The hallmark of education is to unleash one’s true potential. Education, in this context, simply does not refer to a parochial type of formal training. It is the essence of being aware of oneself in the gamut of a metaphysical environment. Surroundings, upbringing, reading and social contacts add to the understanding of oneself. In all, these factors aid in defining one’s self-concept.
Self-concept is the realization of one’s worth. When it is achieved, one begins to focus on one’s strengths and work on areas of improvement. This in turn leads to a refined personality where confidence and humility act in equal measure. Thereafter, one’s self-esteem, which is nothing but one’s estimation of oneself in comparison to others, shall be on a higher plane.
Given this context, it is only apt that a child is made to understand both its strengths and its weaknesses. Of course, the strengths need to be highlighted more. A mentor or a teacher’s role is of paramount importance as the child grows, so that the child is moulded into a deserving rather than a desired shape, as
dictated by society. It is important that a child is made to think for itself, without being forced into acting in a particular fashion.
Fine-tuning and conditioning of the mind at a young age is of utmost importance. This is all the more true in an age where distractions abound, thanks to technology, which acts as a pawn in fulfilling a child’s desires. Materialistic pleasures seem to rule the roost for a child, who easily falls prey to them.
Understanding child psychology and its nuances/dimensions is very relevant. Innovativeness in teaching and learning is the need of the hour. Thus, this calls for sensitizing teachers to awaken young minds in a manner that brings out the best in them. Education, in a formal setup, has to be imparted using appropriate pedagogy. The pedagogy has to bring out the innate self of the child, which should manifest itself in showing appreciation for life and its simple pleasures.
The ultimate aim of education, in the words of Swami Vivekananda, “is the process by which character is formed, strength of the mind is increased, and intellect is sharpened, as a result of which one can stand on one’s own feet.”
PS: I had written this editorial piece for a recent edition of a college journal – The Write Angle. Your comments/views are welcome.