The educational system of a nation is the true indicator of its strength, its quality of life and well being of its citizens and its potential to find its place in the world.
If you want you take a nation to great heights, you have to have an excellent educational system which consists of True Education.
There is a golden Chinese saying:
If you want to plan for a year, plant crops
If you want to plan for 10 years, plant trees
If you want to plan for generations, plant the seeds of education.
Only people who have thoroughly mastered the all the eight components of literacy mentioned below can be called truly educated:
2. Moral Literacy
The consistent and constant practice of Dharma to earn the trust, love, regard and respect of people.
3. Physical Literacy
Developing a strong and fit body through the practice of yoga, martial arts, swimming and other sporting activities.
In addition to this, they can take upto a maximum of any other three sports of their choice.
4. People Literacy
Treating all people equally with equal trust, love, regard and respect.
This should be given to all levels and all types of people regardless of any physical, mental, sexual, social, economic or family background.
They should be given hands on field experience level knowledge development of fundamental laws that teach that one must not oppress or discriminate or disrespect people because of their occupation, ancestry, race, caste, religion, orientation, gender, age, economic status, disability or any other material criteria.
They should learn about basic social etiquette like respect for women, elders, children, animals and surrounding public.
They should also learn about basic civic sense (cleanliness, hygiene, sanitation, garbage, traffic rules, low carbon footprint, water conservation, recycling, and other aspects of basic civic sense).
They should be made to do community service in the True Temples for at least 3 hours a week.
They should be made to do community service in the protection and conservation of Nature for at least 3 hours a week.
They should also be taught Astronomy, not just from books, interactive software and videos, but also with telescopes and also planetariums where possible.
6. Cultural Literacy
Learning and practicing the heritage and culture of a nation consisting of its history, arts, literature, music, dance, drama, painting, sculpture and other such cultural and historical heritage.
Now with the advent of the internet, Google has even developed a tool called Voyager to travel and view photos of historical monuments and wildlife all over the world.
7. Life Skills Literacy
Hands on and practical and field experience development of basic living skills like cooking, farming, masonry work, taking care of animals, carpentry, pottery, cobbling, hand loom weaving, sewing, metal working and other such basic skilled trades needed for daily living.
After 12 years of age, they can be taught plumbing, electrical and other slightly more advanced skills like land surveying, traditional medicine home remedies, basic financial literacy and accounting and book keeping.
After 12 years of age, they should also be taught basic financial management not only in personal affairs, but also in family, community, state and national governance affairs (budget, surplus, deficit, inflation, taxation, subsidies, debt to revenue ratio, startup funding and evaluation).
8. Technical Literacy
Advanced mathematics, science, computers and any other subjects even upto PhD that are actually worthless if a person does not first consistently learn, understand, practice and excel in Spiritual, Moral, Physical, People, Eco Literacy, Cultural and Life Skills Literacy.
The word Gurukula itself had great meaning.
Guru means teacher/guide/master and Kula means family.
So the Guru considered the students as his family and the students lived with the Guru and served him in his daily work even after his teaching lessons were over.
In fact there were no part time teaching lessons.
Being with the Guru itself was a full time lesson and learning from the Guru was a full time teaching.
People in these days think the Gurukulas just taught recitation of the Vedas.
In fact the Gurukulas did teach the Vedas, but it was not just the recitation, the true meaning behind of the symbolism of the Vedas was taught.
The true meaning of the these texts is that there is Brahman in everything living and natural.
More importantly in these Gurukulas in addition to spiritual and scientific study, students were taught how to have healthy relationships with others and respect for their Guru.
Worship was not just by blind following of chants and rituals, but by understanding the true meaning behind chants and rituals which meant loving, protecting and conserving Nature in all its forms.
Students were encouraged to learn and practice the true meaning of Dharma.
Students were also encouraged to learn and practice Yoga right from their youth upto their death.
Students were encouraged to learn and practice the true meaning of merit.
Students were given hands on and field level practical training first and only then book knowledge was given, but hands on training was always included.
