Stress Education And Reservation
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Stress at individual and social levels; distorts our cognition, affect, and conation (perception, feelings, and actions); and leads to, amongst many other evils, deterioration of international, national, and local education policy and its implementation. The present-day non-holistic (sectarian, prejudiced, vindictive, malicious, mercenary, exploitative, and malevolent) education (formal, curricular, co-curricular, extracurricular, and informal) is a major stressor that though it aids in petty pursuits; opposes our blossoming and further perpetuates stress and ill effects in the individual and social life. Let us review; the present perspective, policy, and practice of education, as seen around.
Even though education is defined in various ways; and often inadequately or incompletely, there has been a general agreement that education is basically a process of the blossoming of an individual and the society. Hence it included three domains, which are as follows. The first domain is called AFFECTIVE DOMAIN. This means the state of mind. In simple words, the affective domain relates to how we feel. Thus when our mind is full of alertness, attention, enthusiasm, buoyancy, affection, concern, joy, tolerance, self-esteem, mutual respect, mutual trust, commitment, dedication, love, romance, confidence, positive and victorious spirit, we would call it healthy affective domain. In addition, the zeal and concentration needed; in the pursuit of excellence in the intellectual field, tenacity and endurance are required; in skillful activities and patience and commitment essential; for internally satisfying and socially beneficial (conscientious) actions constitute affective domain. The purpose of education is to nurture this domain by designing suitable curricula and syllabi.
The second domain of education is called PSYCHOMOTOR DOMAIN. This implies the ability to appreciate skills and ability to perform physical and mental skills, speed, accuracy, elegance, ease of performance, etc. This may involve appreciation and performance of skills such as surgery, playing a musical instrument, playing basket ball or doing carpentry! The purpose of education is to nurture this domain through not only designing suitable curricula, syllabi but also by providing sufficient practical and demonstration classes; with all the necessary equipment.
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The third domain is called COGNITIVE DOMAIN. The cognitive domain incorporates accurate perspective, contemplation, correct perception understanding, conceptualization, analysis and recall of fact and problems, ability to evaluate, synthesize, correlate and make decisions, appropriate policies, plans, and expertise in the management, administration, etc. All these domains have three components each viz. Cognition [Perception], affect [Feelings] and donation [Response].
Thus cognitive domain would have intellectual perception, clarity, and intellectual expression, and the affective domain would include feeling, motivation, and response in an emotional sphere such as poetry; and the psychomotor domain would include grasp and internalization of a particular skill, confidence to perform it and actually performing it.
Let us now see, how despite these goals; how it has come to be conceived as a process of achieving political, economic, scientific, and technological supremacy and thus deteriorated to the present stage; where all the three domains are defective; apart from lacking in the spiritual and productive domains. In short, let us see how it has become a major stressor.
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For this, a brief consideration of the traditional education system in India would prove useful.
Traditional Education System in India in general; ensured that:
a] Careers were not selected based on monetary gains,
b] Careers were not selected arbitrarily based on idiosyncrasies and whims,
c] Some lucrative careers could not be sought after; in preference to the others,
d] All careers ensured income and production from an early age,
e] All careers ensured that the society was benefited,
f] All careers ensured security to all the social groups,
g] All the careers ensured intimacy and closeness between young and old in the families.
h] All careers ensured ethical education and passage of experience and wisdom; from generation to generation.
These were merits. But it is also true that the traditional system was apparently marked by deprivation of scholastic education on a mass scale, apparently unjustifiable availability of education of jobs based on caste, deficient infrastructure for collective scientific and technological efforts, and an element of arbitrary imposition of hierarchy.
The traditional education system has attained the present status of being a major stressor due to several stressful factors, including the onslaught of the tempting and impressive individualistic doctrines. Thus the transition from the traditional system to the present one (whether due to British, American, or any other influence, but basically due to individualistic pursuits); has become a major stressor tearing apart the cohesive social fabric of India by failing to preserve and nurture the merits and discard and dispose of the demerits. As the education shifted from homes, home industries, and farms to; nurseries, K.G. schools, schools, colleges, universities, corporate industries, research institutions, etc., the transition became viciously poisonous.
