TODAY -

Education of the heart: Heart of Education

Fr Paul Lelen Haokip *



If education is considered a social fashion, we have missed the point. If education is for a mere job, we still run short of its holistic purpose. If education is about human formation, we are at the heart of education. You must be familiar with the adage, "The heart of education is education of the heart or education of the heart is the heart of education." Humans are not sheer bundle of organs but beings who are relational.The best security you can design for a child is holistic education.

NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY:

At every epoch, there is evolving of history, education, politics, religion and culture. The Government of India would like to bring out a National Education Policy (NEP) to meet the changing dynamics of the population's requirement with regard to quality education, innovation and research.

The aim is to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry. Quality education, innovation and research are big jargons that can be accomplished when we have basic primary education at every village of India. This may bring aboutAcche Din (the Good Days), or SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas (Collective Efforts, Inclusive Growth).

EDUCATION TODAY:

If you open the books of your child, you will read about western literature, rhymes that are not related with your milieu, monuments you have not seen, etc. They are good for their knowledge-value. You do not see much of your cultural heritages, correct historical narrations, cultural values and ethos that you hold so dear to your heart. Somehow, anything cultural/indigenous have been considered old-fashioned. Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) said, "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."

Revisit to one's past cultural deposit is necessary to critically self-examine and plan for future. Ignorance of the past may lead to committing bygone mistakes again for the second time. Knowledgeable-aged persons and scholars should organize seminars and social interactions to articulate the rich cultural deposits, making it praiseworthy and relevant for today's crowd.

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph"(Haile Selassie, 1892-1975). We are overfed with western philosophy, theology and social values that we have forgotten many of our cultural gems. When we open the pages of our cultural heritage, we will find that before having recourse to western education, we had skills to live and address daily challenges that could obstruct life.

RELIGION & EDUCATION:

The primary aim of any religion is to enable its followers to be closer to God in thought, word and deed. Mahatma Gandhi said, "Education which does not touches the soul of a person, an education which is only to awaken mind is worthless because it just creates a person without the heart, a person with no feeling, a person who knows about everything but can't use it for human welfare.

"The pastor, priest, spiritual guru cannot be present with the faithful all the time. Therefore, there is one way to keep the people close to God and His ever-active words - that is through holistic education.

Education is inking oneself to vast future possibilities. It is aligning oneself to the right angle and direction. When people are educated, they will be able to read, understand and assimilate words from the Holy Scriptures for their spiritual nourishment, words from historical books for better preparedness. Religion can play a big role in encouraging, financially supporting the poor and deserving persons to pursue education that may be religious or secular.

"Man fully alive is the glory of God," said Irenaeus. This full life will come when a person is intellectually sound, spiritually oriented, socially mindful and culturally conscious. The human body is the greatest resource on earth. This is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:19).

This physical body is able to seek and accommodate spiritual realms. When the greatest resource is soundly educated, we will have a culture, a society, a state with the best capitals for future journey. Education is making lasting changes. Education is not mere gathering of knowledge from book. It is a movement from IQ to EQ (emotional quotient) to SQ (spiritual quotient).

It is training of the physical body, emotional balance, spiritual exercises (getting rid of hatred, asking for forgiveness, spending quiet time in prayers, retreats ...), maintaining mental-health, cultivating altruistic mind-set. Sound education leads to self-sustenance, innovation, self-awareness that will affect and effect culture and society. This will lead to better restoration of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical state of being.

TRIFLING PARTICIPATION:

It is derisory to appreciate someone when he or she achieves a feat. It is also equally necessary to support a deserving person financially, morally and spiritually. When we have contributed our bits in the holistic formation of that person, then it is worth celebrating.

Otherwise, just showing up on the valedictory function without being involved in his/her difficult years of hard work is not a Christian act. It is pharisaical in nature, and I don't think you would like to be addressed as a 'Pharisee'. The Pharisees were stuck to the 613 commandments which include "positive commandments" to perform, and "negative commandments" to abstain from certain acts.

The negative commandments were 365, which coincides with the number of days in the solar year, and the positive commandments were 248, a number ascribed to the number of bones and main organs in the human body. Unlike the Pharisees, we should increase the positive commands to further education and shape culture, society and state. Educate the heart, it is the heart of education.


* Fr Paul Lelen Haokip wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at: paullelenhaokip(AT)gmail(DOT)com / https://paullelenhaokip.blogspot.com/
This article was posted 16 November, 2018 .


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