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On some basic Education issues :

This whole concept of parents and teachers 
deciding on wha'ts good for the child is in 
question. This brings to the forefront 
thequestion of the quality of teachers, the 
profile of both parents and teachers in respect 
of the following:

What is the thinking of parents ? The majority are conventional in
approach e.g.. aiming for their offspring to be a Govt.. clerk in view
of a supposedly secure job, or a doctor or engineer. The new
millennium will have to be addressed in new ways. We have to shed our
old ˇthinking caps˘ and think of entrepreneurship, and individual
initiatives that will by itself create new enterprises, new concepts,
new products, new jobs, with an underlying 
principle of " being just good is not good 
enough". We will have to muster the courage to 
step out and strike out on our own, This 
necessitates an extremely strong belief in the 
self : confidence in one˛s abilities ( should not 
be a misplaced one though !), conviction in one˛s 
vision and the strength to persevere with this. 
More crucial is that the "self view" must exist 
within the context of the nation.

Teachers today are not a very dedicated lot. If you ask some what
their vision for their pupil is, you˛ll most often witness an
incredible blank look. For most its just another job. In this exercise
of rejuvenation, we need to move onto the path of appropriate skills
for appropriate jobs. While this might seem a luxury now, it˛s to be
aimed for. Education must stress on creating excellence. Excellence
can only happen when individual strengths and capabilities can be
enhanced by granting the required attention, skillsets and material.
This means personal attention and a time investment from teachers and
educators. We must get away from the tendency to ˇequalize˘ minds,
which basically nurtures mediocrity.

If you cannot see beyond your immediate environment, you can˛t
visualise what˛s possible outside these boundaries. Why should your
limited view restrict possibilities for your child ? ( and by this the
nation itself ) There˛s a seachange in attitudes and aspirations after
the advent of satellite TV in India ( good or bad is another issue )
Exposure has made a tremendous difference. An educational policy must
address this issue of broadbasing experiences.

Specifically, special programmes should be conceptualised that brings
in interaction with parents, teachers and professionals from other
spheres, purely to widen thinking and to explore alternative avenues,
both for the present and the future. These can happen periodically.
Learning never ceases, and this will be an enhancing factor all round.


An aside :
Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, till recently Executive director of CDAC and the
driving force behind the PARAM supercomputer, has ventured out on
another project called "Education to Home or 
ET". Just had a brief chat with him in Pune. Am 
trying to get him involved in the IP initiative.

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