Cognition suffered because of:
a] a huge number of students, in a single class making following three things almost impossible. These things are i] individual attention ii] dialogue iii] discussions,
b] Lack of adequate salary, accountability, incentive and economic security to the teachers taking away the initiative of nurturing cognitive domain
c] Increase in alienation for student’s background and aptitude
d] Lack of adequate incentive to the students in the form of creativity, production, and learning, service to the family and service to the nation, takes away the motivation required for building up cognitive domain
e] Lack of conviction essential to the growth of cognitive domain in the teachers and students because of outdated practices and demonstration classes, lack of interdisciplinary dialogue and in general the irrelevance of education to the realities of day to day life in as much as almost predictable consecutive unemployment at the end! The lack of conviction could be partly due to lack of participation by teachers in decision-making, policy-making, development of curricula, syllabi, etc.
f] Emphasis on recall and hence rote learning, thereby denying free inquiry, reading, questioning, etc. directly thwarting the cognitive domain
g]] Too many examinations; with irrelevant parameters or criteria of evaluation [besides being unfair in many instances] leading to misguided and in most cases counterproductive efforts, thus adversely affecting the cognitive domain
h] Competitions where the manipulative skills, callousness, selfishness are given more respect destroy the enthusiasm of growing in the cognitive domain
i] Information explosion affecting cognitive domain by either causing the enormous and unnecessary burden on memory or inferiority complex
j] Pressure of interviews causing constant tension and sense of inadequacy, right from the tender age,
k] Protracted hours of homework in schools denying the students their legitimate right to enjoy their childhood and make them physically, mentally, and intellectually unfit to grow in the cognitive domain
l] Irrelevant and unnecessary information loading in lectures in the form of a monologue, leading to suppression of the spontaneity, originality, interest, and enthusiasm so much required in cognitive development amongst the students,
Affective domain suffered due to,
A] Isolation of the children from their parents and their domestic environment at an early age [Making the parents also equally sad]
B] Lack of warm bonds due to a huge number,
C] Cutthroat individualistic and petty competition,
D] Inadequate facilities of sports, trekking, educational tours, recreation, and physical development, etc
E] Alienation from one’s social environment and culture
The psychomotor domain suffered due to
A] Almost total lack of opportunities to actually participate in skillful activities such as drawing, painting, sewing, sculpturing, carpentry, knitting, weaving, music, agriculture, horticulture, other handicrafts, various sports, performing arts, etc.
It is important to realize that promotion of the psychomotor domain is evident but in its caricature form. It has no concrete economic realistic basis. The activities have no economic incentive and no productive element. Apart from the defects in the three domains, the other two domains, viz. spiritual and productive, have not TOTALLY ABSENT in the education. The spiritual domain that imparts universal perspective and globally beneficial outlook; incorporates inner blossoming of an individual through introspection, heart to heart communication (not merely discussion and arguments), mutual understanding, and blossoming of the teachers and students together; through one of a universal practices; viz. NAMASMARAN. Thus the spiritual domain is a key to conquering lust, whims, fancies, pride, arrogance, callousness, contempt, ungratefulness, prejudices, jealousy, hatred, meanness, meekness, beggary, cheating, stealing, treachery, and so on; it is never made available to the teachers, students, and the others; associated with education.
The present education system in India lacks the other important domain, viz. the productive domain that empowers the people concerned with education. This prevents a huge section of society, such as teachers, students, clerks, servants, sweepers, and many others such as education inspectors, from being creative and productive. In addition, it causes colossal loss of space, electricity, construction cost, and so on. In addition, the typical emphasis on rote learning leads to phenomenal waste of “educational material” such as paper, bags, pencils, ball pens, etc.
