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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Missing Link In Education: Is A Return To Old-School Methods The Way Forward? | Ideas - Swarajya

  • The current education system is not geared towards a creative understanding of concepts, as was the case during the Indic age. A return to old-school methods to rekindle the fire of brilliance is the need of the hour.

"The most strident criticism of the Indian education system is that it stifles creativity and bores the students to death through rote learning. One tech guru even went public so far as to say that Indian culture lacks creativity" argues Dr Ranajay Ghosh, currently an Assistant Professor at University of Central Florida (USA) and  Dr Aloke Kumar, currently an Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Students at a classroom in Indore.
Photo: Arun Mondhe/Hindustan Times via GettyImages

In private, the criticisms are even harsher. This issue is recognised by several educators and industry leaders and unless it is stemmed, it will become a roadblock for growth and prosperity of Bharat.

This is not a mere academic coffee table issue or fervid paranoia. Lack of creative juices can not only stifle long-term growth but also imperil the long-term dividends of important strategic initiatives such as ‘Make in India’. Without inculcating creativity, India’s demographic dividend will soon turn into a deadwood nightmare. A perfect trap of stagnation. In fact, few countries have managed to get out of the vice-like grip of long-term growth loss before fully reaching their potential. For a civilisation to ultimately rise and be a dominant and consistent geopolitical and economic force, it must be a centre of creativity.

Common prescriptions by experts on Indian education include abrogating exams, drastically reducing coursework, more free time, open disobedience of authority, removing homework and finally let children simply follow their ‘dreams’. However, these remedies lack an important secret sauce – abstraction...

Whereas, the western world never shied away from tracing its arc over sciences and arts. Indian students learn science and engineering in a series of culturally dry, alienating soup of Greek alphabets. Few are introduced to the breathtakingly beautiful rainbow of science, which has always glanced over literature, architecture, parables and philosophy.

Unfortunately, in Bharat, science and technological education have been divorced from the ancient philosophies, mathematics and art forms of this land. One path to infusing creativity in Indian students would be to pursue a three-way sangam of science, abstract art and dharma. Indic thought has highly developed forms of artistic expression – from festivals, to dance forms, to temple art, to general rituals. Instances of nature-inspired art are manifold in dharmic works, yet very few instances of a sangam of modern science with dharmic thought can be found.

Source: Swarajya