Skip to main content

Power brokers have instinctively realized: In order to control people they first need to control educational matrices

By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*
Today on Teachers Day, a grateful nation pays its ritualistic once-a-year tribute to the teaching community. As usual, there will be a lot of rhetoric including traditional lectures on ideal teachers and some mandatory awards and a dose of nostalgia.
Question is what would a talented teacher carry home in terms of salary every month? Truth is that there are hardly any incentives for a person who joins the teaching profession and thats why the best brains are not joining this stream. Besides, what is of paramount importance is to follow a model of value-based education.
Opines, Dr Vijay Datta, Principal, Modern School, Delhi, that the teaching system in India seems to be at an awkward crossroads as both the teaching community as well as the community of the taught, in schools and colleges, talk of discontentment and also disenchantment with each other. Students today feel that the teaching style adopted by their lecturers is outdated. Others lamented that besides teaching styles, even the norms and values too have changed. But similar, rather more vehement, was the grouse on the teachers part who felt that values were missing in their teachers as well as parents.

Obsession with earning

Fact is that professional development of teachers is in the hands of the bureaucrats and hence opportunities for teachers are severely limited by the system. The Indian model of education not only discourages experimentation in teaching but also undermines the very desire to teach.
Fifty years ago children had ambitions about becoming teachers and serving their nation. Today, a majority of the teachers both in schools and colleges are either those who have opted the profession owing to the comfortable time calculations, or because they have not been able to cope with the demands of the other lucrative competitive careers.
In the olden times, the society accorded the gurus the status of angel, guide, guardian and mentor. Whats of paramount importance for the teachers today, is to introduce value education. States the Taittarya Upanishad: "Matri Devo Bhava; Pitri Devo Bhava; Acharya Devo Bhava" (Respect the mother, the father and the teacher). The guru is seen as the preceptor, the acharya and teacher. All our sacred texts have mentioned how spiritual guides and teachers, sages and saints with the strength of their character, upright morals and strenuous practices, had remained fearless when attacked by men of physical might.

Value education

In a treatise on value education, late Anil Wilson, the principal of Delhis St Stephens College very authentically pointed out at the Modern School Diaspora Initiative lecture that the conflict today is between the obsession with the earning power of learning on the one hand and the seeming irrelevance of pedagogical activity on the other. The natural result is an intellectual and moral vacuum that is increasingly being filled up by populist rhetoric in the one hand and coercion and corruption on the other.
Educational scientists have presented solutions but myopic politicians have unfortunately acted in disregard to the same. The Indian Brain is today recognized as the best in the world; but perhaps the same cannot be said of the Indian Heart. This is because we have not spent as much effort in educating the heart as we have in educating the head.
According to Jennifer Tytler, Director-Principal of JD Tytler School, our efforts at educating the heart have not only suffered due to a lack of understanding and direction but also because most attempts in this direction are hijacked by power brokers who manipulate educational systems.
The need to control people is fundamental to the quest for power. Power brokers have, over the years, instinctively realized that in order to control people they first need to control the educational matrices that determine a people. Dilute education of values and they have control over people.
This is because people with values cannot be ruled over except by the values they hold dear. Networking is the watchword not merit, to undermine the peoples sense of integrity that takes toll of brilliance introducing pull, not ability. Impetus towards work, improvement, perfection and excellence is killed by setting up standards of achievement available to the most inept. This crisis has divested education of values today.

Sensitizing education

Sensitizing and not dehumanizing should be the motto of education that implores that the study of literature is important only if it sensitizes us to the importance of human feelings and emotions. If we are sensitized to the human condition in context of the material aspects of life, only then our study of economics will be value based.
No study of science will be meaningful unless it sensitizes us to the humane aspect in science and all progress. Likewise, the study of history will be rendered futile unless it sensitizes us to impel the menacing forces that endanger human life. But what is lamented is the fact that we study these subjects not for their sensitizing potential but for minting money.
Besides the status, the earning potential of learning determines the importance and the value of a subject in the eyes of a student. Thus, commerce is a much sought after subject today whereas philosophy, or history, or the arts, find few takers. It is obvious that the notion of value in education has shifted from the philosophical and transcendent sense and come to rest in the market place. That is why the criminals are accepted, dictators admired, and corrupt power mongers emulated.
The new education order separates value from education.
This has resulted in a closing not only of the human mind but more significantly, the closing of the human heart. The intellectual cacophony that surrounds us can only be resolved when we realize that an education that ignores moral and spiritual values cannot qualify as a quality education.
Modern education has largely separated virtue and knowledge and has severed the link between reason and virtue, between the mind and the heart.
An adequate education cannot afford to ignore either the mind or the heart. Together they form the vital links in the chain of civilization.
Thus, education to be truly value centered must move away from survival learning and move towards generative learning.
This implies that the aim and purpose of any and all kinds of study is to get to the heart of what it means to be human.
---
*Commentator on political, educational and social issues, grandnephew of Maulana Azad

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”