Success in examinations with high marks does not guarantee an equally active role in the society.
In present times, school examinations have become the parameter to judge a student’s ability. Some excel in certain subjects and some in others. The process helps in understanding interest areas and what kind of courses can be pursued for advanced education. However, the fine mechanism fails to judge an individual’s human development in sync with the needs of society.
Traits like leadership qualities, problem-solving instincts, and a sense of community often take the backseat. Rote learning supersedes an understanding of basics in schools that judge students based on good grades. The same ideology transcends to jobs in the market. However, such education is failing in the holistic development of students with all-around qualities of life ranging from emotional wellbeing to synergy with the universe. The answer to this is learning through self-realization.
The approach of self-realization in education is being promoted by one prominent educator in Delhi. Ashok Thakur, founder of Muni International School (MIS) envisions a alternative system of educating children, a revolution of sorts. He believes in preparing global citizens and not individuals with single-dimensional expertise in professional lives. Mr. Thakur strongly believes that every ordinary human being should be filled with the strength to be a change maker.
“Every ordinary human being should be filled with the strength to be a change maker.” – Ashok Thakur, founder, Muni International School
Moving Away From Fixation With Results
“At MIS, we don’t believe in the mainstream approach of attaining academic results and showing them off to parents. This simply promotes rote learning of theories rather than practical knowledge of concepts. What’s the practical knowledge of concepts – the Partial knowledge of concept and subject is to find them in existence or nature, the journey of nature or existence is very long informing themselves and performing as Upyogita and Purakta. There is nothing that is waste or unimportant in this nature but humans don’t understand this. Rather, we encourage experiential techniques and a collaborative learning pattern which helps children take control of their own academic fate,” explains Mr. Thakur.
Collaborative learning – Ancient Indian Gurukuls are the best examples of collaborative learning where one Guru as an acharya deals with 20,000 students. The students act as sub-Acharyas. This approach of finding skill in ‘practical’ and not in ‘theory’ like leadership, teamwork, creativity, and empathy is as valid even in the 21st century. Muni international school has implemented its root as a school run by the students, for the students. Instead of teaching many chapters of social study, the school has makes students learn through practical experiences like a student parliament where elections happen every month, just like Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies are elected in the real-world. And the school is run by this parliament similar to how a country is run by Members of Parliament. Classes are run with Magistrates and Members of Legislative Assembly, and all groups in classes have counselors and appoint bureaucrats and judges by default. School is run by a Prime Minister and all the class (state) governments have ministers, nobody knows who can come up as a policymaker or a politician.
Students at Muni International School undergo a thorough process of breaking the barriers of ‘rote and write’ examination approach to practical learning through application, exploration, and rationalization. Mr. Thakur states, “We promise life results. Our educational system is based on developing self-consciousness and synergy with the environment. We groom children to grow up into adults who can come up with solutions for all kinds of challenges in work and life.”
Students at MIS undergo a process of breaking the barriers of ‘rote and write’ approach through application, exploration, and rationalization.
Going Back To The Roots
Central to this idea of learning has been creating the right blend of modern learning methodologies and ancient techniques of attaining wisdom. Through a unique concept of Modern Gurukul, teachers at MIS encourage collaborative peer to peer learning that begins with finding the purpose of education for each and every student. “We have a program called Swadharm or Student Purpose Finding (SPF), where we exhaust all resources in helping a child understand her interests and abilities,” Mr. Thakur continues, “Not just the modern techniques but also ancient gems of knowledge, comprehension, and evaluation like Vedic wisdom, palmistry, and astrology.” The school is using the ancient Indian practice of discipline called Sadhana to help children learn through Shravan (hearing), Manan (contemplation), and Nidhidyasan (assimilation). In MIS’s Gurukul system, traditional education has been merged with human skills development to develop citizens with a complete global worldview. “In our system, classes merge different subjects (Math, Science, Social, Political, Economic, Language) with human skills (Research, Creativity, and Thought Construction) to bring about self-learning, self-evidencing, and self-evaluation in children,” Mr. Thakur says.
Through the unique Modern Gurukul concept, teachers at MIS encourage peer to peer learning that begins with finding the purpose of education for each and every student.
Furthermore, an innovative mindset is instilled in every Muni student from the onset through the unique technique of teaching called the Aiklayva method. The technique teaches each student to teach himself by merging different learning methods into a single fold, thereby seeking out problems and solving themselves. Mr. Thakur reasons, “Identifying and problem-solving is the essence of every innovation the world has ever seen.” Mr. Thakur believes that the traditional education system has worked in the transfer of knowledge, but has not been able to contemplate how to bring about self-realization.
Watch: Innovation In Education | Mr. Ashok Thakur, Muni International School
Where The Traditional Idea Of Mainstream Education Lacks?
“Traditional teaching techniques can only replicate and transfer knowledge, similar to how pen drives to store and share data. Our method is closer to technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning where self-realization is evoked in every child,” he opines. Mr. Thakur points out that the problem with the traditional education system is it tries to find value in the mastery of a skill rather than the enablement of an individual.
“In the temples of learning in ancient India, the skill was the vehicle on the path to self-realization and not the ultimate destination itself. Instead of focusing on experts, we need to make every ordinary citizen equipped to be a changemaker,” Mr. Thakur exclaims. He passes every child as a medium of expression for human life – recognizing the urge to play an active role in society, enabling leadership ability, and developing problem-solving instincts.
Through various methodologies, Mr. Thakur assesses every child as a medium of expression for human life – recognizing the urge to play an active role in society.
Mr. Thakur and his staff at MIS are confident that their alternate educational techniques help in developing self-realized and self-competent individuals with an extremely high level of emotional intelligence. “We don’t stress on subject knowledge. Rather, we work on developing consciousness in a child. A conscious child does not need to be explained the importance of quality education. They are equipped to develop their own motivation to study,” Mr. Thakur claims.
Why Self-Realization Is The Need Of The Hour?
As the country treads the path of high literacy, many vices are emerging with it. From dirty social media chat groups, murders, shootouts, and rampant child abuse is taking place at schools around the globe. While major research is going into understanding the factors behind this, Mr. Thakur believes that the solution lies in preparing students to have a better understanding of life and awareness of the higher existential order. MIS gives utmost importance to self-sufficiency and self-governance in students. These traits are nourished through the Student Parliament. A dedicated R&D department strives for the humanization of education and the maximization of human skills.
“The solution to today’s problems lies in preparing students to have a better understanding of life and awareness of the higher existential order.”Ashok Thakur, founder, Muni International School
MIS’s high level of expertise in developing curriculum focuses on value-based skill education and holistic development, an approach that has recently been endorsed by the new National Education Policy 2020’s vision. These are just some ways through which the MIS has been working hard to prepare citizens with a high level of self-realization. Citizens with a well-matured emotional quotient and a sense of belongingness to the community. Students who can tomorrow become vital clogs of worldly affairs as adults.