As defined on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education
“Education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values.”
As most of us know it is these formative effects of the acts and experiences that shape and mould an individual in the way he/she thinks, believes, views, feels, acts and reacts in the society to realize consequential growth and hence unleash the true potential of not only oneself but society as a whole.
In simple words Education can be categorized as:
Formal Education: An intent to learn pre defined skills based on the current benchmarks and academic standards required to cope with current scenarios. The formative effects influenced by this education are based of the past learning, inventions and experiences institutionalized by the society and are very predictable.
Non-formal Education: As explained by Jenniefer Dkhar is learning that takes place in a formal educational organisation but it is not recognised within a curriculum or syllabus framework. The objective of the learner is mainly to enhance one’s knowledge and passion for learning more aligning with the formal education.
Informal Education: As explained by experts is form of education imbibed outside an institutionalised setting of education. It is neither structured nor usually certified. It could be unschooling education, which is derived from life experiences, domestic responsibilities, family, personal interests and curiosities and social interaction.
In our opinion Informal education is an important source for teaching life skills and applied skills to children, which not only include application of cognitive abilities but also higher-order competencies involving non-cognitive skills such as the 4Cs of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity; character skills of persistence, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control, resilience and empathy; inter personnel skills like leadership and team work.
An elaborate skill portfolio as mentioned above needs to be polished since the early childhood and for practical reasons seems to be out of scope of only 'the home' and 'the institution’ domains.
We strongly believe it requires unleashing the potential of our communities for the benefit of our children, like:
- Creating scenarios in the communities to challenge the young minds to apply themselves under guidance and encouragement to make them self aware and realize their self worth with a feeling of 'I belong and can make a difference'.
- Encourage elaboration, questioning, and explanation to foster curiosity, inquisitiveness, and innovative spirit to feel and fill the gaps in the society
- Build a friendly community of adult and peer mentors to enable children to validate their behavior, differentiate right from wrong, understand their strengths and weaknesses and celebrate true victories, which inspire and aspire the children to build virtuous cycle of positive values
- Draw attention to the knowledge and skills developed and their relevance connecting learning to their personal lives and interests and hence motivating them to perform
- Provide opportunities to bond with parents, families and communities to develop mutual respect.
- Educating parents about new technologies, child/youth pertinent contemporary trends, psyche/pulse/wavelength, enabling them to better understand their children, have more effective conversations, become children's buddies and help their children to make right decisions.
In Swami Vivekananda’s words, “the ultimate aim of education is the process by which character is formed, strength of the mind is increased, and intellect is sharpened, as a result of which one can stand on one’s own feet.”
We invite you all to join us on: One of it’s kind community platform – OF the children, BY the children & FOR the children and allow the children to lead us to lead them.