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Time to redefine education: Children need to be taught ‘How to think’ not ‘What to think’

Time to redefine education:  Children need to be taught ‘How to think’ not ‘What to think’

 “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

“Education” means: to draw out that which is within you, to make your potential actual, like you draw water from a well. Education should prepare you to be yourself. Education is a bridge between the potentiality and the actuality. Education is to help you to become that which you are only in a seed form. Education should give people better ways of life, how to live more totally and more intensely; better ways of loving, better ways of beautifying existence — without any comparison with others — just for your sheer contentment.

Swami Vivekananda points out that the defect of the present-day education is that it has no definite goal to pursue. A sculptor has a clear idea about what he wants to shape out of the marble block; similarly, a painter knows what he is going to paint. But a teacher, he says, has no clear idea about the goal of his teaching.

Right now education prepares you to be an imitator; it teaches you how to be like others. This is miseducation. Right education will teach you how to be yourself, authentically yourself. You are unique. There is nobody like you, has never been, will never be. This is a great respect that God has showered on you. This is your glory, that you are unique. Don’t become imitative, don’t become carbon copies. But that’s what your so-called education goes on doing: it makes carbon copies; it destroys your original face. But never, even by mistake, does it says to you, “Just be yourself; relax and enjoy your being, and bring your potential to its maximum unfoldment.”

Today, all education remains part of the mind; it does not make you more alert, more conscious, it simply fills you with information. It treats you like a computer. It gives you a livelihood, but it does not give you life, and it does not give you love. Our whole education system is based on giving ready-made answers. Because of those ready-made answers you never develop your intelligence; there is no need. You ask the question and a computer teacher answers them.

Education is not bringing peace and silence and blissfulness to people. There is something missing in it; it is only education in subjects which do not touch your interior being at all. They may make you doctors, engineers, professors, but they do not give you the insight that can create a good human in you. Why from outside, borrowed knowledge is being forced into the minds of innocent children.

You go on accumulating degrees and inside you remain empty. Your degrees can befool people, may even befool yourself, but you cannot have the joy, the blissfulness, the peace, the silence, and the compassion. And unless education has two wings, it cannot fly in the sky in total freedom. Right now it has only one wing; the other wing is missing. Why is it missing?

We need an education which is nonviolent, education which is not only informative but also transformative, an education that will make you more of an individual and bring the best in you to its flowering. “Know thyself” must be the most precious education, and then you can become acquainted with everything else.

One-third of our education should be concerned with livelihood; one-third of our education should be concerned with our well-being — body, health, ways to stay younger and live longer. And one-third — the last and the most important — should be concerned with love, with death, and the secrets of life itself. Only then will we have a wholesome education. And through that education, we can create a man and a society which will be healthy, youthful, loving, soulful, overflowing with joy, always ready to share with anyone — because nobody is a stranger on the earth; the whole earth is one family.

An education is complete when it is inner and outer both. We have to find a human kind of education in the world; the education that exists is very inhuman. We have to find ways so that children can play in the sun and still learn a little arithmetic. That can be done — once we know that arithmetic is not so important as playing in the sun, once that thing has been decided, then we can find ways. A little arithmetic can be taught, and a little is needed. Everybody is not going to become an Albert Einstein. And those who are going to become Albert Einstein, they won’t bother playing in the sun — their joy is arithmetic, that is their poetry. Then it is different, then it is totally different; then the growth is not hindered and guilt is not created.

“Real education need to bring out what is hidden in you… what God has put in you as a treasure… to discover it, to reveal it, to make you luminous. Education is to bring you from darkness to light.”

(Inspired by the Talks of Swami Vivekananda and Osho on education)

 

 

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Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Speeches and talks

 

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From Teaching to Thinking

We can learn from anybody and everybody in life.

Kunwar Shekhar VijendraKnowledge is not to be found outside. No teacher, no scripture can give it to you. It is inside you and if you wish to attain it, seek your own company. Be one with yourself.
Be curious… eager… and probing. Those who gone deeper have found the pearl.

Unfortunately, today our entire education is past-oriented. All our doctrines, ideas and ideals are taken from the past. That is what is dead and gone. We are trying to impose thousand years old things on the minds of our children.

There was a king who wanted to appoint a minister. An announcement was made that anybody who would solve the puzzle given by the king will become his minister. And
the puzzle was simple- there was a lock on the door of the Darbar, and the candidates were supposed to open that . But the lock was an odd one. Quite big and of such a shape as nobody had seen earlier… very futuristic. No teacher had ever taught about such a lock, no book had ever mentioned such a lock.

There was confusion now. Fear too. All three candidates who reached the final round wondered what to do.

The first one got up and asked the king for some time, as he wanted to go through his books; his notes that his teacher had given him in the class. But the poor chap never realized that he was taught only a part of the past.

The second one also asked the king for more time, as wanted to go and meet some lock picker… Some thieves, who knew how to break a lock and find solution to this enigma. But he too forgot that no one had ever picked a futuristic lock.

