Wednesday August 22, 2018
Home India Un-educationa...

Un-educational education: Not just Madrassas, whole education system of India is ‘non-educational’

0
//
216
Republish
Reprint

Students-recite-lines-at-a-Madrassa-in-PakistanBy Ishan Kukreti

The timing of the Madrassa controversy courted by Maharashtra government is eyebrow raising (during the holy month of Ramzan/d and especially the ongoing reports of scams from the state).

However, the question itself, away from any political ramification, that whether or not students of religious institutions can be considered ‘educated’ is a relevant one. Education, in India, needs a broader debate than a bickering over its lack or presence of religiosity.

Let’s start with basics

Although there are various definitions and meanings of “Education” but a subtle similarity running parallel in all of them is the functionality of education to draw out the best in a human, to make her be her best self.

Education, whether religious or secular, would mean nothing if it fails to give a student the key to unlock her potential. If the kind of education given to someone with an artistic bent of mind does not nurture her creativity, it is a waste. Similarly if an education system smothers a student with a spiritual bent of mind, it is doing her more harm than good.

Viewing education thus, makes it ‘un-educational’ in most of its present forms in India today. The Xerox photocopy machine that works in the name of education today assembling and exporting armies of doctors, engineers and MBA graduates is good at just one thing, creating copy, after copy, after copy.

Non-religious education in India

With all due fairness, if the point of contention is shifted from religion to actual learning in this debate, then most government schools with pathetic infrastructure and unqualified/absent teaching staff are more non-educational than any madrassa.

A UNESCO’s International Institute of Educational Planning study said that 25 per cent teacher absenteeism in India is among the highest in the world. Add to this the fact that only 5 per cent of teachers in government schools hold only Bachelor or Master’s degrees, while 13 per cent have only secondary or higher secondary certification, without any teacher qualification, and you know the educational level of the unfortunate students ‘studying’ in these schools.

Even the education in private schools, where 40 per cent of young India studies are systems which do not promote a free thinking, critically inquisitive environment. At best they act as laboratories where rats of the future are trained on the hamster wheels of today.

The medium of instruction is mostly English and the knowledge imparted creates an absurdity of an individual, too Western to understand and survive in 80 per cent of India and too backward to be taken seriously in the west.

Both these forms of educational institutes are in no way unlocking anyone’s potential. They are just creating a barely skilled workforce.

Religious institutes in India

Declaring religious institutions ‘un-educational’ by the Maharashtra government is a classic example of pot calling the kettle black. However, this doesn’t mean that religious educational institutions in India have not paved their own way to hell with good intentions.

Madrassas and Maths have had their names drawn into controversies over fundamental violence. Their cringing repulsion at the name of change has made them stick to courses best suited for someone from medieval times.

Although questions on their relevance have been raised a lot of times, as it is being done now, these do not take into account a very important factor that distinguishes religious from non-religious educational institutes. If the later deals with or ought to deal with improving potential in worldly matters, the former is geared towards or ought to be gathered towards increasing potential in knowing oneself, of matters more metaphysical.

Postlude

Among all the horrors modernity has made humans suffer, it has its positive aspects too. And one of its blessings is increasing possibilities.

While a debate depending on the stance taken by a contender, can be stretched, pulled and twisted in any way, one thing that remains true to all issues is that not all contentions are like apples and oranges. The grey area is where the answers usually lie.

Ignoring religious education as un-educational is nothing less than throwing the baby out with the bath water and claiming that the other kind is a model of perfection, is again, barking up the wrong tree. The present focus should be on increasing the possibilities for the students, despite what kind of education they choose.  A boy studying in a madrassa should be qualitatively as ‘educated’ as a girl studying in a government school.

Major reforms are needed for both religious and state-run educational institutes in the country and politics should be the last factor to base them on.

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

10 Indian Sites That Got UNESCO World Heritage Tag

Maharashtra now has a total of five sites – more than any other state in India

0
10 Indian sites that got UNESCO World Heritage tag
10 Indian sites that got UNESCO World Heritage tag. IANS

— By Sonali Pimputkar 

Mumbai’s rich bunch of Victorian and Art Deco buildings in the Fort and Marine Drive precinct on Saturday, June 30, got the UNESCO World Heritage tag, giving India its 37th site. The precinct was added to the global list at the 42nd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Manama, Bahrain. It covers an area of 66 hectares with Oval Maidan at the centre and includes a row of 19th-century Victorian buildings on one side while the 20th-century art deco structures on the other. There has been a universal praise for the team who represented Mumbai’s case to UNESCO. With this Mumbai gets its third UNESCO heritage tag – joining the Elephanta Caves and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (headquarters of the Central Railway). Maharashtra now has a total of five sites – more than any other state in India – including the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad. India is home to 37 World Heritage Sites approved by UNESCO which brings cultural and natural glory to the country. Here’s a look at 10 heritage sites of India that got the UNESCO world heritage tag before the Mumbai Art Deco buildings.

