The beginning of education reform
12 May 2017
Education & Life
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.John Dewey - Philosopher
For years, I have been angry at the way education has been delivered in Tamil Nadu. The purpose of education is to build a community of sensible people and not produce graduates. The recent announcement of getting rid of the ranking of students in plus two and SSLC, by the School Education Department came in as a great relief for activists. I greatly welcome this bold move and look forward to more and more changes in the future!
Reforms should start from the play schools or the pre-schools. I had been one of the parents who was never let into my child’s play school except for the day of admission. My daughter once resisted going to the play school saying there was an uncle who would tie her hands with a towel to punish her if she did something wrong. We soon stopped sending our kid to that school.
During my recent chat with Ms. Sheeba Sharon, Founder Director, Pearl Kids International, in Anna Nagar, Chennai, I was fascinated by the way she described her play school.
- A preschool/play-school which was open to parents at any day of the week for inspection or visiting their child in the class. It is not something every other school has to offer.
- Kids are at this play school to be themselves not to prepare for a competition of any sort. Most of the preschools exists to prepare kids for the Kinder Garten which again exists to prepare kids for the primary school! Meh!
- More space to move around. What these kids needs to learn is not how to sit in a chair without moving around but really must learn to move around.
- Every other room is monitored by a CCTV to keep the children safe and secure. With a lot of incidents at metros like Bengaluru on child abuse at playschools, security has become a necessity to keep the children physically safe as well as mentally sound.
Parents should also change their minds and understand that preschool is meant only to play and be a child. It is ok if your child has not been able to spell out alphabets at a play-school. It is completely ok if your child did not speak great English while at a play school.
Let them grow
The Banyan Tree, national tree of the Republic of India could be great to compare here. When you want a great Banyan tree out of your child, all you need is to give them the space and the time they need to grow and stretch out themselves. Interestingly, the seeds of Banyan does not survive on the ground. They usually germinate on the branches of stems of other trees and grow roots towards the ground. Likewise, no child can grow into a Banyan with just the book and the board.
Learning itself is not an education but knowing the art of learning is.
Show your child how to learn and they will learn and live their life. Once again, I’m very glad to see the recent news about the rankings and really hope it is just the beginning and we will look forward to seeing more!
If you have a different or a better opinion on the recent announcement, I would love to hear that from you. Please leave a comment below.