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Education should not just make one literate but it should also make you a balanced and sensible person who does not get carried away by materialistic gains.
Vani is an illiterate and upwardly mobile woman who works as a cook in several homes. She has a well-equipped home, drives around on a two wheeler, holidays in Goa and is pushing her child to get an ‘English education’ to excel. The drive to teach is so much that the child is being pressurized to learn and speak in English.
Raju goes to grade 1. He is a Nepali child growing up in Bangalore. His father works as a security guard and his mother works as a domestic help. They are striving to educate their child new languages, get an Indian identity and have a brighter future.
Around us are examples of people striving for education and a better living to lift themselves out of poverty, social backwardness or deprivation. However, also around me are the sad stories of youngsters from ‘economically or socially backward’ backgrounds losing their way as soon as they get into the ‘job’ market. Suicides, breakdowns in families and personal problems multiply and individuals and their families are unable to cope with the changing social scenario and the negative impact of the digital onslaught.
It is true that social change begins with education. It is vital to be able to read and write. However, it is also critical to be able to think, understand, appreciate differences in society, appreciate cultural variations and be emotionally stable.
The disadvantaged are striving to break the ‘illiteracy’ barrier and they are doing so with many opportunities opening up in the services sector. For example, more young women work in the retail sector than ever before. Working as domestic help is not the only way forward for young women. However, in the real world, somewhere they lose their bearings, get drawn into the lure of the materialism, succumb to the lure of easy money or get misled due to digital inroads into their lives.
Education needs to move beyond literacy and scores. Literacy is good for statistics. But, statistics lie!
Literates read and write but lack compassion, understanding and adaptability. The challenge for the educationists is to develop people who are able to cope with life and its challenges.
A sound education is all about balanced people ready for the long haul.
Image Source: Pexels
Born in small town India to professional parents in an age when working women were a rarity. Grew up among the bright,liberal and educated minds, who valued education and freedom for women.
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