Md. Mizanur Rahman :: Education usually establishes a linkage between pedagogical subjects and students. Education is not just about acquiring theoretical knowledge by a few teachers through memorizing some books, it’s about acquiring knowledge in practical terms. It cannot be said that education will be successful only if the curricula are well designed and well chosen. Again, it is not worthwhile to expect that education will be very fruitful if it is not assimilated through practices. Memorizing of theories only can prove the sharpness of memory, it is not at all helpful of accelerating the actual development of intellect rather it is an obstacle.
Once more, spreading education by keeping stratification is nothing but an obstacle to the development of students’ knowledge. When a student is trained in a particular discipline, his knowledge is limited to that particular area and his knowledge will only be generated surrounding the particular area. It works as an instrument to create the boundaries of students’ knowledge. There can be no substitute for interdisciplinary education for the actual development of talent.
The thing that catches our eye in the case of higher education is the smaller divisions based on the particular disciplines. This division has further amplified the level of knowledge division of the students. It is being said, this division is done to enable students to acquire deeper knowledge about the particular subject. Is it really happening? Isn’t this division deepening the limitations of knowledge avoiding the border knowledge acquisition? Yet again, in stratifying education system, choices largely depend on social stratification.
Karl Marx argued that all social systems are based on economic structure. The characteristic of society is conflict of interest. According to him, economic structure acts as the driving force for the development of thoughts, philosophies, culture etc. He also referred education as a system based on the economic structure. The responsibility for the development of education relies on the state system. If the state works in the interest of the bourgeoisie, the bourgeois ideology will be reflected in the education system. They use education as a tool to make profit. Across the world, capitalists create artificial demands of some particular disciplines in the market instead of acquiring philosophical ideologies or knowledge for the betterment of society.
They may have demands in the market but studying them may not bring fruitful results for the society. Capitalists are always looking for maximizing the profits rather maximizing the welfare of the people. They always consider the current market demands. Karl Mannheim thinks that education should be a social matter that everyone needs to achieve. The state should adopt social plans for education which can primarily help people adapt to social change. Instead of specialized education, it is necessary to spread education for the welfare of the society. But in reality, we are experiencing the triumphant of market demands rather emphasizing the social need (actual needs).
Furthermore, examination and evaluation system of the students of our country is too obsolete and they need to be reformed. In higher studies, exam system should be stopped and the study should be on practical basis. Memorizing theories or formula will never bring progress in the intellect of the human beings, if the theories can’t be applied into the practices. Practices with experiences are the key to the development of education (practical education). Practice along with experience brings the perfection in education and they are essential for ensuring quality education in real term. COVID-19 brings our knowledge level in a commonplace. In this situation, a farmers have same knowledge that a pathologist have.
Pathologists are trying to find out the prevention of covid-19, on the other hand, farmers are trying to adapting this disease in the same way they adapted to the other diseases in the earlier. Like them, every section of the society trying to their own way to resolve the problem but nobody knows who will be gainer. We all know, only attempts will win if we have cured (vaccine) of covid-19. It will then prove once more that our continuous efforts (practices) are the sources of our learning (education).
If we expect to have quality education (SDG-4), our education must be practical (both natural and social sciences), interdisciplinary, and social needs oriented. Responsibility lies on the government to create enabling environment in introducing and ensuring interdisciplinary and social needs oriented practical education for quality education.
Writer: Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies and Sustainability (IDSS), United International University. Email: [email protected]