MY THOUGHTS ON TRUE EDUCATION
Some of the smartest people I know only had a 3rd form (8th standard) education.
They knew how to read, write and count very well and used it in varied ways with a very open and flexible mind, consistent hard work and more importantly smart work.
And they did much better than PhD graduates.
They even raised children who went on to become Generals, Doctors, Lawyers and world class businessmen.
The only people in Bharat who have creativity, independence of thought and are willing to dirty their hands in the mud, are the less than 5 year old children who have still not qualified to go to school.
They still are fortunate enough to not be corrupted by the “wonder” of our “modern” FUKUS based “education” system.
The less than 5 year old children are the only ones who are capable of thinking outside the box and always asking the question “Why”?
Our “modern” FUKUS based “education” system is solely focused on generating conditioned worker drones ready for a soulless job that they may not like, but are willing to do because that is all they have been taught and qualified to do by the “wonder” of our modern FUKUS based education system.
Most so called “educated” people today, only have book knowledge and have been conditioned just to study to pass theoretical exams by vomiting verbatim what they have memorised.
They have no understanding, wisdom or capacity for individual or creative thought.
They are just conditioned slaves solely focused on basic needs of all mammals like the common bulls and donkeys – to work to survive to get something to eat, then procreate and die.
There is absolutely no mention, leave alone the much more important aspects of literacy like Spiritual, Moral, Physical, People, Eco, Cultural and Life Skills Literacy.
All we have are qualified candidates, not truly educated human beings.
We still follow the alien culture of wretched FUKUS colonists.
I could not believe that even today after 70 years of independence of Bharat, the children learning English still sing “Ba ba black sheep” and “Mary had a little lamb” and also “London bridge is falling down”.
I could not believe even todays’ children learning English in Bharat read Shakespeare, Dickens, Yeats and Shelly, and not aware of the works of Vyasa, Basavanna, Sarvajna, Vemana, Thiruvalluvar, Ghalib, Kabira, Khusrao, Kalidasa, Tulsidas, Tagore, Vivekanand, Shankara, Bhaskara, Maulana Azad, Radhakrishnan, Salim Ali, Dasa Sahitya and many other sterling writers and poets of Bharat.
Students at all levels and in all disciplines in Bharat only have book knowledge.
A Civil Engineer will mindlessly make a map and design a dam, road or building that will affect the lives of thousands or even tens of millions, without even visiting the site, holding a measuring tape, and without even having laid a brick or shoveling even a spade of mud.
The same goes for other engineering and other professions also.
People aspire only for “white collar” jobs.
A “white collar” job only requires passing an exam for a paper degree stating that you have obtained theoretical knowledge in your field of study.
It is no indicator that the person is specially and best qualified to do the job.
It was based in the cursed aristocrat class based society of England, where rich idle land lords who became rich only by inheritance because they won the genetic lottery, considered it beneath their dignity to do the same work as the peasants.
In ancient Bharat, there was dignity of labour.
People never looked down on so called “blue collar” workers.
There was no such thing are “white collar” and “blue collar”.
Even people with “white collar” education and aristocratic and royal lineage did “blue collar” jobs like farming, carpentry, cobbling, weaving and herding.
This is what wretched ignorant Macaulay said and is also given in brief below:
I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic. But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed, both here and at home, with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues.
I am quite ready to take the oriental learning at the valuation of the orientalists themselves.
I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.
The intrinsic superiority of the Western literature is indeed fully admitted by those members of the committee who support the oriental plan of education.
We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, – a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.
To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.
It is a shame that Bharat still follows the ideals and system laid down by an ignorant bigoted racist like Macaulay.
Swami Vivekanand had a wonderful insight into the true meaning of education:
What is education? Is it book learning? No. It is diverse knowledge? Not even that. The training by which the current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called education.
Education is not filling the mind with a lot of facts.
Perfecting the instruments and getting complete mastery of one’s own mind is the ideal of education.
Tagore also had this wonderful observation in his times itself about the sorry state of our so called “modern education system”.
