India Future Society

The Future as a Case for Global Transformation of Education

by Harish Shah

Oct 28, 13 • GeneralNo CommentsRead More »

What is the purpose of education? To educate, to enable and to empower. It is to prepare its recipient for the world around and time ahead. The time ahead is one, where the world will be a constantly changing place, highly evolved yet highly challenging, where humanity will have to overcome unprecedented obstacles to continue its survival, continuity and progress.

The next chapter of the human story is about mitigating the harm that the species has done to its world. The chapter is about how humanity reverses the impacts of its actions or alters its own habits or methods of self-preservation, to keep human life going. It is also a chapter of how it overcomes itself and its seemingly inherent inabilities to learn from its own histories, to avoid or deter conflicts that only hurts it rather than act in any way as a form of help. It is a chapter where it has to find a means or solution to an end to violent aggression, divisions, segregation and hate in its existence. In effect, it is a chapter that necessarily sees humanity finding means to develop unconditional camaraderie for lasting peace, true prosperity, preservation of the human race and progress towards a meaningful life for all.

We have for much of our recent history, been driving ourselves into a situation, where we will need to rebuild our world and human society, as a whole. To be able to do so, we’ll need wisdom, intelligence and knowledge, of every kind, to great extents and in great expanse. For the first time in the human story indeed we will have to embrace the understanding, that no individual is dispensable; we’ll need all the brain-power, rather than hands, we could have for the rebuilding effort. In logical translation, this would mean that every individual will have to be empowered to develop his or her specific intelligences to the optimum.

The rebuilding process will have to be one where a repeat of much repeated past human errors will have to be safeguarded against, and this cannot happen with knowledge and information alone. Wisdom will have to be the fundamental cornerstone objective of education.

Central to the human ability to converge and collaborate to develop joint solutions is to end and avert conflicts, adversities, rivalries, segregations and divisions. For this to happen, ending the gaps between human beings, the distances between them is necessary in every sense, whether social, political, cultural or economic. This does not mean homogenization, assimilation or erosion of cultures and identities. What it means rather, firstly, is the end of economic or income divides and gaps for certain. This can happen through the creation of true equal opportunities and level playing fields for all human beings on earth. Secondly, the ending of gaps and distances means the end of ignorance, through an in depth understanding and appreciation of all our histories, cultures, traditions, value systems and religions, the lack of which remains till date simultaneously the most significant obstacle to a truly borderless world and the primary fuel for human-to-human hostility, whether in the form of racism, fascism, factionalism or terrorism.

For the ending of gaps and distances to occur, a values based education system that designed not to filter or eliminate, or assess to set subjective standards, but rather to objectively develop each individual to his or her unique strengths, capabilities, interests and potentials, at his or her pace and abilities of learning, centred around the appreciation of human life, its existence & anthropological dynamism is warranted. Tall order indeed, one can forgivably assume, for such a system has never existed nor been constructively fathomed. Not till now at least. And it is a tragedy that as such it has been, for to create and implement such a system has never been impossible for humanity collectively, and would have left us far more evolved societally than we are today.

For such a system to come into reality, education can neither be seen as a business nor an expense, but rather a human responsibility, where cost is collectively met without consideration. For such a system to work, it has to be fundamentally universal across all borders and available individuals without conditions or divides. This would mean that education will have to be accepted as no longer a cost center but an incentivized pursuit to ensure alleviation in all terms and senses. By incentivized pursuit, it means that each individual pursuing education will have receive an incentive to pursue it, so that economic burden, hardship or margin cannot be an obstacle.

For such a system to be created, there has to be unconditional collaboration and objective cooperation for coordination globally, across all borders devoid of influence from ideological divides.

The principal underlying objective and purpose of the education will have to be to facilitate the enablement of individuals to universally agree to disagree with each other through appreciation of each other’s standpoints, viewpoints, differences, and the need for those dynamics as well as importance of each other’s capacities to contribute to the continuity of the global human civilization. In short, humanity will have to be taught how to appreciate itself as a whole, and its talents, strengths, interests and intelligences.

The intended outcome of such a system of education would be to produce generations that do not see reasons or causes for conflicts, but rather recognize the importance and merits of collaboration, cooperation, exchange and complementing efforts towards each other to produce joint solutions to global problems, much of which have been collectively created by humanity itself, whether in the form of climatic issues, unsustainable economic models, failed or failing states and so on.

The primary challenge that begins the hike of the mountain of challenges, is that such level of collaboration and cooperation does not exist amongst nations or humanity to begin with at present, as it never has. As of 2013, looking at the events of the preceding five years across the middle-east, the global financial turmoil, the rise of weather-related problems and the rise of deaths caused by terrorism & extremism is sufficient to indicate clearly to educated minds universally that humanity’s future is a challenging one by significant measures warranting equally significant actions of transformation to enable & empower human society to overcome those challenges.

The first question one will ask in response to what has been proposed herein, is that how exactly, technically, in a feasible fashion can such a system of education be initiated and implemented? The purpose of this article however, it has to be conceded, is to simply point at what is needed. The idea is to create a meme, a realization or awareness or thought-train that accepting, of the course of transformation required, given the future that present trends are pointing towards. How, we arrive at the solution is a matter to be worked upon in terms of both will and technicality upon acknowledgement of its necessity and importance.

The basic truth of the future is this; we can no longer afford on our planet human divides along lines of race, language, caste, religion, denomination, social status or any other form of heritage identification. This because we can no longer afford the lack of unity amongst the peoples in the face of overwhelming challenges to our collective existence. And the challenges are so overwhelming, no individual’s life can be wasted by allowing him or her to be left behind, or denied, an opportunity of intellectual development and progress that leads to a denial from a role of contribution to human existence and society ahead. We can no longer afford to teach our children what to think, but rather, it is imperative, we enable them and empower them to think, for their own futures.

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