Education, according to Wikipedia, is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another. Two conclusive points can be deduced from above – a) Education is formative. This means it is an art as well as a science that shapes one’s character through experiences or actions. b) It’s influenced by society and the environment around you. This is the most beautiful definition of education I’ve come across, which disaligns from the stereotypical belief of education being confined to books, pens, notepads, diaries etc. It also means that education is an everlasting, rather than an exhaustive process. No matter what age you are, life experiences still contribute to your personality.
Public education is reforming rapidly. The current system limits the number of people who can be educated through conventional class-based education. Factors like finance, manpower and technology are hugely influential when we consider who and how many we can educate. We are now seeing a paradigm shift in education. The biggest question educators are trying to answer is how can we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century. The challenge for us is to figure out what our economies will be like then, given that with the current economic scenario, we can’t even figure out how these economies will look at the end of the year.
Another relevant factor shaping educational transformations is the cultural need of society. How do we build a sense of cultural identity in our children? I somehow feel that globalisation has bridged cultural barriers but the need for a distinct cultural identity still exists.
These two factors – culture and economics – will be the defining trends that will distinguish the past format of education from the future. But first, it’s important to ascertain what purpose education is serving. Today, the world faces many challenges. We need education to empower young people and equip them to solve these problems. Earlier, education was positioned differently; if you got a college degree, you would get a job. In the current scenario this is not certain. There are more educated people than jobs available, leading to a demand and supply imbalance. Also, the current system of education marginalises the things we feel are important to us. We need to shift from an academic and nonacademic classification of students to more holistic understanding of education.
Volume 1 Issue 6