Revamp Education to Make It Holistic: Hazare

The anti-corruption crusader and a host of eminent education and business pioneers ponder over the past, present and future of India’s education system in the second edition of the ThinkEdu Conclave organised by Express; Lokpal crusader laments syllabi-centric approach at schools, asks educators and students to pay heed to traditional knowledge

Published: 31st January 2014 08:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st January 2014 08:23 AM   |  A+A-

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Thursday called for a reform in the education system, as a means to bring overall positive change in society. Speaking at the second edition of the two-day ThinkEdu Conclave, organised by The New Indian Express Group here, Hazare opined that a more holistic approach towards the requirements of students is the need of the hour instead of the present system of focusing solely on examinations and syllabi. Hazare and a galaxy of other eminent dignitaries, including academicians, researchers, entrepreneurs and policymakers were welcomed at the conclave by Express editorial director Prabhu Chawla who pointed out that a well-designed education system had to ensure access, excellence and employability. “If our students are to compete on a global platform, we have to equip them sufficiently for the battle. We have to invest in developing the facilities and equipment, transform the research environment and launch comprehensive teacher training programmes,” Chawla said.

Highlighting the building blocks of education, Chawla said it must be based on value-based and ethical systems so as to help students become good human beings. Agreeing with his views, Hazare added that the system had failed the objectives it had set out to achieve serve in the early years of India’s nationhood. “We are seeing the effects of education in all these years after Independence. The idea was that education would help narrow the gap between the rich and poor. Instead, that gap is only growing,” he said. Chawla praised Hazare for the seminal role the social activist played for the cause of the ordinary citizens.

Underscoring the need for a holistic approach to education, Hazare said, “When we only focus on a syllabus and drilling that into a student’s head solely to achieve results, we fail to see and understand the students’ schedule for the entire day. What do they do when they leave school? Do they play? Do they get enough sleep? These things are critical to the development of our youth. It is important to inculcate a desire for good habits and a blemishless life in the minds of our students,” he said.

Hazare also called on all Indians to heed the traditional knowledge of centuries by paying attention to the culture of sacrifice. He called on all Indians to sacrifice their time and effort to better their country.


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