Education now and then…………
Around 3500 BC various writing systems developed in ancient civilizations around the world , pictographic and logographic script followed by cuneiform script that took many years to master and only a limited number of individuals were scribes who were trained in reading and writing. The surfaces used for writing were wax covered writing boards, strips of barks from trees ,thick palm leaves that were punctured with a hole and stacked together like the pages of a book.
In India during the Vedic period 1500 BC to 600 BC ,the epics Mahabharata and Ramayan formed a part of ancient Indian Education .During this time the students would memorize the content uttered by Gurus, the students would go to their Guru’s house at the age of five and would return home after completing their studies by the age of twenty four. The society in no way interfered with the Guru –Shishya teaching learning as the system was fully residential the student not only learnt what was taught but also observed his teacher. The teacher-taught shared a personal relation between them, during this period they would learn the art of using weapons according to their ability ,others would learn ‘Shastra’s’. Vocational system of education was also prevalent then.
This system of education upheld the dignity of labour where the students were involved in some manual work such as collecting fuel, tending cattle, cleaning, washing etc.
During the Medival period education depended on state support it was by and large dominated by religion. ’Pathshala’s’ imparted elementary education where emphasis was laid on reading, writing and arithmetic.
The modern education system came into being by the 19 th century,it had great impact on the Indian society –in a way that our culture , tradition, knowledge and values seem to get affected.
The present system of education has become formal and is imparted in a structured environment by a trained certified teacher who is a subject expert .It can be categorized as pre-school, primary, secondary, higher, vocational and special.
The concept of Public schools has taken over our traditional education system, the use of electronic education technology has also become dominant. Universal Primary education is an International millennium goal .Digital Technology has impacted us at work, home, school and college, all these computing devices –from laptops to personal computers to tablets to smart phones are dismantling knowledge and transforming the role of a teacher to that of a facilitator .
The post modern stage of education will firmly follow the dictum ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’-we see the future full of data base of e-books ,satellite broadcast class rooms, electronic meetings and distance learning .Students will be connected to experts all over the world. Students will meet their teachers and mentors virtually, collaborate and learn together ,with provision of simultaneous translation available for those who don’t share a common language. Learning will take place as per the need and interest of the students –it could be in a hospital, farm ,factory or museum. Learning will be independent of age, electronic tutors will cater to the needs of students ,these virtual tutors will be sensitive to the mood, anxiety and confidence of students, the future class room with a huge digital screen will be loaded with the feature of smell and feeling……
But will that mean that we do away with schools and colleges ? ……….Parents will still want their wards to be in the company of other children in a caring educational environment where they learn to care and share…….
Dr Rekha Mahajan
Jims Institute of Education, JEMTEC