  • Capitol Complex of buildings, ChandigarhChandigarh Capital Complex is a government compound designed by the architect Le Corbusier and is spread over an area of around 100 acres. It comprises of three buildings, three monuments and a lake, including the Palace of Assembly, Secretariat, the signature Open Hand Monument, Geometric Hill, Tower of Shadows and Punjab and Haryana High Court building. The site got the UNESCO World Heritage tag in 2016.
  • Rock Shelters at Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh

    Located 45 km South of Bhopal at the Southern edge of the Vindhya hills, the area is covered with thick vegetation, natural shelters and rich flora and fauna. The shelters were discovered in 1957 and were added to heritage list in 2003. The name ‘Bhimbetka’ has been associated with ‘Bhima’, the hero-diety of Mahabharata and the name literally means ‘sitting place of Bhima’. The place is a magnificent repository of rock paintings within natural rock shelters. These paintings depict man’s experimentation with creativity and belong to different prehistoric periods, including Late Paleolithic Period i.e. Old Stone Age that consists of large representations of rhinoceroses and bears. Paintings from Mesolithic i.e. Middle Stone Age consists of animals and human activities, Chalcolithic i.e. early Bronze Age consists of agriculture, early historic and medieval consists of religious motifs and tree gods.

    Bhimbetka
    Bhimbetka. IANS
  • Rani ki Vav, Gujarat

    Located on the banks of Saraswati river, Rani ki Vav (Queen’s step well) was built in 11th century AD in memory of King Bhimdev I. Stepwells are a distinctive form of water storage systems that have been in existence since the 3rd millennium BC. Rani ki Vav is designed into seven levels of stairs with more than 500 principle sculptures and over thousand mythological and religious works. The site has also been felicitated with the ‘Cleanest Iconic Place’ title by the Indian Sanitation Conference (INDOSAN) in October 2016.

  • Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat

    Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is located around the Pavagadh hill and is known for its archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties. The history of this site dates back from the 8th to 14th centuries. The park is studded with eleven different types of buildings including temples, mosques, tombs, wells, walls and more.

     

  • Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka

    The heritage site is named as ‘Group of Monuments at Pattadakal’ by UNESCO as it houses nine Hindu temples and a Jain sanctuary that portrays an amalgamation of architectural features of Northern (Nagara) and Southern (Dravida) India. Eight among the nine temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and the ninth is Papanatha Temple, a Shaivite sanctuary. Apart from the major temples, several small Shiva shrines are seen here.

    Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka
    Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka. IANS
  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya PradeshKhajuraho Group of Monuments are popular for its artistic magnificence rather than religious aspects. The site comprises of 22 temples. It is said that initially there were about 82 temples built. The temples belong to the Hindu and Jain community and have an amazing fusion of sculpture and architecture. Every evening the Khajuraho temple complex organises a light and sound show in the open lawns in English and Hindi. Besides, The Khajuraho Dance Festival is held every year in February that features classical Indian dances.
  • Khangchendzonga National Park, SikkimKhangchendzonga National Park (former Kanchenjunga National Park) also known as Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is the first ‘Mixed Heritage’ site of India. Located in the Himalayan range, the park is home to plains, glaciers, lakes, and valleys. Animals like snow leopard, red panda, and musk deer are spotted here regularly. Besides, the park is home to several rare and threatened plants and animals.
  • Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara, BiharThe ancient Nalanda University or a large Buddhist monastery located in the Southeast of Patna was a centre for learning in the seventh century. The site comprises of stupas, shrines, viharas and several artworks in metal and stone. The site stands out as the most ancient university in the Indian subcontinent. It is also said that the site was an organised mediation of knowledge for over 800 years. The historical development of the site proves the development of Buddhism into a religion and its educational traditions.
  • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Uttarakhand

    Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Uttarakhand
    Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Uttarakhand. IANS
  • The heritage sites comprise of two core areas -Nanda Devi National Park and the Valley of Flowers National Park -about 20 km apart. The Valley of Flowers is popular for its natural beauty and endemic alpine flowers. While the Nanda Devi National Park is known for its wilderness and spectacular topographical features including glaciers and moraines. Both the parks are blessed with a high diversity of flora and fauna, with a notable number of globally threatened species including Himalayan musk deer and various plant species.

    Also read: Indian Railways Will Promote Heritage Tourism By Preserving Its Metre-Gauge Tracks

 

  • Jantar Mantar, Rajasthan
  • Built by Maharaja Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734, Jantar Mantar got the World Heritage tag in 2010. The cultural property has been inscribed as ‘an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period.’ Jai Singh II had constructed five Jantar Mantars at different locations – New Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Varanasi, and Ujjain.