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BOOKS FOR YOU TO READ AND DOWNLOAD
- SANSKRIT TO ENGLISH TRANSLATOR ...
S. Aparna, M.Sc.
- A LINGUISTIC STUDY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL IN BANGLADESH - A COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH TO CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT by
Kamrul Hasan, Ph.D.
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Copyright © 2004
M. S. Thirumalai
THE NEED FOR THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE IN AN AGE OF TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION
Stop the Dehumanization of Contemporary Education!
P. R. Harikumar
DEHUMANIZATION OF EDUCATION: HUMANIZING EFFECTS OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
In 1925 Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher, wrote The Dehumanization of Art in which he promulgated principles of a pure depersonalized art. After a long period, we now stand in an era of dehumanization of education. Education, as a whole, is more constructive and life-oriented than art. Therefore, the dehumanization in the field of education causes a terrific situation in terms of human existence. Education can be thought of as the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of a society. In this sense, it is equivalent to what social scientists term socialization or enculturation.
In the process of socialization one can assimilate the eternal values emerged in human race from the very beginning to the present time. The best way to do this is the study of language and literature. That is why in ancient days our forefathers gave enough time to the study of linguistic and literary works. Language, as a system of symbols abstracted from experience, provides an important vehicle for thinking. Literature is the expression of human imagination and feelings in an aesthetic form. Both can help humanity to become more and more human by knowing and expressing themselves.
INFORMATION VERSUS KNOWLEDGE
The 1990's have been aptly called as a decade of information technology. The arrival of computers and the Internet has revolutionized the learning process. The Internet and other web-based services have given much more advancement in our search for worldly information. In this period, knowledge -- awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation -- has lost its philosophical content and it became just information-facts provided about something. Hence we have a misconception about what we have to know. The new generation thinks that there is no more knowledge to search and look for, and every secret of earthly life is in our hands. The present system of education is creating such a bad impression in the student's mind. With this notion no one can realize the true spirit of education and uncover the realities of life.
REJECTION OF HISTORY
Real knowledge comes to man with a sense of history. Sense of history means lucid understanding about the past events concerned in the development of human culture. It helps one to place an object or idea in its right position. In the absence of such a consciousness nobody can properly assess the past and the present. Without the same we cannot even dream about the future. Moreover, as a result of this absence, a culture of silence may develop in the society. So this kind of awareness is a must for any student of any faculty. But in the new system of education we give importance to technical skills only. The student now and then gets the lessons as printed / downloadable notes with no sense of history. As a consequence, he stands in a vacuum and sees everything in an absolute form. Nothing exists in the world in isolation. So we have to educate the student to think about one thing in relation to the other. Education, when it is fruitful, must impart a sense of history to the learner and help him to see the world in total.
NEGATION OF NATIVE LANGUAGE
For every community, life is closely connected with the development of their native language. Through the study of the language we can clearly understand the subtle growth of their history and culture. Unfortunately, the new education system does not give any importance to regional languages.
As a global language we give much more importance to English. Even now the state considers English as our first language and automatically the native language -Malayalam-comes to a second position. This is not a situation that helps us to be proud of our culture. When we forget our native language we lose our ability for subtle comprehension of the world. Now, the regional languages like Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada have a good time to flourish than ever before, thanks to the benefits of information revolution. Anyone who is sitting in any part of the world can read the news of his hometown and write letters to his mother in his mother tongue.
More over, all kinds of web-based services are available in our own language. Without any hesitation, therefore, we have to utilize the possibilities available in the age of technology for a prosperous growth of our language. Yet our education system has not given enough space to native language in its syllabus and curriculum. That is why our youth does not know how to use his mother tongue more emotively and effectively.
ABSENCE OF TEACHERS
Due to the changes in the field of communication, distance learning and online courses became the popular style of instruction. In these systems we cannot see the presence of a real teacher who has an individual attention in students and a strong role in creating a value based social outlook in the pupil.
Here we have to recognize the possibilities of lecture method. Even though it is traditional, the lecture method has its own role regarding the humanization of education. Instructors/ tutors are the leaders in these programs. Some kind of coaching is going on in these schools of distance learning.
Coaching and teaching are entirely different. That is why in these efforts the learner does not get a chance for personality development and moral improvement. The student now and again gets their materials as printed / downloadable notes. Teleconferencing and Net meeting are the expected ways to interact with the teacher. We can simply guess the limitations of the same. In this sense, education becomes more mechanical. It is considered as a 'non-merit good' that can be bought from any corner of the world.
NO SPACE FOR IMAGINATION - WHERE HAVE THE POETS GONE?
Nowadays there is a tendency, both in western and eastern universities, to avoid famous literary figures and their contributions from the syllabi. For example, some of the universities in England have recently decided to throw out Chaucer, Shakespeare and Marlowe from the degree classes. Likewise, in Indian universities, the space given to Kalidasa, Tagore and Ezhuththachchan has gradually become insignificant.
As Shelly properly put it, 'poets are the unacknowledged legislators of Mankind'. They give form to human values by which we create life beautiful and widen the horizon of imagination through which we live differently. When we simply forget their contributions, we may lose our mental ability to see the truth and beauty of human life. Besides, we are also losing the emotional content both in the classroom and in the society. Even though it has some limitations, the traditional courses, especially in the humanities, have a human nature in its content and form. It will help us, to some extent, to humanize our education.
READING WITHOUT RESPONSE
As a consequence of the misreading of human knowledge, the present generation goes far away from the habit of fruitful reading. They have lost faith in reading Dostoevsky or Tolstoy for true feeling of realization. They read only what give them a job or some sort of erotic pleasure. They have no time for extra reading that helps human mind to grow beyond time and space and achieve something near to a shining star. As a result of the situation that gives all information about the world in a click, they are also losing their memory. Loss of memory leads to lack of imagination. Absence of imagination directs them to a void where there is no human emotion. Such persons cannot identify with the inner meaning of strange and unnatural human situations revealed in a work of art and appreciate the aesthetic quality of the same.
LET NOT TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT DENY RICH EXPERIENCE OF HUMAN HISTORY AND VALUES
In short, in the name of new technological advancement we should not deny possible human qualities to the present generation. If they are going to read human history and culture in zero degree as part of their education, the future of human race will be so unpleasant. The objective of each and every lesson we learn / teach will be gone skeptical. Our immediate aim is to help the student community to regain the vital qualities, which, in one way or other, help them to make the world more human.
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INDIAN TELEVISION GLOBALIZES MULTILINGUALISM, BUT IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE | ON THE MOTHER TONGUE MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION POLICY - CURRICULUM INNOVATION AND THE CHALLENGES OF IMPLEMENTATION IN NIGERIA | AN EXPERIMENT ON THE EFFECT OF LANGUAGE ON KNOWLEDGE | SANSKRIT TO ENGLISH TRANSLATOR | THE NEED FOR THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE IN AN AGE OF TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION - Stop the Dehumanization of Contemporary Education! | A NEW KEYBOARD FOR TAMIL - Simpler and Easier to Learn and Use | COMMUNICATION ABILITY AND LEADERSHIP - Some Suggestions for Those Seeking Professional Careers | ANUMAANA AND SHABDAPRAMAANA - Inference and Verbal Testimony | HOME PAGE OF THE JOURNAL | HOME PAGE OF THIS ISSUE | CONTACT EDITOR
P. R. Harikumar, M.A., M.Phil.
Department of Malayalam
Sree Sankara College
Kerala State, India
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