Dear Friends,The world keeps changing, whether we want it or not. It is said that in today’s world only one among the ten thousand things we see in our childhood lasts our life time. Last year’s trendy gadgets are this year’s museum exhibits. Our nostagic sentiments apart, this is mostly desireable as we see improvements in healthcare, food availability and a more universal sense of compassion among people. There are millions of factors that effect this change. However, the most important power that shapes this world is knowledge. Not just any knowledge, but the right knowledge which humanity has accumulated over the ages. A man in the Old Stone Age looking at a round piece of stone and seeing a sharp edged weapon which was not actually there was the first one to use his imagination. He dared to imagine and dream and challege the limits of reality. From water rafts to aircrafts and now, spacecrafts, we have come a long way. Scientists now envision the colonization of other planets.
Education through a well designed school system is the best way to channelize the power of knowledge since, like any other power, it too is double-edged. Ill founded and ill conceived systems of education can ruin individuals and societies alike as we seen in terror stricken parts of the world. For the individual as well as for the society, a good school is the way to a better future. It empowers, enriches and energizes everyone it touches.
Getting a job is only an individual goal and it is a rather small goal. The capacity of an individual is such that twenty Wikipedias can snugly sit in one's brain. Thus our greatest aspirations look way too small when compared to our capacity. Remember: Every oak was once an acorn and then a sapling before it gained its girth and spread. Every great man was born a baby.
The greater goal is in sketching and materializing one’s role in society. Even though the society is only a number of individuals coming together, unity makes it much stronger. This unity can come only through harmony and it is in school that we first learn the necessity of harmonious existence. Our future is both a borrowing and a lending. Ironically, we have lent our past to the world and borrowed the future from our next generation. In other words, we have to return, with interest, what we owe the next generation. Education is what gives an individual, a society, a nation and the whole world the resources to do this transaction. It is the realization of possibility even beyond probability.
For the ignorant, ignorance is bliss only because he is ignorant even of his sad plight. For the enlightened, knowledge is blessing. To teach is to bless and to learn is to bless oneself. A teacher who teaches a group of students is involved in nation building and has to consider herself blessed for that great role bestowed on her. A student studying in a classroom is already stationed in the future working hard and he too should consider himself blessed with that privilege. This makes education a divine act and a school is in fact a temple, a church or a mosque.
As different from animals, we are born with a brain which is like a clean slate. Animals are born with programmed brains which will stand in good stead all their life. But, human beings have to learn everything after they are born. It takes a year for them to walk and talk. But, it is the same 'clean slate' that makes it possible for them to learn anything and everything. Thus it is clear that we are born to learn, programmed to perform and destined to progress.
In these troubled times, a school is the second home for students and this makes the teachers’ role as important as that of the parents. Experienced teachers can tell you that such a role has been personally rewarding for them. We get as we give. This should prompt us to give more than we get.
The school bell in the moring tells us more than time. It rings in the new and rings out the old. It is a celebration of possiblity, potential and progress. It is in this spirit that we all come to school each morning. It is a present that prevents our past from becoming out future.