CHENNAI: There is no greater disservice to education than politicising it through appointments. Unfortunately, every appointment of vice-chancellor in the country today is a political appointment, said Valson Thampu, former principal, St Stephen’s College. He went on to say that knowledge is power and power soon becomes profit.
“The present practice of higher education cuts us from our roots. The goal prescribed for education and every stated intention in The National Education Policy has been forgotten,” Valson observed.
However, the topic was about bridging ancient wisdom and modern knowledge. The panel however, unanimously agreed that teaching experience bridges the gap between ancient wisdom and modern knowledge.
“When there is experience, there is immediacy and there is neither ancient nor modern. Both ancient wisdom and modern knowledge are present at any point of time in people’s lives. We should neither reject nor denigrate something because it is ancient nor should we romanticise it,” said Mani Rao, author and scholar. To drive her point home, she gave the example of Kalidasa, a classical poet, whose thought process was incredibly modern.
Modern knowledge is often identified with the scientific method. Whereas, when it comes to human activities, concerned with problem-solving, it should involve both the ancient and modern practices. “Knowledge evolves into wisdom. Education should address the factor of self. Information should be looked upon without any prejudice and bias. A piece of information from ancient wisdom can work best with modern knowledge. There is a necessity to evolve knowledge from wisdom. It is our responsibility to bring up a good generation and all agencies need to come forward to achieve this goal,” said Sudha Seshayyan, director of Madras Medical College, recently in the news for having done the embalming of the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.