‘Education system still alien to our root’

Special Correspondent

Silchar, July 6: “Even after 70 years of Independence, our education system has been undergoing experiments and remains alien to our root of ancient culture and tradition,” pointed out Vishwas Lapalkar, eminent educationist, Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture, Pune. The great educationist made this observation at the one day long national workshop on higher education organized by the MG School of Economics and Commerce of Assam University in cooperation with Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal Assam Visvavidyalaya Samiti here at the auditorium of Bipin Chandra Paul on Thursday. The theme of the workshop was ‘Dynamics of higher education in India, Paradigm shifts in curriculum design and mobility’. Heralding the workshop by lighting the auspicious lamp, R R Dhamala, Vice-Chancellor in-charge, said, “It is high time that serious thought has to be given to our higher education system in order to put a check on brain drain and for this planning in curriculum reorientation has to begin.” Vishwas Lapalkar delivered the key note address and spoke about the glorious tradition and heritage of the country and the important role played by the universities of Nalanda and Taxila as well as 27 other centres of higher education.

The quality and standard of education then was highly appreciated across the seven seas. Lapalkar said not only students of this great country but also other nations came here to study in an environment totally conducive to teaching-learning method. He was all appreciative of the Gurukul system of education which not only imparted best of learning and knowledge but also patriotism and the spirit of nationalism, besides imbibing in them the qualities of a good citizen. He regretted during the British rule of 200 years, the basic infrastructure and system based on Gurukul was destroyed.
It was a system which wanted to make Indians fit for being clerks in the offices of the British raj. There was no thought or planning about how to improve and raise the standard of education. Nor was any importance attached to research work. Prof Niranjan Roy pointed out Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal is concentrated on bringing about qualitative changes in our present system of education where the emphasis would be on planning, exploratory work and sense of belonging to the society and the nation. He was hopeful the CBCS (Choice based credit system) being introduced from the academic session of 2018-19 would give a new dimension and direction to our higher education.

It was also a matter of concern that till today the students are groping in the dark in the absence of confusing scenario where values and ideals are not cared for. At such a juncture, Lapalkar said students remain ignorant of the moral and spiritual guidelines shown by Swami Vivekananda who stressed on ‘man of character building’. Many of the countrymen have no sense of responsibility to become a partner in the development of the country. The education for them is meant for employment and management of home. “We have to come out from this isolation and confinement and prove ourselves to be the worth sons of the country,” said Bimal Nath Choudhury, noted educationist.

Bimal Nath Choudhury was in favour of imparting education in one’s mother tongue which will not only be helpful in receiving better and perfect knowledge but also grow as a responsible citizen. Prof Nikhil Bhusan Dey, president of Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal of Assam University unit concluded the inaugural session with the message that the present system of education is faced with challenges and needs to be seriously planned to attune itself to the changing time to meet the aspirations and hopes of the present generation of students. Others who spoke on the occasion included Bibhas Das Purkayastha, former vice president, Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal and Arvind Joshi, Registrar, Kavi Kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Maharashtra.