For past few weeks India is grappling with urgency of change in existing laws to ensure safer existence of better-half of population. Harsher penalty and fast-track courts would bring culprits to quick justice. This is supposed to grant partial succor to victims of rape and molestation. The leader-less movement of youth, which is pressing for these changes, underlines the strength of Indian democracy.
One certain way to seek (and sometime, find) a solution is trial and error. Conceptually, it appeared destined for oblivion as bulk of human knowledge grew to lessen the sea of unknown. As, a large part of knowledge created increasingly grows dated, the degree of uncertainty remains the same. Some might even say that over the past decade, it has grown!
Knowledge may also be defined on scale of certainty. If in a particular village the sun would rise between one specific tree on left and another specific tree (or rock) on right, one could be sure that this direction may safely be called east. Mystics have always made fun of the idea of such ‘ascertained’ knowledge.
“h equals ten raised to the power of minus twenty seventh part of 6.6thness” With similar mathematical abstractions weaving near-concrete images, Taj Masood continues the oral tradition of poetry. He holds that poetry, born in head should reside there till other heads are ready to lend an ear. The images form and dissolve to reappear; they resurface, honed and enriched by flow of life meanwhile.
Orality carries an authenticity not found in the paper-rigid fixity of the material world. It is authenticated by life itself. The Classical traditions aim to capture human achievements; the oral traditions merely allow them a playground.
As an academic investigator I had visited Shikshantar, an NGO in Udaipur, to see their work on alternative education. Shikshantar believes in zero-schooling, which means not admitting a child into a school at all, but letting him/her learn on his/her own if and when the child is interested.
Shikshantar is also associated with ‘Swaraj University’, a new concept in today’s world, though an old concept if you look into ancient history. Swaraj University does not give any degrees, believing that a degree is not necessary for one to become successful in life. One can successfully practice a trade/ profession/ occupation to meet one’s livelihood needs without a degree. Students who join Swaraj University come from backgrounds and may even be school dropouts. Called ‘Khojis’, or seekers, these students interact with various experts from varied fields, seek to find out what they are most suited for themselves, and then train as apprentices under an expert in the field to learn the skills of the trade, so that they can earn their livelihood.
Conferences make one wonder whether they are of any use at all. Whether the amount of money and time spent on them in terms of arrangements made and the fares for all the participants was worth the effort and money, considering that nothing concrete seems to come out of them as far as implementable recommendations, etc are concerned. Continue reading
Dr. B.K.Passi and Dr. (Ms.) S.Passi
Dialogue is a community of researchers. It is an innovation of collective
learning. The dialogue approach is highly interactive. The authors of these lines have designed this approach for paper-presentation in the
conferences. Dialogue can encompass the processes of exploring, learning,
teaching, researching and collective paper-presentation. Dialogues have
been used for personal mastery, shared vision, team learning, team working
and team researching.
The Dialogue creates a spirit of Wholeness. Dialogue combats the current dominant approach of fragmentation and counter checks the ill effects of explaining what this means, why it matters, and how it relates to every aspect of our lives. Wholeness of Dialogue involves two sub-processes: (a) Progressive Differentiation and (b) Integrative Reconciliation. Many modes like cycled-mode and non-cycled-mode can be followed. The Dialogue mode is informal, open, and safe. The Delegates create a collective, meaningful environment of wholeness. It addresses the problem caused by isolated specialization. Dialogue implies an enhanced honor to the totality of existence.
Renu Nanda, B K Passi & S C Agarkar
Education as an activity is a social artifact modeled and remodeled from time to time to enable successive generations to realize their human potential as they grow from infancy to adulthood and beyond. The contours & characteristics of the strategies adopted for organizing the processes involved are themselves dependent on a number of factors that vary across time & space. A retrospective look at the history of mankind and the way the strategies of education have changed over the centuries reveal several interesting features.
The overall concern for illiterate, unorganized and suffering got a boost in the form of a manifesto prepared by Marx and Engles in the later half of the 19th century, becoming the first ideological base provided to voice the demands of this suffering class of humanity. Mass illiteracy, a worldwide phenomenon, is a sign of socio-economic and educational underdevelopment. Levels of literacy in a country indicate the minimum educational achievement that the population has accomplished. The rate of literacy has been used by educationists and economists, to show strong relationship between education and economic development.
Indian democracy has completed 63 years, its impact on various sectors of Indian life has been varied and in certain cases inadequate. The occasion has come for social scientists to take stock of situation and evaluate the extent to which social legislation and forces of modernization have been successful in eradicating causes of inequality and in evolving processes of healthy growth of Indian society through an appropriate educational system of the country. Continue reading