Transforming Education System in India

“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”

                                                                                    – Rabindranath Tagore

How do we define the transformation of education?

Transformation is a continuous process and an ongoing process. Education indicates the process of transformation of individuals.

The blend of the two terminologies refers to the modification of pedagogic practices. The transformation of education became an integral part of the process in upliftment and empowerment of human beings. Transforming education took us a step further into knowledge, skill, and enlightenment.

Is transforming education crucial?

The transformation process offers a wide range of opportunities for rethinking educational practices. The Convention on the Rights of the Child guides us towards a more child-centred model of teaching and learning, one in which students have active participation, have exceptional thinking skills, and possess problem-solving skills as well.

Learning for life in the 21st century requires not just equipping children with a basic education in literacy and numeracy but also equip them with more advanced, complex skills for living that can serve as the foundation for life. It has been a recent focus on the gap between what is taught and what is learned, and the large numbers of children caught in between.

Education is called a teaching-learning process because it is a complex blend of both.

In an educational process, the learning environment must be transformed into one that is active and child-centered. It must be linked to the developmental level and abilities of the learners. Education should empower children to be able to express their views, thoughts, and ideas. They should be able to express themselves without the fear of their opinions differing from the perceiver. Education must address the fact that children need opportunities for joy and play. They need to be comfortable with themselves and with others, and they should treat and be treated with respect by all.

In such an environment, children develop a sense of self-esteem that, when combined with knowledge, skills, and values, enabling them to make informed decisions throughout life. The teaching approach must take into account factors such as gender, language and culture, economic disparities, and physical and mental disabilities and enable children to deal with them positively and optimistically.

What is the history of Education?

Education is mostly associated with children and schools, but it is much more than that. Education is a teaching and learning process. Education can be thought of as a process of enlightening through the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of a society. It is designed to mould behaviour and direct towards social expectations.

The history of education is as old as the existence of human beings themselves. It could be traced back to the primitive culture.

In primitive culture, with the absence of formal education, education was attained through learning from the environment. Learners in [-primitive culture learned by observing and imitating. As societies progressed and grew complex, the need for formal and institutionalized education grew too.

This concentration of learning in a formal atmosphere allows children to learn far more of their culture and attain knowledge of the world, than does mere observation and imitation.

As society gradually attached more and more importance to education, it also tried to formulate the overall objectives, content, organization, and strategies of education.

The curriculum that we are familiarized with, in the present day, used to be entirely based on cultural values, tribal religion, myths, philosophy, history, rituals, and other knowledge. It is quite interesting that all these elements are still present in the existing curriculum. These elements have been embedded in all the domains that are covered in the curriculum.

Initially, for years, children learned and got educated through play and exploration. Anthropologists have reported that hunter-gatherer groups did not distinguish between work and play.

However, with the rise of agricultural society, children became the bearers of the family along with all the other members.

Eventually, with the rise of the industrial sector and a new bourgeoisie class, employers saw schooling as a way of creating better and efficient workers.

As nations became centralized, national leaders saw schooling as a means of creating good patriots, loyal soldiers, and future leaders. So, everyone involved and engaged in the founding and support of schools had a clear vision about the learning of children.

Schooling and educational practices were seen as an inculcation and implantation of certain truths and ways of thinking into children’s minds.    

How has education transformed in India?

India is known for being the place of one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. In ancient India, religion was the mainspring of all activities. It majorly consisted of prayer and worship, philosophy, morality, and law.

The period of Guptas and Harsha and their successors is remarkable in Indian history. It was the age of the emergence of the universities of Nalanda and Takshila and the rise of Indian sciences, mathematics, and astronomy. The university at Nalanda housed a population of several thousand teachers and students, who were maintained, out of the revenues from more than 100 villages. The education in these universities covered the Vedas, logic, grammar, astronomy, medicine, psychology, Buddhist philosophy, and Hindu philosophy.

Eventually the Vedic tradition was later followed even during the Mughal as well as the British rule. While during the Mughal rule, the major educational practices were based on the Islamic ideologies, during the British rule, Christian missionary schools were opened.

However during the British rule, the use of English language was emphasized on. During the British rule, the entire mind-set about education changed.

After independence, government set up various educational institutes to ensure quality education for learners from both rural as well as urban areas followed by private institutional set ups of education.

As the country progressed, the education system developed too. However, the major development was marked with the emergence of technology in education as it enabled us to look within as well as beyond.

How has technology transformed education?

Digital Transformation of education plays a major role in the transformation of education. Technology plays a vital role in the 21st century where it is interwoven in every activity of life, including education.

The emergence of technology into education has enabled learners as well as teachers in progressing to the extent that seemed unachievable. Technology has infused classrooms with digital tools that have improved the process of learning. Technology has also enhanced educational productivity and entirely changed the idea of education by reimagining it. Technology gives immense possibilities to learners by providing access to an abundance of information. It has eliminated the limitation of attaining knowledge through one source.

Technology has always been a crucial component in education and technology-aided education has always been considered to be modernized education. Though, the meaning of technology in education changed with the sudden outbreak of Covid-19.

Earlier what was a choice became a necessity, and all educational institutes had to embrace technology and embed it into their system. The whole idea of experiencing education was based on the importance of physical classrooms, changed into virtually experiencing schooling and education.

Digital transformation of education enables providing an online platform for educational collaboration of sharing ideas and resources online. It has also helped the learners in developing valuable research skills at a young age.

Technology has empowered us by preventing the failure of the education system by adopting digital transformation across the country, during the unprecedented arrival of the Corona virus. It has widened the possibilities of being more productive and efficient and developing innovative and enhanced skills.

The digital transformation of education is the future of the educational experience as much as it is the present.

References

Gray, P.(2008, August 20). A Brief History of Education. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn/200808/brief-history-education

The Role of Transformation in Learning and Education For Sustainability

W. Filho-S. Raath-B. Lazzarini-V.R. Vargas-L. Souza-R. Anholon-O.L.G. Quelhas-R. Haddad-M. Klavins-V.L. Orlovic – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095965261831984X Saxena,S.(2013, October 8).

How Important is use of Technology in Education. Retrieved from: https://edtechreview.in/news/681-technology-in-education

Use of technology in teaching and learning. Retrieved from: https://www.ed.gov/oii-news/use-technology-teaching-and-learning#:~:text=Used%20to%20support%20both%20teaching,skills%3B%20increases%20student%20engagement%20and

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