The third one was free from the pull of the past. He had a futuristic outlook towards knowledge; and he decided first to look at the lock. He wanted to feel the lock; he wanted to understand the problem more clearly. And then he touched the lock. And lo and behold! It was unlocked!! As if it was never keyed on!

We need to develop such an environment where past does not dominate the future; we need to provide an opportunity to students to think, to learn, and to experience on there own.

We need to stop teaching the story of hare and tortoise where the consistent but the slow one could only win. We need to teach the story of how we can win by identifying and utilizing our own unique inner strength.

I remember a story of the frog race. There was a race where the frogs had to run and climb a tree…. Frogs climbing trees is something unbelievable. Everybody was ready but had fear… and the race started….

All frogs were running fast, jumping high…. but there was a crowd, a crowd of those who never believed that frogs could ever climb. The crowd was shouting slogans, displaying their disbelief about the climbing ability of the frogs. “Stop you idiots… you can never climb a tree”, some shouted.

And suddenly frogs stopped. They were standing, they were confused and even some were smiling by themselves as if asking – `what an idiot I’m, how could I believe that I can climb a tree’.

But there was one… who was running, who was jumping and whom everybody in the crowd thought was gone mad. And to everyone’s surprise he climbed up the tree…. Yes, a frog climbed on the tree. An utter silence prevailed. Nobody could believe it. And then, suddenly everybody was clapping, everybody was shouting slogans that yes we knew that frogs could also climb the tree. They asked the winner how he could climb but the winner frog was not listening, and he actually didn’t listen because he couldn’t. He was deaf.

This is the secret of success, believe in yourself, don’t listen to the crowd, do what you are doing with confidence and you will win. Learn to speak dreams loud and share them with the world with proud.

Same is the case with the teachers, with administrators… Stop being critics of your students, of your team members; let them work, let them perform and they will give results for sure.

I have also observed a new behavioural tendency. If I am close to the boss I am also the boss. It is just like my driver claiming to be a boss as he is one person who works closely with me, who moves with me. Stop this approach. It will harm you. Be your own boss, be your own servant and you will find the results. You have to prove your worth to yourself. You have to be responsible to your responsibilities; don’t try to be a boss of others.

I thank all the teachers and my wonderful students to be a part of this journey of empowerment. Your success will only make us proud. You are our ambassadors and please ensure you remain one worthy of praise always.

My best wishes to all of you on Adarsh Teacher’s Day.

No, explanation is not needed – only exclamation, a wondering heart, awakened, surprised, feeling the mystery of life each moment. Then, and only then, you know what truth is. And truth liberate ~ Osho

(Excerpt of the talk delivered on Adarsh Teacher’s Day at Shobhit University Gangoh on 05 September, 2014)

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Speeches and talks

 

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This 26/11 searching for true Indians – Sharad Tripathi

“Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” says Kunwar Vijender Shekhar, Pro-Chancellor of Shobhit University on his facebook page.
 

A lot of homage-paying ceremonies, human chains for unity etc are taking place to mark the first anniversary of Mumbai attacks of 26/11. Most of these are plain gimmicks. I overheard someone retorting in one of the ceremony 26/11 mubarak ho! Big S@#$. These homages are not introspection of any kind, they are just photo-ops.

So began a journey to identify real patriots. Living ones’ who can be Nation’s role model. Not very late I believed Bal Thackeray to be a real patriot, the Nationalist. But the Sena chief’s recent outburst against Sachin Tendulkar makes me believe that political class have misused the emotion of patriotism to serve their interests…real patriots remain unsung! 

I think I am confusing Nationalism with Patriotism. Are they different. Wikipedia stresses – Although patriotism is used in certain vernaculars as a synonym for nationalism, nationalism is not necessarily considered an inherent part of patriotism.[2][3] Among the ancient Greeks, patriotism consisted of notions concerning language, religious traditions, ethics, law, and devotion to the common good, rather than pure identification with a nation-state.[4][5] Scholar J. Peter Euben writes that for the Greek philosopher Socrates, “patriotism does not require one to agree with everything that his country does and would actually promote analytical questioning in a quest to make the country the best it possibly can be.”[6]

So who are real patriots. The politicians can never be patriots because the word politics itself is against the notion of patriotism. Some list of public figures who I consider Real patriots are :

  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Amitabh Bachchan (after all NRI’s can be patriots)
  • Saurav Ganguly
  • Rahul Gandhi
  • Suniel Gavaskar
  • Ratan Tata
  • Mukesh Ambani
  • Azim Premji
  • Yash Raj Chopra
  • Narayan Murthi

See we can count them on our fingers. But there are numerous personalities, social-entrepreneurs who are PATRIOTS in real sense. Doing their bit to energise the Nation without any shouting and sloganeering. Some personal names I can put forward(whose efforts I have seenpersonally) who I consider doing their best for upliftment of the Nation:

