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To expand education India needs more classrooms
Rahul Bose, the actor, in a recent show for children to raise funds for schools, on NDTV, made the point that the child learns from outside the classroom as well - for example he learns in the playing field. This is a very seminal statement on school education, which is the take off point in a child's life.

The process of learning is concomitant to the process of growing up in school. The classroom has parallel settings in which to learn: the playground, the hall, the stage, class picnics, sports day, annual concert all contribute to the process of learning, and the repository called memories. And these memories become a fount of inspiration in life, making child likeness an integral part of one's life.

It is high time we think of school education in a more holistic manner paving the way for other forms of education, step by step. These processes contribute to experiential ways of learning, and not only something that is bookish, and a set pattern of writing examinations, passing them or failing them, or both. The issue of ' failure ' in school education must be addressed, as this makes a child more self conscious, leading to phobia of examinations, indeed of the school. There are children waking up in the mornings loathing to go to school, out of sheer hysteria or fear- of tests, the Principal or the teacher.


But what is the school meant to do? The school is meant to divide boredom, it is meant to encourage talent, in the child and it is also meant to instil overall well being of the child, nurturing a set of values, and not necessarily in conforming to diktas, not necessarily also obeying in a moronic manner. What is sports, music, acting or recitation of use if the school does not play the pivotal role of enlivening these in the child, as curiosity and then talent?

Hence the actor's statement is refreshingly a new way of looking at school education in particular. It is a statement which questions, the purpose of education, broadening the 'meaning' of the classroom, and creating multiple classrooms. Everything in a scool is an extension of the typical classroom. Once a child is out of the manacled four walls of a classroom, he or she, breathes in the elixir of life, finding friends, playing, running around which means exploratory learning or knowledge. This is not only of importance, but it gives the experiential side of life, a new dimension, and hope, just to catch a glimpse of eternal future. I hope statements like these are taken seriously by our policy makers to invest education, with the quality of freedom, curiosity and exploration.
 


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