It was back to school after 7 years and this time, it was not to attend classes but as a participant on a dialogue on education and the way forward. Aptly named as ‘Samvaad’, it was a two day discussion held at the ‘Heritage School’.
The discussion was facilitated by Sadanand, a teacher at California, and comprised of a whole lot of participants including students, teachers, academicians and even NGO activists.
Day 1 of Samvaad focused more on the problems in the current education scenario. We were asked to write down the questions we had in our mind and articulate them in a nutshell in a stone. The stones were then collected to form a ‘Knowledge Soup’.
This was followed by an interaction with small groups where we could discuss the questions that we had in our minds. Being a HR student, I was able to note that there was one significant problem that the teachers were facing with the students. It was the issue of engaging the students in a classroom.
This gave me a whole new perspective and dimension of thinking because all along, we had only been concentrating on how to engage the employees in an organization and I realized that engaging the students also was a very tough task for the teachers.
So many new questions and striking thoughts in our mind marked the end of day one of the program.
Day 2 was even more interesting in Day2 as it was the learning space concept similar to what we had in SOIL that took place. Some of the prominent questions were written on the board and we could choose the question that were interested in and go to the corresponding group for discussion.
I first choose the theme ‘What is learning’ and headed to the discussion in which a large number of participants came forward to address the question. Mr.Jinnal, a research scholar and an educationalist stole the show with his powerful articulation and innovative ideas.
Mr.Jinnal has been researching on this theme for a long time and realized that the major learning occurs to us through experience. He realized that we are all becoming second hand through this knowledge transition process where we are only being transferred knowledge from one person to another.
But where is the real learning from this? Real learning occurs mainly by experience when we learn on our own. He beautifully cited the example of the tribal folks and cited how their form of learning was different from ours and this is something we can all take a cue from.
Fascinated by this discussion, I move on to the next learning space which addressed the question ‘Role of Students in the development of their own self’. This was a very interesting group which comprised mainly of students. Many of them were faced with the dilemma of making their own choices in life or making their parents choice.
It was a participative discussion and we discussed that we were actually force fitting ourselves instead of Changing with the trend. Sadanand came up with some beautiful thoughts like freedom has a cost attached to it and taking a stance in life always has a cost, to which he quoted an example from his very own past.
I had an opportunity to shell out my thoughts too and shared with the group about the choices that I have made in my education so far.
There were so many striking similarities between the way this discussion was facilitated and our practices at SOIL. For example, the whole sharing took place with us seated in a circle and this gave the opportunity for many of the participants to discuss on many concerning issues related to education.
Then there was the learning space concept which we implemented at ‘ILC’. This helped in discussing many issues. There was one key learning that I had in these two days that changed my whole perspective. As a HR student, all along I was thinking that it is important only to engage the employees in an organisation.
After attending ‘Samvaad’, I realized that it is equally a challenging task for teachers to engage their students. It is time that they come up with innovative ideas to engage the students. Overall, ‘Samvaad’ was a great platform to share and get to know more about the educational sector.
It was also a great opportunity to network with the several academicians who were a part of the event and keep up with the latest happenings in the educational sector. I would like to thank SOIL for providing me this great learning opportunity.