Permit me to begin with the recent survey that is being conducted by the International Forum for Indian Heritage, which has issued a questionnaire to a number of Indian schools so as to elicit responses from students in regard to their experience of our current educational system. I had recently an occasion to study a few illustrative samples of answers that have been received from students from different parts of the country. Three general remarks are common: (i) the present system of education is not at all inspiring; (ii) it does not contribute to the all-round development of personality; (iii) there is keenness to study Indian heritage. I am sure that when this survey will be completed and results are brought out, educationists in our country and NCERT in particular, will have valuable material for reflection and action.
Cry of the National Soul
There is, unmistakably, a cry among our students to bring about a radical change in our system of education, so as to make it more meaningful, more purposive, more value-oriented, more skill-oriented, more interesting and less burdensome. There is a cry of the soul of India, it appears, which wants to communicate itself with the coming generations so that its wisdom and its value-system can be nourished, strengthened and developed further in the light of the needs of the critical conditions through which humanity as a whole is passing today. This is not a new cry; this cry was reflected throughout the freedom struggle, when the greatest educationists of India proposed and inspired experiments in education so as to combat the Macaulayan system of education which had come to be imposed under assumptions which were entirely antagonistic to the national system of values and national system of education. What is, however, new at present is the cry of the students, and we need to discern in it a deep call to educationists to undertake a fresh journey of research, − research in objectives of education, research in contents of education and research in methods of education.