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Urgent need to revamp the school system and align it with values

Published on Jun 19, 2022 05:30 PM IST

Towards a Holistic Schooling System: Urgent need to revamp the school system and align it with values.

Urgent need to revamp the school system and align it with values

The evolution of the school system around the world has been focused on enhancing the learning ability of students and making them smarter, more competitive, and cognizant citizens. Although the intention of the education system today is very noble and applaudable, it has been fraught with certain hard-hitting realities which are hard to ignore. 

 

As per a study conducted by NIMHANS, Bengaluru, almost one out of five adolescents in India suffers from some level of mental morbidity. Adolescents today show signs of risky behavior such as substance abuse and speed driving. Students today have also been facing the brunt of ‘performance pressure’ which has been driving them to take extreme steps like suicide. NCRB data shows that of the total 1,53,052 persons who died by suicide in 2020, an alarming 12,526 were students. Students today have come to be embroiled in a never-ending ‘rat race’, where they have been increasingly distanced from the values of self-confidence, compassion, optimism, and even joy. The physical state of students today isn’t any better either. As per a recent study conducted by ICMR, India has nearly 95,600 cases of Type 1 diabetes among children below 14 years of age. All these data points are a clear indication of how we are moving towards an unsustainable society, one which is nurturing debilitated and dispirited youth.  

One of the reasons for such a state of being can be attributed to the increased focus by schools on academic learning, than on fundamental values, or the physical and mental wellbeing of the students. There is an urgent need to revamp the school system and align it with values that help one build resilience and focus. One of the ways of achieving this objective can be by integrating the values of ‘Ayush’ with the schooling system. 

Yoga, for instance, is a great way to ensure the physical and mental well-being of students. Encouraging students to practice yoga early on in life, won’t just help them build immunity, but will also help them build strong focus. Researchers suggest that yoga greatly affects the neural patterns in the brain, which can improve one’s ability to concentrate. Children today also suffer from ADHD, a cognitive disorder, which often results in unnerving anxiety, chronic stress, and sleep problems. Such disorders also have a far-reaching impact on the relationship between the parent and child. Practicing yoga helps in increased levels of dopamine and serotonin, which helps one relax.

Students who often feel low on energy, see the repercussion of the same on their grades and societal relations. A study conducted by the University of Waterloo found that Hatha yoga greatly increased the energy levels of participants, further aiding their ability to focus and improve brain function. Healthy students form the base of a healthy society. Ensuring physically and mentally fit youth sets the base for building a healthy community, which ensures the construction of a flourishing nation.

Keeping in mind the benefits of the practice, the Government of Haryana has introduced yoga as a part of government schools’ curriculum for classes I to X. The Government of Uttar Pradesh is also planning to include yoga and sports as a part of their school curriculum. To foster the interest of youth, yoga asanas have been declared a competitive sport by the Government of India. More than 1000 Universities, 30,000 colleges, and 24,000 CBSE-affiliated schools have been sensitized about Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) and its benefits for the youth. 

Our ancient texts suggest that values such as brotherhood, love, and discipline, formed the basis of the education system of gurukuls. The focus on arts, sports, singing, yoga, and meditation, in the natural environment, helped the shishyas (students) develop creativity, positivity, and critical thinking. One of the great examples of a healthy relationship that was fostered by the enabling environment of gurukul is the friendship between Krishna and Sudama. A sense of resilience helped Sudama face the trying circumstances. Compassion and love, guided Krishna to help his friend out of his miseries. The ancient system focused on a building strong character, which remained unbent in the face of wrenching trials. Such should be the focus of the schooling system today. The ‘Ayush’ system today is aligned with the ancient values creating a moral conscious and ethically training the students. 

The recently held Global Ayush and Innovation Summit witnessed an enormous footfall of students from various institutes of yoga, naturopathy, and homeopathy. The attraction towards the event was an indication of the ancient system of traditional medicine in India having been increasingly grabbing the interest of the younger generation. Interestingly, one of the start-ups which managed to bag the funding of INR 2.5 crores at the event, named Green Forest Wellness, is by a student from the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Gujarat. 

While the New Education Policy aims at building an education system that promotes market-relevant skills among the youth, we must also focus on fostering an enabling environment for students which take care of their mental and physical well-being. While a system of yoga is being adopted by government schools, private schools must also focus on building a curriculum around the fundamental values of yoga for humanity. 

