Education and the fear of freedom

The article “Education and freedom” (Perspective, Feb 11) by Anil Wilson is most refreshing and welcome. His contention to liberate education from the status-quoists who suffer from a “fear of freedom” needs to be seriously taken up by the creative and progressive educationists.

In a globalising and competitive world, we don’t want individuals who are conformists and always reluctant to look at things and phenomena critically and creatively. Why are our teachers or educators afraid of providing an environment to their students which cultivates and encourages creativity among them? Are they afraid of a situation which may put teachers’ own creativity on test?

Today only those can cope with the situation who are critical, creative, constructive and look towards the future in an objective manner. The education system’s prime duty is to create this type of generation of individuals. A stereo-type or traditionalist education system spoils the students’ creativity.

It is time for progressive and forward looking educationists, intellectuals and politicians to come forward and liberate the education system from the clutches of the status-quoists. Otherwise, the day is not far off when cumulative knowledge of our modern students will force them to swing into show the status-quoists the door.

The media and the Internet provide immense knowledge and practical skills to think and act freely and creatively. Sadly, many a student are far ahead of their teachers or educators in respect of creative knowledge, skills and practices. This is the reason why our teachers are afraid of providing freedom in all spheres of education.

Education is imparted in a piecemeal way to keep the students’ knowledge restricted to one field only. Education can’t be divided into compartments. An integral approach towards education is the need of the hour.




Sadly, in spite of 300-odd universities, only about 5 per cent of the pass outs are employable in today’s job market. And majority of this 5 per cent are educated in the IITs and IIMs and get immediate attention of various employers offering hefty pay packages.

It is largely due to a big knowledge gap between these institutes and other
universities. In these institutes, communication between the teacher and the taught is very rich while in our universities this is lacking. In most average universities, fear of freedom and resultant consequences in working hard to compete with these institutes is looming large.

Here teachers never learn to experiment. The best way to bring all these universities to modern-day requirements is to give equal opportunities to the teachers and the taught for “continuous learning” to upgrade their knowledge and not to be satisfied with just “survival learning”.

Dr O.P. JASUJA, Patiala

Election woes

All in the name of elections,” (Saturday Extra, Jan 13) by Khushwant Singh is an apt and factual description of the scenario in the state. The writer is right in stating “the more it changes, the more it remains the same.”

For Punjabis, irrespective of the caste tag, the main purpose is to earn money, even if it is through the exploitation of the common man. The election process for the purpose of bringing about a change of government is irrelevant for them.

All moral values, honesty, truth, spirit of nationalism and service to humanity are things of the past.

The teachings of Guru Nanak and the other gurus are recited in gurdwaras and are implemented in deed and on the ground.

Equally traits like non-violence, trusteeship of property and use of swadeshi — a part of Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘experiments with truth’— are neither the plank of political parties nor of individuals aspiring to political power.

Electoral reforms which enable dedicated persons to be elected to power are the need of the hour.

RIKHI DASS THAKUR Pallehru, Hamirpur

Setting the right precedent

SociaL engineering being done by Nawanshahr’s dynamic deputy commissioner Krishan Kumar has set a noble precedence for the whole state to follow (Saturday Extra, Feb 3).

Besides efficient economic monitoring of the district, he has aptly realised his duties of social auditing which is commendable.

His sharp acumen and focused approach has curbed the menace of female foeticide and widespread drug addiction to a significant level.

His novel initiatives of formulating the Upkar Coordination Society, preparing girls for job market through computer literacy, helping the marginalised becoming self-reliant has made him an idol for the locals.

Though Krishan Kumar might be at loggerheads with the politicians for the way he handled the affairs during the recent elections, bureaucrats are supposed to and authorised to correct social anomalies.

If they have the passion and will to respond, the success rate will surely be high. There is no doubt about it.

Their personal involvement and field level participation can better mobilise the masses. Nawanshahr pioneered in setting the model. Now it is for the rest to follow and respond.




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