October 14: Change is the only constant in this world. Since times immemorial, everything has transformed, even if only in form, though its essence remains the same. The essence of life is evolution itself. Evolution and entropy are the two constant truths occurring in everything around us all the time. Many argue that we must constantly evolve if only to avoid abrupt entropy. Each life is aspiring and revolutionizing to be more of what it is in the past. The present keeps becoming the past, and the future becomes the present. This change has been inevitably dwelling and occurring since the very dawn of time itself.
In the ancient history of our early human civilizations, the change occurred, but at a minimalistic speed. No one would notice if we went from point A to point B because the change was almost invisible; it’s like looking for the change on the other side from ripples were originated in the part of a water body. In those days, change was extremely slow and gradual because the modes of spreading awareness about any change were slow; a world in which word of mouth was the only medium for spreading awareness and, much later, a pigeon would carry the news.
Sharing and adopting new knowledge was crucial for the survival of the human species across the globe. The ones who were visionaries could foresee what changes were required to grow and to evolve and to survive in the ever-changing ecosystem. The fear of missing out would work like a catalyst to keep evolving. To adapt to these new changes, they had to unlearn what they knew in the past and learn new skills to adapt in the present to secure their and their family’s presence in the future.
Therefore, learning and unlearning became the two important pillars for humanity to survive and adapt to the demands of the future. They started educating themselves by unlearning what was not working and learning new skills to tread the landscapes of future demands. Each generation had to educate itself to cope with the challenges of adapting to the ever-changing environment.
Although each generation had to go through these changes, they were not occurring at the speed at which the change is taking place in the 21st century. The 21st century has seen changes at the speed of light. Each day calls out to alarming changes at the world level.
Because it is rightly said that a society should be judged by how it treats its children. A country that fails to invest in its children is imperilling its future. This century demands that children be nothing less than thinkers, creators, and believers. In a century when life is driven by automated systems, highly advanced technology, and AI advances, the education system cannot be dependent on rote learning and memorization. It’s time we rise to the challenge of sitting in front of our children’s lives.
We must take definite and concrete steps in unlearning the ways the education system played its role in the 19th Century. If we continue learning the way we were educating the young minds in those times, we are certainly on the way to imperilling the future of our country.
Research shows that the future belongs to problem solvers.
We are all carrying powerful computers in the form of smartphones and smart devices. Often more than one. These smart devices are faster and more powerful than the earliest supercomputers. Hence, it’s time we unlearn and let go of the disproportionate significance we have attached to rote learning and memorization. This change has to be incorporated into the entire education system. Each parent, guardian, educator, and policy maker in the Indian education system has to wake up to the responsibility of bringing this revolutionary change as quickly as possible so that we prepare India’s young minds to participate in being the catalyst of the change.
It’s high time that we learn to value and give importance to problem-solving and cognitive enrichment to flourish, and even arguably survive, in the future. Therein lies the value of critical thinking, logical reasoning, and creating out-of-the-box solutions for making life sustainable through the challenges of the 21st century, like climate change, increasing natural calamities, decreasing natural resources, and increasing human conflicts.
It means that everything which will be important in the future, current academic institutions, are not designed or capable of delivering. Logical reasoning, deductive thinking, the art of problem-solving, strategies to solve real-world problems, and applying logic in a real-world situation cannot be taught via textbooks and lectures. Because of the automated machinery with supercomputer intelligence driving this world, we have to now ignite a revolution of change by inducing critical thinking and the art of problem-solving right from the earliest stages of education. Each child has to be given the freedom to explore and the nurturance to be whom they desire to be.
Introduce classrooms that invoke creativity in unlearning the old and learning the new way of enrichment and keep upskilling our children to be creative thinkers and problem solvers and abandon the system that promotes rote learning and memorization.
Authored Article by MS. Anuradha Uboweja, Country Head- INDIA, Nrichminds.com