving life-skills. It is overloaded with theories and concepts, abstracts and ideas without much practical knowledge and experience. The students have no option but to gulp the abstract contents without grasping the essentials. They are to swim or drown. Will I be wrong to say that education today is off the tangent, that it doesn’t touch the skin? Can teachers and parents do something positive in this regard?

Education and civilization go hand in hand. The educated ones advance in civilization. They approach life proactively. They build and not destroy. They exhibit universal outlook and not exclusivity. People of this sort are desired today. Let’s remember that the future ones are in our class rooms. They are in our hands. They look forward for a world of possibilities to broaden their minds, expand their hearts, widen their perspectives, stretch their imaginations and amplify their dreams. They are on exploration of paths to cross narrow walls and build bridges. They are in search for lofty ideals guarded by integrity. They are waiting to be moulded by character and virtue, the essence of true education and civilization.

Mahatma Gandhi a venerable soul lived unto these principles. He upheld truth, integrity, honesty and universality. I wish he gets born again today in India and revolutionizes education. At this juncture I am reminded of his immortal lines, “Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
•    I shall not fear anyone on earth.
•    I shall fear only God.
•    I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
•    I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
•    I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”
This is the kernel of education, the core of civilization. What is needed today is a humanized education which does not simply ask the teacher to teach and students to learn, but urges everyone to live, study and act in accordance with the reasons of fraternal humanism. It aims at offering places for meeting and discussion to create valid educational projects. It intends to pull down the walls of exclusivity and promotes the richness and diversity of individual talents and extends the classroom to generate solidarity, sharing and communion (Cf. Educating to Fraternal Humanism, No 20).

Shall we embark on this mission as we go along during the academic year?

Sr Mariette BS
BES Mangalore

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