Education system in India has evolved with time and has seen many ups and downs. Education has been a mode of expressing oneself while promoting the spirit of thought and moral conscience. Yet present day education seems to have a lacking which is serious if not alarming.
The present day society in general and the younger generation in particular are facing serious shortcomings in terms of moral, ethical and spiritual values. Because of the rat race to get ahead of others, parents are forcing their children to focus on the competitive examinations alone and are forgetting the crucial aspect of their personality development through moral and ethical training. The unnecessary pressure has taken the shift from a holistic approach towards education to simple rote learning which emphasises on information but not on knowledge which is the application of that information. Unfortunately, the standard of teaching has drastically fallen in the last couple of decades. The factors which have led to this fall include lack of infrastructure and degradation of moral capacities. Thus both the teaching staff and the students have been completely deprived of the excellent teaching methods that could lead to a better society the better living standards.
Student needs to have mind that is capable of analytical thinking and understanding of complex core concepts but also use these capabilities to its benefit in day to day life and for the betterment of the society. Today we need to build a strong and solid foundation of scientific temper and technology knowledge in students, which is possible through deep levels of determination, focus and concentration. This is the reason why Gurukul system is considered to be the best way to lead to a sound learning environment.
The concept of a Gurukul has a rich legacy. This system of education is based on time tested values and principles. It believes in developing an innate sense of concentration and involvement while enhancing a child’s knowledge and development of the brain. The students in a Gurukul are oblivious of outside surroundings so they can concentrate on studies. They live in close proximity of a teacher, where much emphasis in laid on a young student’s mental, cognitive, spiritual and physical wellness. The system works on the holistic development of a child, inculcating and promoting values such as discipline, self- reliance, right attitude, empathy, creativity, and strong ethics. Introducing children to such an atmosphere in the early age helps them sharpens the analytic skills from the very beginning. This helps them develop critical thinking, giving them an edge over competitors from the start
Most Gurukuls are located close to the nature at scenic places, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is here that students transform into balanced, analytical people, ensuring an ambience where education is balanced and rewarding. Location plays a crucial role as being surrounding amidst nature, devoid of any out-worldly distractions, creates an environment which is most conducive to learning.
Self reliance is an important value that one imbibes from this isolation- one of the greatest values to learn as a human being. The serene ambience of such schools is ideal for education and holistic growth. It’s a known fact that preparing for exams takes a toll on a student’s health due to increase in stress levels. Surrounded in a calm and isolated environment helps build the mind and spirits, where they can easily de-stress, and enhance their concentration levels.
Gurukul system is an important part of Indian history. Today, age-old concepts have merged with modern culture to facilitate a robust learning environment for students. Traditionally, Gurukuls have emphasised on the importance of practical knowledge. The followers of this system believe that bookish knowledge and rote learning are not sufficient. Thus the emphasis is on providing practical knowledge in a modern infrastructure including practical laboratories with state-of-the-art facilities and technology. The curriculum prepares student to excel in all fields of life, creating a perfect combination of academics and extra-curricular activities. This makes the educational journey remarkable. Traditional classrooms replace digital ones, and teachers ensure individual attention to augment the learning capabilities of the child.
Holistic education for holistic growth
At present, our education system concentrates more on rank-based system than value-based one. The students are driven with rivalry to the level of animosity by competing with their peers till precarious levels. What adds fuel to the fire is the tendency of the parents of the students becoming ambitious and making proud statements about their kids’ academic performance? Instead of the rank-based system, encapsulating Gurukul builds a value-based and value-added education system which recognizes the uniqueness of each student and allows them to excel in their area of interest. Here, we can visualize a better educational environment that builds the character of a student by not dragging them in to fierce competition.
The Gurukul system combines modern concept of education with traditional Indian values and the liberal methods to achieve it. We should progress with this vision to educate young minds and foster ethical, social, moral and spiritual values through holistic learning.
Inputs by Raunak Jain, Managing Director of Tula’s International School