In this article, I am not going to be as heretical as Ivan Illich whose book ‘Deschooling Society’ (1971) gives examples of the ineffectual nature of institutionalized education. Illich posited self-directed education, supported by social relations in informal arrangements. What I propose is something less extreme than Ivan. I propose that parents and students must have a choice not to be a part of this institutionalized education and still score ‘marks/grades/degree certificates’.
Home is considered as the first school and mother, the first teacher. Before the advent of ‘school’ as we know it today, pupils were ‘educated’ at home, in the fields, in the apprenticeship of someone in the family or close to the family. With the advent of modern schooling, education is said to be ‘outsourced’ from the precincts of the home and family. It is time now to bring back ‘education’ to home again.
In general, Governments all over the world have bureaucratized education by making it compulsory for students to enroll themselves in a ‘registered’ institution to be awarded a completion certificate. We must do away with such a requirement and make it optional to attend schools. All we need is an examination authority at provincial, national and international levels to administer exams and certify the students.
Some courses will need ‘on-hands’ practice and laboratory set up for which sufficient infrastructure can be set up. But, school for 6 days a week is definitely not a necessity. Some may quick to rebut that school provides an atmosphere for bonding but school is not the only place for bonding. Social bonding can happen with your neighbors, with your distant relatives and so on. So, this advantage of bonding is a kind of exaggerated. By making it optional for students to enroll into a school, we will be providing a freedom of choice to the parents and students. In fact, for some classes (or standards), the student may go to a school.
Self explanatory videos can come in handy to allow the students to learn at their own pace and in their comfort zone. Imagine how such videos will be a boon for the kids in our villages, the war torn Syria or conflict ridden Afghanistan.
We need a change of mindset and do away with such bureaucratization of education. Only then can the ‘Right to Education’ really become a right.