It has to be appreciated that billions of rupees are spent on the unproductive or rather counterproductive exercise of construction, decoration, and maintenance of schools and colleges, electricity, and so-called educational material, payment of millions of teachers and other staff members engaged, and exams conducted to test the “capacity and merit of rote learning.” This way, we weaken the national economy, jeopardize the developmental activities.
It also causes economic loss to everyone involved in education; while suppressing and starving their all three domains nurtured in productive activity. This is a single most important cause of
1] Reduction in the dignity of labor amongst those who continue to learn, as well as a reduction in the income of the concerned families and the nation
2] Lack of education, lack of employment, and starvation or criminalization amongst those who are forced to drop out because the poor villagers’ children normally contribute to the earning of the family.
3] Inhuman suffering of those millions of student dropouts, who somehow manage to get into the hell of cheap child labor for subsistence; due to economic reasons.
In short, the present-day education system harnesses arrogance and diffidence; amongst those who continue to learn. But their spiritual, cognitive, psychomotor, affective, and productive domains are defective. Their spiritual blossoming, self-empowerment, creative wisdom, intellectual competence, productive skills, self-sufficiency, and even physical health are deficient. Thus we have an increasing number of unproductive criminals and mental wrecks or highly competitive efficient maniacs pursuing petty goals at the cost of others! For those who cannot continue the education, the abyss of being child labor, stealing, delinquency, criminals, perverts, beggars is wide open!
The piecemeal approach or facilitation of petty pursuits (under the guise of development and progress) is not only useless but is, in fact, counterproductive! It leads to a cancerous spread of industries with the uncontrolled production of unnecessary utilities and their maddening marketing. These industries consume energy, fuel and add to disposable waste and pollution. This sickening and stressful atmosphere nurtured by the present education; promotes the growth of terrorism on the one hand and pretends to act against it (in a counterproductive way) on the other!
Mainstream Education System and its courses and careers revolve around and serve grossly petty and superficial considerations, motivations, and interests. This state of affairs; is strongly protected and strengthened by the elements with similar interests! Hence the present laws, rules, and regulations also promote present education and its ill effects.
Some institutions and individuals, for whom we have great respect, are involved in the holistic approach to education (mainstream, formal, informal, curricular, co-curricular, extracurricular, and education of physically and mentally challenged children). But these efforts are too feeble to make a difference in our life.
While piecemeal approaches are failing; there is no adequate awareness and promotion of holistic education, which leaves the vicious cycle of stress distorting education and distorted education, creating, aggravating, and spreading the stress; to continue unabashedly and unabated.
Hence, the ill effects of stress on present education and vice versa; can be eradicated if we understand and propagate the defects in present education and promote holistic education as an international solution. It has to be appreciated that no statesman, no political leader, no policymaker, and no administrator can bring about change in an existing system (in a democratic setup); unless we evolve a consensus about the changes in most people, whose cooperation is very vital.
In short, the policy of holistic education; demands that every school, college, university, etc., must become the center of production and service, self-sufficient, and must aid in self-sufficiency and blossoming of everyone involved in the education of the nation. The students, teachers, and others associated with education; must blossom as independent and empowered individuals; spiritually, intellectually, mentally, instinctually, physically, and economically.
In practice; every day; approximately
- 20 % of the time must be spent in production, service, etc.
- 20 % of the time must be spent in physical activities
- 20 % of the time must be spent in personality (conceptual and spiritual) development and
- 20 % of the time must be spent on entertainment
- 20 % of the time must be spent on the cognitive domain
20 % of the time must be spent in production, service, etc.
1. The productive domain should be an essential ingredient of the education system, but no particular job should be enforced. The teachers and others should participate in the productive domain. Production and service can involve community projects such as plantation of medicinal herbs, rearing of cows, home flower gardening, chalk sticks, carpentry, pottery, cleanliness, crafts, skills, arts, and their sale to the situations. Working physically in different ways and learning is not a burden. It is an opportunity to grow from within. It is an opportunity to develop our self-esteem. It is an opportunity to become self-sufficient.
