The learner is human
Hitherto ‘education’ was a subject by itself. It was intended to be developed in isolation from other factors relevant to it. True ‘education’ is ‘intended to exploit the human resources, individual and collective. For the individual is not just a mind to be fed with graded information according to a fixed syllabus imposed uniformly on everybody. The human resource is much more. The human individuals have their emotions, life-energies, and physical dynamism.
There is more than the obvious on the surface. ‘Education’ to be meaningful must consider all these aspects of the human personality. And develop them, draw out their respective potentials and integrate them methodically. At M.M. School, we provide many opportunities for the learners to explore their own potential. This opportunity helps both the learners and the teachers.
Horizontal and verticals of ‘education’
It is only thus that ‘the human’ is educated in the true sense. And that is not all. S/he does not live in a vacuum. S/he lives in a society, a member of the community. And ‘education’ must put him in the right relation with others, teach her/him his responsibilities to the collectivity and help build a fruitful interchange between the individual and the community. There is more. The community itself is part of a larger collectivity, the nation. Each nation has its mores, its ideals, its working structure. The student must be trained to participate in the development of his nation, become a useful citizen enriching in whatever way the common heritage and culture of the country. In other words, ‘education’ is something more than a developmental project. It is to help the individual to find her/his cultural identity and enable her/him to participate in the all-sided growth of his country.
School is a product of industrial civilization
A futurist thinker has observed that the present system of schools all over the world is a product of the Industrial Civilization that arose few hundred years ago and is now on its way out. The factory was the main unit in which raw materials were received and processed by the workers. These mass-products were handed out as finished wares for the market. Similarly, the school is the factory, the teachers are the workers, and the students are the raw materials which are processed and handed out as finished products to the society. This view is changing fast !
Renaissance in ‘education’
At M. M. School we are conscious about this situation, and we are observing that happily, this situation is ending and there is a good deal of rethinking everywhere on the concept and role of ‘education’. The age of “only the classroom” is slowly changing. With the arrival of the latest media equipment and technological developments, each home is developing into a place for study/learning. Children have begun to learn in the congenial environment of the home and the school. History is being learnt effortlessly at home; the grandma is coming back. It is confidently expected that within twenty years the existing college buildings and university premises will may, for all purposes and will be resorted to by the young only for project based discussion, learning, socialization, entertainment and such purposes that need specialized arrangements.
In this connection I cannot help recalling how when the first elaborate school building was completed by the architects in Auroville, and the mother was approached for a name for the building, the name she chose to give was LAST SCHOOL. It was her conviction that in the age to come the school will no longer be confined to the four walls of the classroom.
The real school is life itself. And the art of fronting life most fruitfully, learning to act and react in life-situations in the right manner, is true ‘education’. In this context ‘education’ ceases to be a preparation for life. It is coextensive with life.