Education makes refined person
By: Leena Jacob SJA
I am a native of Kerala, the land of God’s own country. I did my schooling in a convent run by nuns.
As I grew up, I decided to dedicate my life to the service of others. Thus I joined the Catholic religious order (Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy) in Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) to become a nun. After training I finished my post-graduation and B. Ed from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.
I love teaching. It is a noble profession through which I am able to mould thousands of minds. I feel that through this profession, I am joining God in the development process of a human being. It was one of my childhood desires to be an efficient and effective teacher.
Every student comes out of a school with flying colours has imprinted with the values, morals and ethics that a teacher has engraved in a young mind. I was motivated by my Grade 10 teacher Maytruse years ago. Her love for students and dedication for her profession attracted me to take up this profession.
I strongly feel that there is a vast difference between the education I received and what is given to students now.
Today the education has grown in leaps and bounds in comparison with the education which I received almost 30 years ago. There are lots of opportunities, choices, and privileges given to students now. It is a child oriented education, not teacher oriented. Back in 1820s, fear of punishment forced children to go to school and learn. Today students learn according to their choice.
In present times, I also find a lot of attitudinal changes in students towards studies. For some, studies are only for getting a good job; others learn things to improve their practical knowledge and a few others want to serve the country.
The sad part of it is that most of them leave the home town in order to settle down elsewhere seeking the sublime and most sophisticated life style.
Back in 1920s education was not given that importance. After matriculation, affluent students were able to go for higher studies. Most of the time, parents selected the subject for their children.
I am proud to say that St. Joseph’s Girls’ High School, Cuttack, Odisha, is the only girls’ high school in this city. We teach women’s empowerment and help the children to come to the forefront of society. We imbibe the values of transformation through moral science. The extra-curricular activities conducted in the school helps children to be more confident in them. It also gives a platform for students to express their views and ideas.
Man is never satisfied with what he has got. He always goes for the better. The education system in India is extremely good in some parts of the country.
In my opinion, winning academic laurels by the Indians in abroad might be the hard work of the students and the opportunities provided by the parents. She schools also play a great role in the education. Student centred education helps him/her to choose the studies according to their taste and ability.
Education was the monopoly of the rich and the high caste. Once education for all became compulsory and is a fundamental right the barriers to education vanished and all got the opportunity to go to school. Sad to say that as the education for all became compulsory and many have done the higher education but government has forgotten to create opportunities for employment. I feel that many understood education as the tool for job guarantee. Education is for knowledge, to crease the self worth, to destroy the darkness with light and to remove the superstitious ways. Well, education will make you refine person. Having completed the degree or an equivalent course most of the people look down on the existing employment. First of all, educated youth need to look at any job with dignity. The youth of today need to appreciate all the jobs whether it is small or big and then our country will flourish and there will be no problem of unemployment.
Today social media especially internet has impacted the educational, moral and ethical values of students. There no more gradual or step by step growing towards a matured human being. Everyone wants everything at their finger tips. No one has got the patience to wait and learn. So much so there is lot of chaos and troubles in the family and society at large. In the fast changing world values are almost buried. Hence my suggestion is that students should have systematic and value based education with the help of exemplary parents and teachers. There should be methodical bringing up in every spectrum of their social, ethical, moral, psychological, cognitive and spiritual life.
As a young girl, I used admire P.T Usha who was the then sprint Rani of the Asiad Game. Her target was to get gold medal for her country in the 100 metres race. Her hard work and the vigorous training which she endured to reach her goal has inspired me not to give up when there is a risky moments arise in my life situations. I take courage and go through it without turning back from the situation.
Education should make one free and all embracing then there will be peace reigning in the world.
(Sr. Leena Jacob SJA, is the principal of St. Joseph’s Girls’ High School, Cuttack, Odisha)