2. This leads to self-sufficiency in schools. They do not have to depend on heavy fees or federal grants or donations, and this way, they become accessible to all, rendering the reservations redundant!
3. Through the productive domain, the hypokinetic stress, emotional stress of being dependent and intellectual stress of excessive memorizing is averted.
4. Due to the productive domain, dropping out due to lack of earning (as is common in millions of students in many parts of the world) and then turning into helpless, vulnerable, and cheap child labor would come down.
5. Being empowered, the students would not go through the stress of unemployment and turn into helpless, frustrated mental wrecks or criminals.
6. The emphasis on the productive domain (and hence psychomotor and practical aspects) would bring down the necessity and capability and possibility to “copy” and associated crimes and corruption in procedures of examinations, certification, providing grants, and so on!
The caste-based or any other kind of reservation for education, jobs, and promotions; responsible for social divide and strife; in many parts of the world; (especially India) can be rendered redundant and thus; peacefully and advantageously done away with, by consensus! Most importantly, we have to introduce and incorporate examinations, which examine the student’s actual skill, capacity, or performance, rather than his/her ability to repeat or reproducing things and/or copying.
20 % of the time must be spent in physical activities
Physical activities can include pranayama, sports, exercise, trekking, hiking, various physical fitness training programs and methods to avoid monotony and improve efficacy. A variety of sports prevalent in every other part of the world can make the programs more interesting, entertaining thereby promoting global unity.
20 % of the time must be spent in personality (conceptual and spiritual) development and
Personality development includes affective domain, spiritual domain and embodies broadening of perspective through various means such as; NAMASMARAN, by hearing and chanting prayers, poems, and songs from different languages and countries, thereby promoting global unity, guest lectures, seminars, discussions on holistic health, educational tours and visits to places where the student gets exposed to rapid developments in the society such as laboratories, airports, government offices, share market, farms, etc.
20 % of the time must be spent on entertainment
Entertainment that enriches the soul should include playing musical instruments, dance, painting, mimicry, singing, storytelling, drama, movie, etc., but everything that nurtures the affective domain and spiritual domain.
20 % of the time must be spent on the cognitive domain
Development of cognitive domain can include the teaching of languages, history, geography, mathematics, etc., with utmost emphasis on interpretation and relevance in day-to-day life. Thus typical irrelevant questions in examining history, languages, mathematics; should be totally done away with. Subjects such as economics, psychology, civics, philosophy, logic, sociology, etc., must include fieldwork and be made relevant to society. We must encourage a maximum and daily person-to-person interaction and dialogue amongst the teachers and students. Analytical, synthetic, contemplative, decision-making, troubleshooting, and problem-solving capacities are developed optimally.
Let us realize the fact that the vicious cycle of stress distorting education and distorted education causing and multiplying stress, e.g., in the form of RESERVATION POLICY and its ILL EFFECTS; in individual and social life; can NOT be managed effectively unless and until; a situation where millions are “imprisoned” in unproductive work and millions are forced into unemployment and inhuman cheap child labor; is eradicated through holistic education policy and its implementation; at international, national and local levels; through the laws, government rules and public awareness, consensus and participation. The details of practical steps can be developed by interactions amongst the people active in the field of education all over the world. But we all need;
1, Perspective and conviction of Global Unity and global welfare
2. Readiness to accept and introduce physiological insights and principles in the holistic education
3. Readiness and openness to have a dialogue with experts in other fields
4. Participation from the society and governments and the media, including internet websites, so that holistic education activists worldwide can have a meaningful dialogue and share views, work, and experiences and maybe, inspire others!
5. Administrative proficiency and due care, and concern for the physical capacities of the children (normal and physically and mentally challenged) and should not be painful and troublesome.
7. The opportunities for psychomotor activities and productive activities; without impositions.8. Every kind of open-mindedness and tolerance amongst teachers and students; so that better international relations can be realized.
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