Tagore’s observation more than a 100 years ago still remains true even today.
We pass examinations and shrivel up into clerks, lawyers and police inspectors, and we die young.
Once upon a time we were in possession of such a thing as our mind in India.
It was living. It thought, it felt, it expressed itself.
But it has been thrust aside, and we are made to tread the mill of passing examinations, not for learning anything, but for notifying that we are qualified for employment under the organisations conducted in English.
Our educated community is not a cultured community, but a community of qualified candidates.
The ordinary meaning of education is a knowledge of letters. To teach boys reading, writing and arithmetic is called primary education. A peasant earns his bread honestly. He has ordinary knowledge of the world. He knows fairly well how he should behave towards his parents. his wife, his children and his fellow villagers. He understands and observes the rules of morality. But he cannot write his own name. What do you propose to do by giving him a knowledge of letters? Will you add an inch to his happiness? Do you wish to make him discontented with his cottage or his tot? And even if you want to do that, he will not need such an education. Carried away by the flood of western thought we came to the conclusion, without weighing pros and cons, that we should give this kind of education to the people.
Now let us take higher education. I have learned Geography, Astronomy, Algebra, Geometry, etc. What of that? In what way have I benefited myself or those around me?
Why have I learned these things?
Professor Huxley has thus defined education: “That man I think has had a liberal education who has been so trained in youth that his body is the ready servant of his will and does with case and pleasure all the work that as a mechanism it is capable of, whose intellect is a clear, cold, logic engine with all its parts of equal strength and in smooth working order … whose mind is stored with a knowledge of the fundamental truths of nature …. whose passions are trained to conic to heel by a vigorous will, the servant of a tender conscience … who has learnt to hate all vileness and to respect others as himself. Such a one and no other, I conceive, has had a liberal education, for he is in harmony with nature. He will make the best of her and she of him.”
If this is true education, I must emphatically say that the sciences I have enumerated above I have never been able to use for controlling my senses.
Therefore, whether you take elementary education or higher education, it is not required for the main thing. It does not make men of us. It does not enable us to do our duty.
Even Jiddu had a wonderful insight about our modern “education”:
Have you ever thought about it? We want to be famous as a writer, as a poet, as a painter, as a politician, as a singer, or what you will. Why? Because we really don’t love what we are doing. If you loved to sing, or to paint, or to write poems, if you really loved it you would not be concerned with whether you are famous or not. To want to be famous is tawdry, trivial, stupid, it has no meaning; but, because we don’t love what we are doing, we want to enrich ourselves with fame.
Our present education is rotten because it teaches us to love success and not what we are doing. The result has become more important than the action.
Even the Vishṇu Puraṇa says:
“That is action, which does not promote attachment; that is knowledge which liberates.
All other action is a mere effort/hardship; all other knowledge is merely another skill/craftsmanship.”
Some of Bharat’s greatest leaders like MK Gandhi, C Rajagopalachari, Sarojini Naidu, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Bal Ganghadhar Tilak, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and many others were raised by mothers who did not even know of the term Macaulay “education”.
But these mothers were truly educated.
That is why they managed to raise such great souls as mentioned above.
I want to rephrase the saying of “behind every successful man”:
Behind every successful man, there is a devoted and truly educated Mother.
It is not the way that he made his money, but what he is doing with his money that I really admire and respect.
He has donated a large amount of his immense fortune to education.
It is not only the money that he has donated, but he has also formed a wonderful organisation (Azim Premji Foundation) and a world class university (Azim Premji Universtity) with remarkably competent, dedicated and wise individuals to further his vision of an enlightened education.
Another of the same IT tribe are Nandan and Rohini Nilekani.
However it must be kept in mind, the Nandan is the founder and operator of the biggest achievement of One world agenda – the Aadhar card, where the aim of the government is to link it to even your credit card and cell phones.
Bharat would truly progress if it appointed the people in Premjis education foundation and Premijs university to direct Bharat’s educational policy initiatives.