Pratima Pai



Pratima Pai


Gurukul Vs Modern Education System

Gurukul Vs Modern Education System

4 mins

I was and am very passionate about teaching. In different phases of my life, different people had left their impression on me. I wanted to be like them. So sometimes I would want to become an Engineer or a Doctor or perhaps a Singer or an Actress.

Mrs. Deshpande who taught me Mathematics in my High School had the ultimate impact on me and I took to Teaching by choice and not by default.

I began my journey by teaching in coaching classes. It was a cakewalk for me as students were keen on learning. It was only when I came to Bangalore, I joined a formal school. The experience of teaching in a school was way and different from teaching in a coaching class. I couldn’t handle the unruly behavior of students, lack of values and hence I had decided to quit after completing one academic session. It was my friend Savita who kept me going and for me, the journey continues even today.

She told me she had a number of problems with her children but she never gives up on them hoping they would change. In any sphere “Change” is inevitable and this hope of bringing in the change that keeps me going in spite of the adversities.

My friend said quitting would be accepting defeat. She asked me to be the change that I wanted to bring. It gave me food for thought and I brought in a change in my approach in understanding students and their perceptions.

I began to think was the traditional education system better. The students would gain knowledge from their Guru. Respect the Guru. But then a small voice inside me said, “Respect should be earned.” The spread of knowledge would be restricted. Only the elite people had the option of going to good Gurukuls. Again there was caste and gender bias so many people were deprived of education.

The Guru would teach only what he knows and his disciples would pass on what they remember. A lot of knowledge would be lost in the generations to follow. Today if I don’t know something I just have to ask our famed “Google Aunty” and she gives me answers to everything. Technology has improved by leaps and bounds.

Today if a student is not doing well in academics, I have methods to analyze what might be the reason for that. What social, emotional problems the child might have and how to solve it.

Today we are dealing with sensitive children who are ready to commit suicide at the drop of a hat. The challenge lies in making them value life, lend a helping hand then giving punishments.

Today with the help of technical knowledge is accessible to everyone. Technology and traditional and modern methods of education can be clubbed to bring a revolution in the sphere of education. The approach of the education system is to do exactly this. May be many years later we will have a better society with fantastic individuals.

The initiation of SEWA by the CBSE as a part of mainstream education is a step towards doing this. All high school students have to enroll themselves for a SEWA project of their choice. It can be anything, right from being a part of the Swatch Bharat Abhiyan to helping senior citizens. The initiation of such projects will help us in bringing up better individuals in the days to come. Individuals who are grateful and want to give back to the society from where we get so many things.

Children ape us. Hence it is we who must bring in the change in ourselves first. We must practice what we preach.

I remember raising 15000/- Rs. with the help of children by the sale of rakhis and greeting cards for the Interact Club for helping the underprivileged children. The ultimate truth is children learn from us. Hence we must have our value system intact to pass it on to the future. Old is not necessarily gold. An ideal system of education would be to combine the traditional and the modern education system. Today education is more skill-based and students can pursue studies in subjects of their choice. We are raising more of future-ready individuals.

The COVID 19 pandemic has popularised online education. Teachers are becoming tech-savvy. While some look at the pandemic as adversity, for some its an opportunity. Let's think positively. Keep praying. Learn our lessons from Mother Nature and keep moving ahead. One day the Sun will shine brightly and bring us a ray of new hope that we are all looking forward to.

The efforts of government in clubbing the two will definitely bear fruit in the future and we will be all living in an ideal society. The journey towards learning and imparting education to people continues..........

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