Friday, December 3, 2010
Hi friends, I never miss a chance to read stories of Indian epics or mythologies. I was brought up in a healthy cultural environment where my mom was my first Guru or teacher who used to tell us stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata which are counted among very few great epics of the world. The respective heroes of these epics, Lord Sriram and Lord Srikrishna are described as incarnation of the supreme power who is the creator of the entire universe and still they are worshiped throughout India. As I learnt from these books, education system followed in ancient India was unique in many ways including the process of handing over the student from the first Guru (mother) to master at Gurukul, the ancient from of residential schools. The concept of Gurukul it self very holistic in nature where students will be staying with their master’s residence away from their homes for many years till the master is satisfied with the performance of his student. Master used to treat his student as his family member and all his requirements were taken care off by master and his family members. The parents who send their children to Gurukul were not worried about their children’s activities and safety as they were under the homely care of Gurukul master. At the end of the many years of vigorous training, parents were asked to take their children back and what ever material given as fees towards the education were accepted by the teacher as guru dakshina. It is said that both Lord Rama and Krishna were sent to gurukuls where they underwent training on all aspects of education. But, the modern form of education in India has shrugged off all its cultural values and it has become a means to make huge profit from minimum investment. Now we send our children to far away cities for higher education where they will be staying in hostels for boarding and lodging. As long as children stay in the hostel, parents spend sleepless nights because there is no enough control over the students both within the campus and in Hostels. Even students want to be away from home during their studies to enjoy the student life to its full extent. But at the end of the student life they will realize what is gained and what is lost. Today I was turning the pages College magazine of SJCE, Mysore where my son has done his Bachelor of Engineering and found an article with a heading “Lessons” written by a student. He began his article saying he was thrilled to be away from home to find him and be independent. He says he learnt many things but paid heavy price for them. I thought it will be useful to my readers if I make a blog post out of it. The billeted list of his learning is quite lengthy, so I think it is better to continue in another post tomorrow. I think modern education system is keeping both parents and students sleepless but for different reasons.