Mr. Dar's philosophy of education
- Sudhir Kaul - Head-Boy, 1979 Batch, Feb 23, 2020
The cornerstone of Mr. Dar's philosophy of education was his core belief that if a child is provided with the right environment for his growth, he would be able to realize his potential. He spent all his life, therefore, guided by this belief; creating that right environment, wherever he happened to be teaching, so that the children could develop their mental and physical faculties in a way to achieve their full potential.
Mr Dar firmly believed that TEACHING and LEARNING were the two sides of the same coin EDUCATION. Moreover, the role of the participants i.e. the Teacher and the Taught kept changing. Both taught and learnt a lot from each other during their interaction. So what is that RIGHT ENVIRONMENT that TRANSFORMS the life of a student and leads him to LIGHT from DARKNESS? The essentials of this RIGHT ENVIRONMENT can be summarised as follows:
It should foster a spirit of enquiry and whet the appetite for curiosity, to know the WHY and HOW of things; refusing to accept any information at its face value irrespective of the impeccability of the source it emanates from. So, like Albert Einstein he believed the KNOWLEDGE contained in the books; the known world, gives us our HISTORY and CULTURE but it is the SPIRIT OF ENQUIRY which leads to the discovery of new KNOWLEDGE and INVENTIONS that take the HUMANITY forward.
PEACE and HARMONY are essential for the smooth functioning of any society. Therefore, the envisionment in the school should promote a healthy respect for all RELIGIONS, REGIONS, CULTUREs and LANGUAGES, irrespective of the colour, race, creed and socio-economic status.
Children should be taught DIGNITY OF LABOUR; that no work is too small and below dignity. They should develop their ability to adapt and mould themselves so that they can walk with confidence and dignity as easily among the KINGS as among the RANKS.
The time spent by a child in the school should help him become a RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN of his country FREE from PAST PREJUDICES; ready to embrace a FUTURE where he can use his NATURAL TALENT and ACQUIRED SKILLS to contribute effectively to the COLLECTIVE PROGRESS of ALL, carrying forward the NATION on its path of SOCIO-ECONOMIC and SPIRITUAL PROGRESS.
The school life must prepare children for the life outside and beyond their school years. This cannot be achieved if they are not taught to appreciate and respect the physiological and psychological differences between the two sexes. The male mindset must be encouraged to change and recognize GENDER EQUALITY in all respects. The boys must be made to recognize and realize that if they demand respect for their mother, sister or wife, they have to first learn to give that respect to someone else's mother, wife or sister.
The core focus of education must be essentially to develop a THINKING (soch) that it is easier to change yourself rather than try to change the WORLLD and fail. Be the CHANGE you with to see. 'अप्पो दीपः भव'. Moreover if you have the conviction of your belief, do not wait for the other, ऐकला चॉलो रे। Soon the other will join you.
ROLE OF A TEACHER
There are only two people in the world whose love for children is genuinely selfless, the mother and the teacher. Neither does the assigned work with the expectation of reward. It is selfless and self-effacing. The mother remains the exclusive in-charge of her ward till he crosses the threshold of his home, to enter the temple of learning- the school. Now the burden for his moral and social upbringing is shared between the teacher and the mother. Perhaps the teacher's role can be best compared to a potter's. Just as a potter uses the soft-clay to turn out various vessels that perform useful tasks in life, the teacher too shapes the life of his student. Therefore, like the potter, a teacher must -
Have patience and self-belief that irrespective of the quality of clay, he will be able to use to create something beautiful and useful.
Use his hands to pat and shape destiny and not to beat and destroy the potential.
Know how much heat is needed to bake, so that the vessel doesn't leak or break.
Take pride in his creation.
A teacher must be a role model for his students as they are deeply influenced by what he does, how he speaks and acts. They are constantly watch him and emulating him. He cannot hope his students to have courage if he is a coward. He cannot expect his students to be honest and truthful, if he practises dishonesty and falsehood in real life. The students cannot take pride in themselves if he lacks in self- esteem. So, a teacher should avoid hypocrisy and always practise what he preaches, always leading by example.
ROLE OF A STUDENT
The student as a learner has only one religion (dharma), to follow and that is to employ all his faculties to absorb all the knowledge that is being disseminated by his teacher and the environment around him. He must shun everything else. This will help him in learning how to distinguish good from bad, right from wrong and grain from chaff. Being young in years and wet behind the ears, he would be often tempted to cut corners. However, patience is a virtue, that he would do well to inculcate. Remember, Rome was not build in a day. So योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् (Striving for excellence) should be the avowed motto of every student.
He should focus on developing a rational mindset devoid of prejudice based on multiple socio-economic, religious, regional, linguistic or cultural differences.
Since a Healthy Mind lives in a HEALTHY BODY, he must devote sufficient time to play physical sports to have strong physique, eat balanced diet, avoid junk food. The old adage 'Prevention is better that Cure' is nowhere more true than in this context.
Academic excellence is only on part of the HOLISTIC PERSONALITY student should develop. He should be articulate and learn to appreciate fine arts like music, art and painting, drama etc. which go a long way in rounding the rough edges of one's personality.
Teacher-Taught relationship can thrive best only in an atmosphere of MUTUAL TRUST and OPENNESS, where fair exchange of view without fear of repercussions is assured. TEACHING is a two-way street with the Teacher and the Student at either end. They both have to approach each other in order to accomplish their goal. However, they first step has to be taken by the teacher to set the TONE of this relationship. A teacher should be able to inspire his students to treat him as their FRIEND, PHILOSOPHER and GUIDE, who is there to provide moral support to them in their times of crisis and to help them find their way through the maze of school life and reach their goal.