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Gurukul system Vs Anglophonic education: Which learning system is better for children?

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By Gaurav Sharma

Education is not about flooding the brain with mass volumes of data. It is not about maximising the economic prospects of an individual, or providing the means to be at the top of the food chain of success.

It is about acquiring a skill set which is to be constantly reinvigorated and reworked. This skill set, apart from providing social and economic well-being and intellectual fulfillment, should usher in a creative revolution in the psyche of the individual.

It is about taking the student beyond the familiar chartered territory into the unknown. Something that emancipates a learner from the shackles of the mind.

But, does our modern education system actually offer such knowledge?

Working towards economic prosperity within certain social structures is the thrust of the present education system. This can be quite clearly seen in the reflection of the society around us.

One of the most developed nations, boasting of the best education systems in the world such as Harvard, MIT among others, is a host to regular bouts of school shootings, binge alcoholism and umpteen suicides.

The pressure created by the Anglophonic education system to get better grades for better pay is pushing more and more students to take refuge of intoxicants and immediate sense pleasures. This leads them further below the mind, instead of taking them beyond it.

So, if our present education system has such massive pitfalls, isn’t it time we evaluate it more broadly and find out the crucial missing link of the puzzle?

When we make a comparative analysis of the traditional Gurukul system with the present system, we can easily find some answers to this pertinent question.

While some people might claim that the Gurukul system was biased as only the sons of Brahmins and the kings were permitted in such schools, the reality was that any worthy student–possessing the required determination, desire and willingness could join the Gurukul.

The shishyas or students, lived together as equals, irrespective of social standing.

Under the guidance of the Guru, the children led a simple life bereft of immoral habits. Moreover, what really set the Gurukul students apart from the present lot of students entering the workforce was their knowledge of Yoga, meditation and Sanskrit language.

The spiritual disciplines that they strictly followed in the Gurukul, provided them with the mastery of body and mind. Also, by serving the Guru in performing menial jobs inculcated humility deep in their hearts.

This was not to say that they were limited in their knowledge. A wide array of knowledge in the Scriptures, Philosophy, Literature, Medicine, Astrology, History, Warfare was imparted to students

The Vedic knowledge that was taught in the Gurukul made the pupils at ease with their own mind and body. The profound spiritual knowledge made them more peaceful, loving and respectful of other living entities.

The real goal of life that of Mukti or liberation from the fourfold cycle of birth, old age, disease and death assumed paramount importance, and artha or wealth was meant to be used for the welfare of the society.

And, it was ensured that this purpose of life was taught with single-pointedness during the fragile formative years of the child, through the Gurukul system.

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A One-Shot Nanoparticle Vaccine for Polio is Developed by MIT scientists

A novel single-shot nanoparticle vaccine developed by MIT researchers could assist efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. Currently, two to four polio vaccine injections are required to build up immunity, and because of the difficulty in reaching children in remote areas, the disease still prevails.

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vaccine, wikimedia

A novel single-shot nanoparticle vaccine developed by MIT researchers could assist efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

Currently, two to four polio vaccine injections are required to build up immunity, and because of the difficulty in reaching children in remote areas, the disease still prevails.

The novel vaccine delivers multiple doses in just one injection to prevent the paralysis caused by the polio virus.

“Having a one-shot vaccine that can elicit full protection could be very valuable in being able to achieve eradication,” said Ana Jaklenec, a research scientist at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Cambridge, US.

“Children in some of these hard-to-reach developing world locations tend to not get the full series of shots necessary for protection. The goal is to ensure that everyone globally is immunized,” Jaklenec added, in a paper appearing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To create a single-injection vaccine, the team encapsulated the inactivated polio vaccine in a biodegradable polymer known as PLGA.

polio
An Afghan child looks on as a health worker administers polio vaccine .

This polymer can be designed to degrade after a certain period of time, allowing the researchers to control when the vaccine is released.

The researchers designed particles that would deliver an initial burst at the time of injection, followed by a second release about 25 days later.

They injected the particles into rats, and found that the blood samples from rats immunised with the single-injection particle vaccine had an antibody response against polio virus just as strong as, or stronger than, antibodies from rats that received two injections of Salk polio vaccine — the first polio vaccine, developed in the 1950s.

Furthermore, the researchers said that they could design vaccines that deliver more than two doses, each a month apart and hope to soon be able to test the vaccines in clinical trials.

Also Read: Parents More Worried About the Vaccines Rather Than the Disease

They are also working to apply this approach to create stable, single-injection vaccines for other viruses such as Ebola and HIV. (IANS)