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Learning for Tomorrow

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When we take a discerning look at organized education, one thing stands out -organized education is a reflection of the society that organizes it. No school, no college is an ivory tower. The times shape us whether we like it or not. If the family structure is breaking down in a wide way it will affect the children belonging to those families. If a technological revolution or a political one for that matter is taking place on the streets, the children will absorb that. There is no magic wand that will make our schools utopias, our teachers magicians, our curricula as outpourings from the Oracle, isolated from the general state of society around.

Here’s the interesting part – times are always changing! Every moment, every place is dynamic. The time we are living in seems to be in a state of rapid metamorphosis, a paradigm shift in consciousness is evident. The diffusion of ideas, the exchange of knowledge, the sharing of experiences that the world is going through due to mass media, easy accessibility and connectivity – these are the dictates of our times. Yet organized, formal education doesn’t seem to be keeping up!

The ‘alternative’ systems that have often been niche experiments also need to take this shift into account. All systems must renew themselves if they are to survive and remain meaningful. Education is no exception.

I strongly feel that the time has come for the boundaries of ‘mainstream’ and ‘alternative’ to melt. I see it as an inevitable result of the unfolding of consciousness at a collective level. The singular attempts to create a deeper, more holistic education has been confined to small communities, often ‘spiritual’ communities. But what happens when a world, a huge mass of people becomes ‘spiritualised’? When people, many, many people consciously start to seek ‘something different, something more’? The small worlds often seen as an oasis or utopias begin to permeate the attention of people, begin to look attractive and the question arises – can this be reality at a mass scale?

The answer – yes. A transition is needed, bridges need to be built, new structures need to evolve that can make this a living reality. We are here talking about a ‘deeper, holistic education’ for the new world, the new child.

At a practical level these imply making a new curriculum, bringing out content that can complement existing curricula to make it more holistic, casting a fresh look at feedback and evaluation systems, helping in the development of teachers, developing resources, providing parental support besides developing a parallel administrative and managerial approach that will facilitate this. It is a tall order, but a necessary one. We take a small step, the universe takes a giant one. Together we walk into the next future…

Harvinder Kaur

(Harvinder Kaur began her journey in education because it made her heart dance! After a regular job for some years, she worked as a volunteer in non-formal education based on Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy which was for her a turning point. An avid writer, she writes poetry, articles and stories on education and spirituality.)

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