PARTICIPATIVE EDUCATION – A REVIEW
Man is acclaimed as the most noble of all the living things. There is no aspect of life in which man not accomplished remarkable advancement. Despite its many intricacies and advantages, life has tended to be too materialistic by the new millennium. Values are on their last legs and man is being motorized and dehumanized by his hanker for material progress.
The amazing inventions of science have the world at the mercy of a few ruthless men who are insane in their quest for power. A section of the humanity is preoccupied with the task of extinguishing all rays of hope and light it possibly can trace, just to join the general clamor for a savior to deliver them from the darkness that engulfs mankind. Man is increasingly mechanized and programmed by his craze for modernity. Hypocrisy, terrorism, mutual distrust and violence rule the world. The major powers and the multinational companies have the developing nations in a vicious grip through globalization, liberalization and privatization and a score of agreements and treaties. The latter is slowly and steadily being converted into customer markets. One would think that the good old days of imperialist colonialism are back.
Egocentric persons who care zilch for the common good engage almost all of the social, political, cultural and economic institutions and systems. They grab wealth and persecute anyone at will, justifying their actions with some grotesque set of rules framed to their advantage. Their toxic idealism suffocates humanity. The branches of government at all levels are progressively more inept and compete to be incompetent and corrupt. The young generation spurns rules of discipline as irksome anathema on its welfare. Everywhere the vista of life is very shocking, we live in an era that is all the more shorn off human values. Mammon-worship occupies the central altar of even the most orthodox religious communities. Institutions like the “Home for the Aged” swell with inmates. Surveys revels that most of them belong to the richer and upper sections of the society. It is very evident that with progress, man has mastered the art of dumping his dear old ones for the sake of “convenience”. Apathy has become the fashion of the day. No one care for any one else. If the same attitude goes on for a few more decades won’t humanity become an extinct species? There is every cause for concern.
What has human culture come to? How can it be redeemed from such a sad state of affairs? This is the million dollar question of the millennium. I think that education is the only panacea that can save mankind from the verge of extinction. Only the right learning system can save humanity. Education is an extremely powerful instrument of change, knowledge and enlightenment. Knowledge is power. Empowering the learner through effecting desirable change in his behavior and making him competent to cope with the challenges in life in a desirable manner is the most basic objective of education. If the present millennium finds man as a materialist sans values, it’s simply reflects the total failure of the existing system of education and that it is high time to be modified to suit the requirements. Once we realize the lapse all enterprise must be directed to concentrate on rejuvenating and updating the system before we find ourselves in a “Home for the Aged” helpless and forlorn.
Education should develop the intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, physical and spiritual being of the learner out of his own temperament and capacities. If learning has to be a delightfully creative experience to the learner, proper learning environment is most essential. People, ideas, attitude and forms of behavior constitute one’s learning environment. Insincerity in any form-either from the parents at home, teachers at school or from the members of the community- will make the youngster’s growth and development quit vulnerable. The Childs’s learning will more consistent and rapid if it can derive happiness from its environment and if its response to its surroundings is spontaneous enjoyable and reassuring. The cultural, political, economic, social and religious condition too influence the same to a great extent. Without the freedom and liberty to explore, learning will be futile and the desired attitudinal changes will not blossom in the little ones. Independent spirit and the capability to take initiative will built up in the child only with the support of a congenial setting and adequate support from early childhood. Therefore the first requisite of learning is a virtuous learning background.
The climate at home and school should never be polluted or intimidating. An atmosphere of love and peace will help to cultivate a congenial environment in which the child can grow and blossom. The child must observe, understand and absorb the various fundamental virtues like honesty, kindness, obedience, courtesy, politeness, tolerance and the need to develop healthy habits along with the value of time thorough its day to day experiences at home, school and the community from the early childhood onwards.
Right faith in oneself and in the almighty will work wonders in any ones life. Try your best to create a graceful and pleasing learning environment at home, school and in the community for the young ones to grow up. They are our only hopes for a better future. It is high time that we sink our petty differences and come together to reconstruct discipline and values in our lives. It is never late to begin such good practices so as to bring in some elements of virtue into our life. If we chose ignore the little one today, we will be too behind schedule to correct them when they neglect and live us in some ‘Homes’ in our old age to satisfy their mundane obsessions. We must never forget to wear the crown of authority in our hearts and not on our heads. And approving smile and a kind work of assurance will instill confidence in our children and initiate them towards glory
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