On this Teachers Day I salute all our teachers who have been instrumental in making us what we are today. I firmly believe that it is the teachers who are really the makers of future Bharat and future world.
By teachers, I do not mean only the teachers at school or institutes of higher learning. The initial teachers are at home itself. In fact, according to one theory, the learning starts from the time a child is conceived and the mother is the first teacher.
According to me it is the first few years which really shape the life of an individual. We often hear that it’s the sacraments (sanskars) that has shaped a person in a particular fashion to build character of the individual. Who gives these ‘sanskars’? It’s the parents at home, it’s the environment in which the individual has grown and it’s the teachers in the initial years of schooling, in particular.
The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) has a new pedagogical and curricular structure in which the most important, according to me, are the Foundational and Preparatory stages. The other two stages being Middle, 3 years in Class 6, 7 and 8 for children in the age group of 11 to 14; and Secondary, 4 years in Class 9 to 12 for the age group of 14 to 18. The new structure is 5+3+3+4.
In the Foundational stage NEP has sub categorized it in 3 years at Anganwadi, pre-school or Bal Vatikas for children in the 3 to 6 age group and 2 years in Class 1 & 2 for children in the age group of 6 to 8 years.
In the Preparatory stage NEP has prescribed 3 years in Class 3, 4 and 5 for children in the 8 to 11 years age group.
It is in these initial years that the ‘sanskars’ are imbibed. In the NEP also this quality of an individual is mentioned. In one of the principles among the several fundamental principles that will guide both the education system at large, as well as the individual institutions within it includes ethics and human & Constitutional values like empathy, respect for others, cleanliness, courtesy, democratic spirit, spirit of service, respect for public property, scientific temper, liberty, responsibility, pluralism, equality, and justice as one.
In these two stages, Foundational and Preparatory, the teachers here have to be just exclusive. These teachers must be better trained in all spheres. Even the subject that they teach, have to be oriented towards making the child a better human being. Examples for the prescribed curriculum should be so chosen that it gives the right message to the child. Many educationists have done exemplary work in this direction.
Giving here a few examples of how some organizations are working to make the youngsters, the future of Bharat, a better human being. There must be many more such examples.
I know of Ekal Vidyalaya movement which has its presence in more than a lakh villages, where education is given in an informal manner to children upto the age of 14. Some 28 lakh children attend these One Teacher Schools. Their motto is to provide education through games. They call it Khel Khel Mein Siksha (खेल खेल में शिक्षा). Ekal has even gone digital in many areas. Giving ‘sanskar’ or value and ethics based education is their primary belief. For more information visit their website www.ekal.org.
Similarly in around 13,000 formal schools of Vidya Bharati ‘sanskar’ and value/ethics education starts from very initial classes and continues till Class 12. On their rolls are some 32 lakh students. Their academic achievements are also good with many rank holders in different states around the country. It is believed that value/ethics based education acts as catalysts for these good results. For more information visit their website www.vidyabharti.net.
There is a voluntary organization - HEMA Foundation. The foundation looks to enlighten children about the key roles played by parents and society in shaping them into fine individuals. It aims to cultivate better and compassionate understanding of their responsibilities towards Self, Family, Society, the Nation at large, and help them become better human beings. They have produced a number of videos on the subject. HEMA stands for Humane Endeavour For Moral Awakening. For more information visit their website www.hemafoundation.org
The government has announced the NEP. They have set the ball rolling. Now it is the responsibility of the society, each one of us, to see that we provide best of education with values to the coming generation, future of Bharat.
EDUCATION WITHOUT VALUES IS OF NO VALUE.
Vijay Maroo is an Engineering Graduate (1964 batch). Now fully devoted to social work associated with Ekal Vidyalaya and Vidya Bharati. Runs a website www.bharatmahan.in to give only positive news and individual development articles. Believes in EDUCATION WITHOUT VALUES IS OF NO VALUE. Has presence on the blog - My Nation My Concern (http://vijaymaroo.blogspot.com)