India’s Education System: A Strict Adherence to Western Doctrines
The academic fraternity in India is loudly expressing its sincere views over social media, about the importance of education, and about--how to deliver the better education so as to prepare students of India to face the challenges of 21st century. Though you will find that the whole issue and underlying issues they are trying to decipher, no doubt are strong indicators of the heart-felt dissonance & chronic frustration among the academic fraternity in India. We believe that their expressions in social media threads & discussions are just the tip of ice-berg.
In retrospect, we should dare to ask them a question—
What would you teach by-the-way?
Please don't feel offended, if you are an academician. We just intend to point out to–what is being fed to students with existing education system of India. Every academician with some degree of intellect knows that it is not correct and the actual knowledge is not being imparted among students, ONLY FILTERED contents are being allowed to be taught. The key pointer is the question --How would you cut loose, when the education system has been very carefully designed to limit what is to be taught?
Grave Filtration of Knowledge
For example, Western scholars devised an ethnocentric scheme to explain a phenomenon—one that India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and many other modern Indian intellectuals came to accept– that a previous European people must have once existed, an Indo-European race upon which the world, and India, drew for its linguistic roots and genetic stock. This was propounded as Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT). A theory which had not been substantiated till date and probably would never be. But we have surrendered to such blindly theories without even thinking of challenging them. One, Max Muller comes (in fact, never comes to India even for a single day) and imagines something sitting on his chair, and his imagination becomes a universal truth for we, Indians. How?
Similar distortions and interpretations were allowed with total of our historical chronology. No researcher among us is coming with the work that could reverse the damage done to the story called 'India'. Till date, we are hooked up with European ethnocentrism, colonialism, racism, and anti-Semitism and what they wished us to believe and teach.
Now look at the enigma left by Charles Darwin. His theory is simple, perhaps even too simplistic. Life on Earth has evolved through a series of biological changes as a consequence of random genetic mutations working in conjunction with natural selection. One species gradually changes over time into another. And those species that adapt to changing environmental conditions are best suited to survive and propagate and the weaker die out, producing the most well-known principle of Darwinism—survival of the fittest.
The theory has been taught to children for generations. We have all learned that fish changed into amphibians, amphibians became reptiles, reptiles evolved into birds, and birds changed into animals. However, it is far easier to explain this to school children—with cute illustrations and pictures of a lineup of apes (beginning with those having slumped shoulders, transitioning to two that are finally standing upright)—than it is to prove.
Darwinism is the only scientific theory taught worldwide that has yet to be proved by the rigorous standards of science. Why it is being taught as proven 'Scientific Fact' world over and in India too? How many scientists and researchers from India are choosing to challenge the Darwin's Theory of Evolution? There is no debate among us about 'Tao of Physics' Verses 'Origin of Species'.
Add to agony, and we find that our own Archaeological Research is lagging at least 100-150 years behind the work done world over. How less we as academics know about ancient Harappan civilization of the Indus Valley and Mohenjo-Daro? Forget about 'Mahabalipuram' and the like and where do they fit in our indigenous chronology of historical events.
But how far does the 'Knowledge Filter' go? How much of the actual history of India still lies in the dustbin created by Western ethnocentrism, colonialism, and scientific materialism?
Take a pause and think at what point until her graduation, a student of science is being 'introduced' to the Neil Bohr, Heisenberg, and the works of other prominent Quantum Physicists? When about the famous thought experiment of 'Schrödinger's cat'....and the like? When would they be introduced to alternative worlds of science? When would they be told that there is science beyond the 'Newtonic Physics'? So on...?..??
Though times have changed. And the 'Transfer of Technology' is a bit faster than previous decades, BUT the 'Transfer of Knowledge' of all type is still very slow to India, especially if it is a newer knowledge and challenges the pre-conceived notion of knowledge in any field. It's pathetically slow!
West is the Best Model
India, with her treatment by the West and her acquiescence to that treatment, typifies the way in which Western intellectualism conquered the world. Call it the "West is best" model: a strict adherence to European doctrines.
We are of the opinion that the education system can't be changed by mere wishful thinking from any body or any section in the society. It could possibly be changed by directly challenging it, but with solid, independent 'Original' works by intellectuals and researchers from India. Somewhere it is about cutting loose. Then our academicians would be able to teach whatever it needs in this century and centuries to come. No help be needed.
Our friends from teaching fraternity must face the cruelest paradox of their profession head-on:
Q. What they should do?
- Teach according to syllabus
- Teach whatever they like
- Teach for satiating the curiosity
- Teach western course content
They would need to find a way around the following lines of thoughts or concerns:
If I do comply with the stipulated syllabus, then only I would be allowed to remain a teacher, a professional.
If I choose to teach 'whatever' (instead of what) I like, then again rebellion against the system would leave me out at the periphery of system itself.
If I choose to teach only for the sake of satiating curiosity, then it would become a crime according to the laws of system.
They at least can ensure one thing, i.e., they would 'learn' non-stop for satiating their own curiosity inclusive of all variety of thoughts or concepts, deliberately denying the knowledge filter to operate.
Sooner than later, they would be compelled to ponder upon another question:
But if I don't share with students what I think or have learnt because of any repercussion, then what am I doing by being there as a teacher? Is my job just to feed the filtered contents and leaving my students with only unilateral lines of thinking and creating a production-line which produces robots only?
If my job is about sharing with my students all types of multi-dimensional and conflicting thoughts/ideas and in the process, leaving them curious enough, open enough and making them actually thinking persons who can think and act independently, then how can I find ways to actually do it?
They would love to learn a lot and be open to all types of ideas, vantage points; and even love more to share those. Because sharing those would keep them at edge, never allowing the complacency to set in. With the passage of time, their students would be left with very wide horizon of thinking........such a spectrum of information and knowledge of all types. Above all, their students would be blessed with an ability to choose and dwell among the conflicting thoughts/ideas.
Believing in the power of robust dialogue
We would suggest you to ask a Science/Physics teacher who is teaching at 10+2/UG level:
ONE: Physics says that the nucleus of any (literally any) atom is composed of 2-subatomic particles, viz., Protons, Neutrons. ....Right! Neutrons don't possess the 'charge' of any type, they are said to be neutral. Nucleus is therefore retains its 'positive' charge, because protons actually possesses 'positive' charges. Wonderful! It is what is taught to students of science. Ask them, if it is correct? They would say, Yes, indeed.
Then ask them, it is not possible. Because if all the protons possess only 'positive' charge, then the same 'positive' charge of each 'positive' protons MUST repel each other, and the whole nucleus MUST fall apart. Why and how it remains intact?
Remember: Our students don't ask this question to them, EVER.
TWO: When nucleus is 'positive' charged and the electrons orbiting around it are essentially 'negative' charged, It is again not possible. Because then the opposing charges MUST attract each other......................AND then the whole atom and its electrons must COLLAPSE at its nucleus. HOW IT COMES?
Our point is simple, i.e., what we are feeding to our students is highly filtered and they are enslaved of unilateral dimensions of phenomena, whereby killing the actual 'CURIOSITY' among the students, they are never allowed to think freely by our education system.
CURIOSITY is the only element that should be the target of educational, instructional pedagogy, regardless of subject, curriculum and mode of delivery.