Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Third Vidyasagar Lecture organised

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From Our Correspondant

 SHILLONG: The Women’s College, organized the “Third Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar National Endowment Lecture” on Thursday. Noted scholar Prof Pabitra Sarkar, Indira Gandhi Prize for National Integration Awardee and former Vice-Chancellor, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata gave a lecture on “Education as I have known it”.

Prof Sarkar spoke about the general notion of education and how we get it. “That our schools provide us with only a fragment of education that we need for life, is a widely acknowledged fact. However highly educated one may become in one’s life moving easily up the ladders of one’s schools, one does not have the entire education one needs simply from them.

“There are others, the so-called informal sources of education, education that is not any less essential for man. One question is, what is this education that we seldom get from our schools? And another, what are the agencies that teach you something beyond your schools?”

He said that lot of our attention is taken up by questions what we learn.

That we learn in school is easily assessed, through innumerable tests and examinations, and our report cards at every step show us what we have learnt “Report-cards do not tell us what we learn or not learn even in schools. Students can tell that from their fresh memories. They do not learn all that their books contain, nor do their teacher the whole knowledge content of the prescribed texts. Both the parties select some topics that may be important for this years examination, and leave out the others, as the others featured in the last year’s questions. So what was important last year as knowledge is no longer important this year, and can be dispensed with.

“That components of knowledge can lose their value one year and regain the next, is a strange result dictated by compulsions of the Indian education system, which imparts knowledge not to be used in life, but in examinations,” he said adding so we learn much less than our books contain and we also unlearn some of what we learned.

However, he said that even in this unfriendly system, some students have at least a glimpse of what is knowledge.

“Knowledge is the faculty that explains things of my existence to me. The things there are on the earth and in the sky, the way everything keeps, changes, lives and dies and the ‘how’s and ‘why’s of this world,” he defined.

“Love and respect for a fellow human being has to be taught often moving outside the syllabus, because we regard our syllabus as something to be examined on and not holding lessons for our life.

Lessons on them have to begin from the family or our elders in the society, who often are not aware of their responsibility in this. Nor do we derive enough from the syllabus on how to live a life,” he said.

Taking a leaf out of Rabindranath Tagore’s approach on education, he said that there are two aspects viz. lower and higher. The former is about acquiring education, job etc. whereas the latter deals with becoming a total human being.

“Teacher should help students to plan in life,” he said.

Meanwhile, the college also paid a tribute to Dr Bhupen Hazarika through a cultural programme which showcased dances and songs by artists on the balladeer’s scores.

Besides this a Khasi dance followed by harvest dance from Arunachal Pradesh enthralled the audience.

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