Children must be taught how to think, not what to think”
, said the famous Anthropologist Margaret Mead, unfortunately, Indian education system is focused primarily on manufacturing rote learners. Instead of nurturing children into better human beings we are preparing them according to our preconceived redundant notions. This has effectively managed to manifest itself in our day to day life.
Recently while on the daily commute Rohit misplaced his new phone. Even though he filed FIR and did all necessary documentation, he knew getting it back will be next to impossible. While narrating his ordeal to Rahul he came across his story, how he too lost his valuables in Japan and got it at a local Police Station.
In Japan, it is believed the goal of the first three years of school is not to judge the child’s knowledge or learning, but to establish good manners and to develop their character. That is why they are known worldwide for being good natured and well mannered and that is why Rahul got his phone back.
The building blocks of a country are its citizen and their base in adult life is laid out quite early. An education system ignoring human values will likely produce self-centered citizens and eventually corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Abraham Lincoln rightly observed
“The philosophy of school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next generation.”
But in a geographically and demographically vast country like India it is not possible for the government to bring every child under the fold of education. NGOs help in bringing education to the lowest strata of society. A lot of times parents have to be made to understand the importance of education, especially in the case of the girl child. This is not possible without a personal touch which requires a dedicated lot of persons. NGO provides a platform for assembly of such altruistic individuals striving to achieve common goal i.e. betterment of society. It helps pool in finances required for management of such organizations. NGOs are active in providing health and sanitation at the doorsteps of poor, providing relief in times of need. NGOs in India are known to provide education and health facilities to the remotest corners of the nation.
Human resource is the asset and machinery of any organization and for an NGO involved in educating the poor and downtrodden an educated and properly trained teacher is a gem. Apart from formal training, a teacher should necessarily possess patience. It is not important to make diamonds sparkle but also polish pebbles with patience. Anyone can teach a meritorious pupil and claim his success in later’s result, a good teacher should have the patience and aptitude to teach someone considered poor in studies. Empathy for children and passion for teaching are the most important prerequisite for someone willing to impart education to underprivileged children. He should be able to understand the differing needs of different children. He should possess the ability to guide them through rough patches and inspire in them a love for knowledge beyond books. In the words of Brad Henry “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.”
Overall betterment of nation depends upon myriad factors, a good education system, people participation and quality teachers are just a few that have to be prioritized to speed up development goals. Change sometimes is slow, and painfully slow in the case of a diverse country like India. Our problems are unique to us, and their solution has to be something out of the box. Harboring ecosystem for such an environment requires communication and participation. Next time if Rahul loses something in India, chances are he’s not getting it back. It would take a long time before we see any improvement in the living condition of the poor, but it won’t happen if we continue to ignore. Success, no matter how small, should be cherished and zeal to improve should always be maintained. “We shall overcome, someday”.