  • Kunwar Vijender Shekhar, Pro-Chancellor of Shobhit University Meerut
  • Rajesh Bharti, MD, Amatya IAS/PCS Meerut
  • Dr Alok Pandey, Asst. Development Commissioner SEZ’s in Western UP
  • Rot. Yogesh Mohan Gupta, Chairman IIMT Group Meerut/G.Noida
  • Umesh Gautam, Invertise Group, Bareilly
  • Gyanender Aggarwal, GD Promoters, Builder and Social Worker
  • Security Personnel -The Army, Navy, Air Force

That’s it.

http://omsherryom.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/in-india-real-patriots-are-unsung/

 

 

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An Evening with an Incurable Optimist in Communal Harmony – AU Asif

If there are a few people in this country who turn non-issues into issues and disturb the social fabric, tarnishing the image of India, there is no dearth of people who do vice versa. Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra, Pro Chancellor, Shobhit University, whom this scribe met the other day on November 26, 2009, is a man with a difference. He is not only a firm believer in India’s exemplary pluralistic thought but also tries to practice it in his usual routine life. He is, in fact, an incurable optimist in communal harmony.

He hails from Gangoh, known for exemplary communal harmony. Gangoh lies in a belt known for producing well known personalities like Hazrat Qutub Alam Gangohi, Baba Hari Das, Sulaiman Gangohi, Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi and Maulana Qasim Nanotvi. The last two are known to play a pivotal role in the foundation of Darul Uloom Deoband, an internationally renowned Islamic seminary. These personalities also remained in the forefront of the Independence struggle since 1857. To him, Gangoh is not only a qasbah but a composite culture itself. That’s why there is found here no communal feeling among the followers of different religions, and it has emerged as the best example of communal harmony and co-existence.

“I am a Hindu by faith but I fast on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramazan every year since my childhood,” he acclaims. And, this is not limited to a token demonstration of one’s inner feeling and respect for other religions but found in his every day life and practices.

Recalls Kunwar Shekhar: “Recently there were a number of Muslim guests from Pakistan to my residence. They belonged to an elite class. The guests included a young boy and girl. Surprised over our attitude of co-existence, they asked as to does this really exist in the Indian society as a whole. Then I offered them to go to mandir, gurudwara and masjid, along with my own children and see from their own eyes the scenes of co-existence and tolerance. Astonishingly, they asked: Would they not kill us as we are Muslims? When I assured them full satisfaction, they agreed to go to the places of worship. Their astonishment vanished when after reaching mandir and gurudwara and getting introduced, the Hindu and Sikh priests welcomed and narrated them the Hindu and Sikh teachings of co-existence and harmony. Similar was the experience of my own children accompanying these guests while visiting Delhi’s historic Jama Masjid. Some responsible persons at the mosque too welcomed my Hindu children and showed the mosque with much interest. The result was that these children came back more than satisfied about the plural character of India.”

What Kunwar Shekhar says is the general feeling. The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said at the three-day long 18th annual conference of the Vitro-Retinal Society of India in Palampur on November 26 that the world must learn religious harmony from India.

Kunwar Shekhar was in the Soviet Union during the last days of Mikhail Gorbachev’s regime. He has so much regard for other religions that he presented her teacher of Russian language, Fatima, a Muslim lady from Daghistan, a gift of a small copy of the Holy Quran carried from his home country. He says: “Even being a staunch Communist, she accepted my offer with respect. I don’t know whether she is now alive or not.” Recalling her peculiar way of teaching, he avers: “She taught me through indications, hints and symbols without taking the help of English language.”

Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra is among a few persons who don’t live with the history, rather tries to change the course of the history. He wonders as to why today’s children find their heroes in Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai and other cine stars instead of Gandhiji and other national heroes as well as religious figures.

In connection with the centennial celebration of the publication of Gandhiji’s 1909 book “Hind Swaraj”, Shobhit University in collaboration with Indian Council of Gandhian Studies, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Hinsa Mukt Bharat Andolan organized on November 15, 2009 a seminar, inaugurated by its Vice Chancellor Dr Anoop Swarup and participated by Additional Solicitor General of India Bishwajit Bhattacharyya; Gandhian scholars Dev Dutt and Anil Mishra; Indian Council of Gandhian Studies Chairman Prof N Radhakrishnan; and Prof Pradeep Mathur among others. A large number of students enthusiastically participated in the programme and shared their feelings. They were overzealous to know about the writing of Gandhiji much before his coming back to India from South Africa and attaining the prefix of “Mahatma” to his name.

Says: Kunwar Shekhar: “Our national heroes have not lost charisma, rather we have lost them. Even today if we make them the topics of our discussion, there is no reason as to why our children won’t take interest in them.” It is to point out that Shobhit University announced on this occasion to introduce “Gandhian Way of Journalism” in its course of study.

It pains Kunwar Shekhar to see the decline in values, particularly moral values and discipline among the new generation. That’s why the topic of the seminar was “Education for Nation-Building and Civilizational Issues in ‘Hind Swaraj’”.

The only slogan of this man is “Each One Teach one”. One hopes that in an era of moral and value degeneration, his dream would one day take a shape and become a reality.
—A U Asif can be reached at au_asif@yahoo.co.in

http://fanawatch.com/index.php?do=news_view&id=1344

 

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