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Dear Listers,

There was query on my idea of FUNDAMENTALS in education. The exact mail
is lost. This is a reply. thanks to Madhu for help in retrieving and
forwarding the original mail.
 The last paragraph slightly modified:
This is again a fallacy in deciding merit. Pass or First class should
not be the criteria. Marks should be one of the criteria and that too
the AVERAGE of the School should be considered and compared to other
institutions. Comparing a few rank holders doesn't help for in many
cases these ranks have been 'bought' or obtained at the cost of the
general lot. A few students do very well despite the shortcomings of the

We need to get to FUNDAMENTALS. There is a lot of gimmick going on.
A few words on this FUNDAMENTALS:

1. Do we have a set of STANDARDS that can be discussed and improved as
time passes? 
IMHO - There is no such document as this and TEXT BOOKS and Syllabus
rule the roost.

2. can we evolve a curriculum without even knowing the students who are
going to do that course of study?
IMHO - Even very senior people may not understand the implications of
this point.

3. Why should it always be TOP DOWN.? When will NCERT or any research
body for that matter will call a set of 100 innovative teachers to
educate the babus sitting at desks about science education. Why is that
Prof.'s and Senior guys have to always tell the teachers how to teach?
IMHO - It has to be BOTTOM-UP process; else we'll end up having dead
crap filling up the vacuum. we need fill up the SPACE with vibrant
ideas. Teachers will never achieve the standard of teachers so far they
are dictated from the top.

4. Our TEACHER TRAINING mechanism is farce and totally faulty. A Prof.
in a Training Institute, from massive to the mini ones, hardly have any
contact with children. they are mostly live on their rote memory and
bloated ego. Politicians and beurocrats join this bandwagon of experts.
At this rate Education cannot be worse than what we have now.

IMHO - Practicing teachers should be fully involved in training
futuristic teachers. How many of the TRAINERS of today can prepare
activities, design projects and help the children do them imaginatively?
I have my grave doubts whether they can manage 12 kids of 10 years
together for 15 minutes! Are the teachers who stimulate their
imagination, excite their brains day in and day out and help children
enjoy learning not experts? If they are the magicians, they should have
a role in preparing future magicians.

5. What is the kind of research and innovation the teachers do and
report to get better grades or promotion? or even just to be entrusted
with the job of dealing with creating minds?

IMHO - The most unimaginative minds, least dedicated souls, ...... make
the majority of our teaching force. This has to be changed by expecting
teachers to improve themselves and others by taking up projects and
functional researches. It is not respectable to have one day off for
every working day. (200 working days; 165 off days. the working days
include leaves of various kinds) All the researches and innovations
should be published so that the meritorious get motivated and take more
vital responsibilities of shaping up education.

6. What do teachers become ultimately? they get old and retire.
IMHO- They should work their way up and UNIVERSITY depts. of education
should be full of teachers who have shaken the earth. They will have
ideas to breathe and to fire the imagination of future teachers.

7. What do the parents think their role is? Unfortunately many don't
think beyond getting admission to a DESIRED school.
IMHO - parents should have a very active and positive role not so mauch
in the management but in implementing dynamic and creative ideas of
facilitating learning. they cannot afford to be ignorant for an average
child spends  (165 * 24)+(200 * 18) hours of a full year of 365 * 24
hrs. That makes almost 85% of time off the school, that is mostly with
the parents and only 15% in the school. It is time parents understand
this phenomenon called school and take responsibility and act with
conviction and courage so that the schools will wake up to THEIR
responsibility and ultimately we have a thing called education that
really does what it is supposed to do - develop future citizens.

8. Do we have a study as to what percentage of money spent on education
really reaches the children? Can we afford to spend about 90% of our
resources trying to reach about 10% of the resource to children?
Structure, system, controls, administration ... all these are to support
the PROCESS of education; not to suffocate the very PROCESS for which
these things have been created and maintained. 
IMHO - Make contribution to education the responsibility of ALL research
organizations and business houses. Let them all propose model
curriculums which can be debated by the public and the so called
educationists of which the Edn. dept, Universities ..  also forms a
part. All these bodies responsible for education have at the least to
STUDY and RESPOND to what the real performers of life propose how
education should be provided and how learning should be facilitated. We
need to embark on a wide angle and telescopic look at HUMAN RESOURCES.
it can simply start at looking at the mirror image of successful
individuals, business houses and countries. One should not be ashamed of
learning from others; we should be smart in that. We should not lose our
culture; we neeed to be steadfast in that.

Ours now is a crisis of culture. What we should follow almost blindly we
question; what we should question at every step, we just ignore.

We should address the BASICS sincerely, discipline and the like which
are the core of education and learning i.e how to make it dynamic and
effective ( The process should dictate everything else). The rest - what
facility, what system and what methods, what funds .... will follow.
This has to be taken up by people; by all the people.

Hope the line of thought is clear. It became longer than I planned. one
can always hit the delete button if needed.. 

A keen player and entrepreneur in school education.

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