The evolution of the school system around the world has been focused on enhancing the learning ability of students and making them smarter, more competitive, and cognizant citizens. Although the intention of the education system today is very noble and applaudable, it has been fraught with certain hard-hitting realities which are hard to ignore. 

As per a study conducted by NIMHANS, Bengaluru, almost one out of five adolescents in India suffers from some level of mental morbidity. Adolescents today show signs of risky behavior such as substance abuse and speed driving. Students today have also been facing the brunt of ‘performance pressure’ which has been driving them to take extreme steps like suicide. NCRB data shows that of the total 1,53,052 persons who died by suicide in 2020, an alarming 12,526 were students. Students today have come to be embroiled in a never-ending ‘rat race’, where they have been increasingly distanced from the values of self-confidence, compassion, optimism, and even joy. The physical state of students today isn’t any better either. As per a recent study conducted by ICMR, India has nearly 95,600 cases of Type 1 diabetes among children below 14 years of age. All these data points are a clear indication of how we are moving towards an unsustainable society, one which is nurturing debilitated and dispirited youth.  

One of the reasons for such a state of being can be attributed to the increased focus by schools on academic learning, than on fundamental values, or the physical and mental wellbeing of the students. There is an urgent need to revamp the school system and align it with values that help one build resilience and focus. One of the ways of achieving this objective can be by integrating the values of ‘Ayush’ with the schooling system. 

Yoga, for instance, is a great way to ensure the physical and mental well-being of students. Encouraging students to practice yoga early on in life, won’t just help them build immunity, but will also help them build strong focus. Researchers suggest that yoga greatly affects the neural patterns in the brain, which can improve one’s ability to concentrate. Children today also suffer from ADHD, a cognitive disorder, which often results in unnerving anxiety, chronic stress, and sleep problems. Such disorders also have a far-reaching impact on the relationship between the parent and child. Practicing yoga helps in increased levels of dopamine and serotonin, which helps one relax.

Students who often feel low on energy, see the repercussion of the same on their grades and societal relations. A study conducted by the University of Waterloo found that Hatha yoga greatly increased the energy levels of participants, further aiding their ability to focus and improve brain function. Healthy students form the base of a healthy society. Ensuring physically and mentally fit youth sets the base for building a healthy community, which ensures the construction of a flourishing nation.

Keeping in mind the benefits of the practice, the Government of Haryana has introduced yoga as a part of government schools’ curriculum for classes I to X. The Government of Uttar Pradesh is also planning to include yoga and sports as a part of their school curriculum. To foster the interest of youth, yoga asanas have been declared a competitive sport by the Government of India. More than 1000 Universities, 30,000 colleges, and 24,000 CBSE-affiliated schools have been sensitized about Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) and its benefits for the youth. 

Our ancient texts suggest that values such as brotherhood, love, and discipline, formed the basis of the education system of gurukuls. The focus on arts, sports, singing, yoga, and meditation, in the natural environment, helped the shishyas (students) develop creativity, positivity, and critical thinking. One of the great examples of a healthy relationship that was fostered by the enabling environment of gurukul is the friendship between Krishna and Sudama. A sense of resilience helped Sudama face the trying circumstances. Compassion and love, guided Krishna to help his friend out of his miseries. The ancient system focused on a building strong character, which remained unbent in the face of wrenching trials. Such should be the focus of the schooling system today. The ‘Ayush’ system today is aligned with the ancient values creating a moral conscious and ethically training the students. 

The recently held Global Ayush and Innovation Summit witnessed an enormous footfall of students from various institutes of yoga, naturopathy, and homeopathy. The attraction towards the event was an indication of the ancient system of traditional medicine in India having been increasingly grabbing the interest of the younger generation. Interestingly, one of the start-ups which managed to bag the funding of INR 2.5 crores at the event, named Green Forest Wellness, is by a student from the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Gujarat. 

While the New Education Policy aims at building an education system that promotes market-relevant skills among the youth, we must also focus on fostering an enabling environment for students which take care of their mental and physical well-being. While a system of yoga is being adopted by government schools, private schools must also focus on building a curriculum around the fundamental values of yoga for humanity. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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