An Insight from an Educationist!- An interaction with Padmashree Prof. Dinesh Singh
An enlightening and enriching interaction held on August 6, 2020, between Padma Shree Prof. Dinesh Singh Ji, Educationist, Chancellor, K R Mangalam University, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi and Mr Abhishek Ranjan.
The talk revolved around the concern for the needs and opportunities in the field of education for the rural schools. A mathematician himself, Professor Dinesh Singh opened the session by talking about education and his self-perceived definition for the same.
He claimed that education for him is an inner voice that enlightens an individual about his interest that when followed with utter hard work and determination makes him succeed and fulfilled in all senses. Education, according to him, is the path to self-cleansing! With a cornucopia of examples, he highlighted the significance for every individual to recognize and acknowledge the inner voice present and to lead one’s life while involving it. For instance, the celebrated Mathematician Srinivas Ramanajun had once been ashamed of his math skills. Yet he did not give up and with a developed interest in the subject, he rose out to be one of the greatest mathematicians the world could ever witness.
Another inspiration comes from the father of our nation who once watched a theatrical play of Satyavadi Harishcahndra. The moment he witnessed the play he could not sit still. The next thing he did was to take a pledge to follow the path of truth and never deflect from that road. Yet the most inspiring example that Professor Singh reflected upon was that of the famous cricketer and sportsperson Sachin Tendulkar. The world of cricket had seen him as an eternal figure who continues to win hearts on the field. Yet from an early age, his inner voice led him on this path and ever since then, he has been known for the game. Such instances that were brought forth to the audience had a grave impact.
The power of education is what has made the human race progress. From farming and nomadic culture, to technologically advanced offices and shops, education has helped the mankind move a lot more forward. Yet the point of question arises that what is it that makes a person really educated? Is it merely studying and writing on two pieces of paper? Or is it the curiosity and interest that make a person seek answers that add to his knowledge? The current education system happens to be driven away from the so called trans-disciplinary learning of the ancient India education system and thus tends to foster rote learning over grassroots learning. Although the debate seems quite lengthy, the insights offered by Professor Singh helped to differ among the two while trying to interpret the need of the hour.
Being a teacher himself, he emphasized upon the need for teachers to grant more and more freedom to their pupils while igniting the fire for education in their young and bright minds. This he suggested will not only make the students more interested in learning but also well knowledgeable. With reference to a film dialogue “Zindagi jab imtehaan leti hai to subject-wise nhi leti”, Professor Singh’s emphasis on trans-disciplinary learning quite well explains how rote learning should be replaced by experimental and practical knowledge where students have the full freedom to learn and grow. With a curious mind and free will to study, students will develop a larger interest in subjects like Science that will take them further and make them succeed. Moreover, the sky of hope that the New Education Policy 2020 has brought along with it, will only improve the scope of learning and widen the areas of interest for the students.
Yet still the challenge that COVID-19 pandemic has offered the humanity has put the education of rural school students on risk. With no devices or gadgets to learn from they are obstructed in their daily learning processes. While the world still rests in a state of a pandemic, they fear that their flow for learning and education will break down and will further worsen up due to the economic strain on such families. Yet again he emphasizes that with curiosity and basic household products, students can themselves ignite the bulb of education in their homes and learn a lot.
With such vast experience, humility and generous life skills, Professor Dinesh Singh surely opened new doorways of perception in relation to the education system. He has been truly an inspiration and source of knowledge.
Do watch full interaction here