Introspection on Education in our Modern Age.
Education in our modern age has made tremendous strides, and like everything 'modern', the pace has been fast and ever changing. And for the small school going children, the load is not only heavy on their shoulders and back (the books they have to carry to school) but also on their brain and mindset.
The entire concept behind acquiring of knowledge has gone for a tailspin. The 'mantra' behind acquiring knowledge is to acquire a better standard of living, and not a better and higher standard of life. To make a living and to make life worth living are two different things.
In big cities where school admissions are at premium, the conditions are such, that after the initial euphoria of having been blessed with a child, the parents start worrying about the best school options. If they had their way, they would have programmed the birth of the child, in such a way that, the age date will perfectly coincide with the requirement at the time of admission.
Raw materialism has corroded the pure fabric of education, and it is indeed a sad state of affairs. Herein below I quote from authoritative sources, which will set your mind thinking that, are we really progressing or regressing.
The Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching, in a recent report has stated that the general level of education is abysmally low. Most of the students, seeking higher education, they pointed out, only aimed at achieving a higher standard of living, and very few were desirous of acquiring knowledge in order to attain higher standard of life.
Education today churns out 'educated terrorists'
Today many go for business management because it is far less taxing on their intellect, than science, philosophy and arts, while it promises richer financial rewards.
(Book: We the Nation - Nani A. Palkhiwla)
Man, ill proportioned man - all brains, but with a lost soul, like an egg balanced on its end, can easily be knocked over. Man miserable man, who has forgotten to be happy, whose obsession has become, to remain obsessed with frivolities. Like a pilot somewhere over the Pacific, who said " I am lost, but I am making record time."
(Book: The Mind of Swami Vivekananda - Gautam Sen)
Any satisfactory system of education should aim at a balanced growth of the individual and insist on both knowledge and wisdom. It should not only train intellect, but bring grace into the heart of man.
Wisdom is more easily gained through the study of literature, philosophy and religion. They interpret the higher laws of Universe. If we do not have a general philosophy or attitude of life, our minds will remain confused and we will suffer from greed, anxiety and defeatism. Mental slums are more dangerous to mankind than material slums.
(Book: The Present Crisis of Faith - S.Radhakrishnan)
Before putting my thoughts into words, in the light of the above facts, what struck me most, and made a deep and lasting impression, was that, we mumineen, are so very blessed and fortunate, to have a Rehbar, who by his exalted position, drawing insight and inspiration from taeed and ilham, by his azeem ehsanaats, has set up a syllabus, a perfect methodology of imparting education in Jamea Saifiya and to an extent in Al Madrasa -tus- Saifiya-tul - Burhaniya, which when properly implemented, in its true spirit and meaning, helps in not only acquiring knowledge, but it helps in evolving into a better and fuller person, a well versed and balanced person, in both deen and duniya.
It must be noted that 'to evolve' is different from that, 'to progress'. Progress is horizontal, whereas 'to evolve' leads one, progressively to a higher state. All information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not merely accumulation of facts, but that, which illuminates, which gives insight.
An educational concept or methodology may be perfect, but if not properly implemented, can become a detriment. Someone gives me an excellent proposition, but because of my naïve and inept handling, I will not be able to do full justice, but cause more harm than good.
The candle gives light, under which one pious person reads the Quran and another uncouth forges a document. The candle need not be blamed for the folly of the latter, who misuses the light for his personal gain.
I hope in a small way I have been able to give a perspective on education in our modern times, and at the same time to affirm our unflinching faith in our Ruhani Rehbar and Hadi and our belief in the glorious Fatemi tradition of education.
All Hamd is for Allah ! May He grant a long and illustrious life to our beloved Aqa Moula (TUS) whose Doa mubarak traverses our being, our children, our generation, our business, our homes, and it will be our beacon on the Day of Judgement, and will surely intercede on our behalf. Aameen.
Abde Syedna (TUS)