Citizens' Issues
Schools of the future

 The future of the world depends on a new change in schooling system, thus ushering in an era of sharing, caring and universal compassion—the true religion for the masses

"The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” -- Rabindranath Tagore

Life is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ceaseless change till death. “Anything that does not change does not come under the definition of science” wrote a federal judge in the US while delivering his judgment in a dispute between the Creationists and Scientists. Human life history is the story of the evolution of this Universe itself. If one wants to understand the nature of Nature one has just got to understand human nature which is a miniscule of this universe itself. We are obsessed with science today. The word science brings goose-pimples on many of us. Indian schools do not seem to have changed ever since the East India Company destroyed our ancient school system some time in the early 19th century. There have, of course, been some cosmetic changes in that schools today have become big corporate businesses and they have also got a bit of American flavor. However, the philosophy of feeding the young creative minds with useless dead information seems to be our goal. Rote learning for getting grades is the order of the day. Grades should make wealthy careers at the end of the day is the philosophy accepted by the greedy parents as also the powers that be in the educational system, and some of the powerful industrial honchos who see nothing wrong in education being a big business.

The vital part of education, which is to try and make healthy minds, is all but lost in this milieu. Our education, especially the primary one, which matters a lot, is, therefore, unscientific by definition, as it has not changed. The aforementioned federal judge would have declared our educational system as a religion, which I think it is slowly becoming by Karl Marx’s opinion that a religion is the “opium of the people”. The actual complete quote from 1843-44 Karl Marx’s book Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right is more nuanced, though. Marx did not ridicule religion by this statement; rather he thought that religion is an extension of his own thinking. He goes on to say that: “To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions”. That was in a way Marx’s own opium in one sentence since the “human essence has not acquired any true reality”. Yet instead of the crude opium reference there is that beautifully poetic conclusion “of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo”. To call upon our present school system bosses to change would be exactly like what Marx felt about asking for change in his times. Spirituality—sharing and caring—is not only the essence of all religions but also the ageless wisdom of man, which has very little to do with ritualistic religions.

Science today tells us that the world began with the Big Bang. I wonder if there was a big bang or a small whimper! For 750 million long years, they say, that there was no life on earth. The first life came as a single cell which could do all that you and I can do today-breathe, eat, excrete, think, and work. That stage went on for more than a trillion and half years when these single cell individuals wisely thought that it is better to get together as a colony to work more efficiently with least expense. They had a fertile brain in their cell wall (membrane), called the memBrain by a famous cell biologist, Bruce Lipton. They could sense their environment through antennae in their cell walls, their brain, called Integral Membrane Proteins (IMPs). These could make the cells come alive to the environment (universal consciousness) to have own their individual consciousness. Figuratively life gets born then like your actors on the TV screen. When that antenna does not get the message (when you switch off your TV) life ebbs out just as the TV actor dies when the switch goes off. The consciousness gets into, may be another cell immediately after that- life again. So death is only a part of life and not its end! Thus the human body is a happy colony of 50 trillion individual cells.

Why did the single free-floating cells come together then? They, in their wisdom, realized that they are better off and stronger if they came together in larger groups as they could expand their individual consciousnesses many fold by increasing the IMPs exponentially! How wise of them? As time passed they realised that each one of them need not do all the work that needs to be done. They could share their responsibilities. Some cell groups inside the body became what we call today organs doing specific tasks more efficiently. But they did not lose sight of the fact that they were all functionally identical even when they morphologically different to fit that organ e.g. brain looking after overseeing the total function of locomotion, etc. In this new role they found that they could care for others better. Thus evolved the philosophy of spirituality—sharing and caring! Body cells therefore love one another. This could be seen under the electron-microscope in disease conditions. In a fresh fracture site the red blood cells in the clot could gradually change to pluri-potent stem cells to heal the fracture eventually! Same cells but different work. These endogenous stem cells are our best doctors in all disease states.

Education, therefore, should teach the young mind that it is in sharing and caring that the world can go on for good. Our grading system, on the contrary, puts negative thoughts of greed, hatred, jealousy, anger and pride into that innocent, creative, loving, and compassionate mind of a child. Scientific studies have shown that if students in a class with varied levels of intelligence could be taught the principles of collective compassionate sharing efforts they all get high grades in the final examination! This is conducive to good health as well since body cells enjoy working together, anyway. Health is defined today as “enthusiasm to work and enthusiasm to be compassionate.” Those who do not have either or both of those are really sick! In that definition society as a whole is becoming sick today with no compassion. Recent noise about “Wall Street” greed is but a sign of that universal sickness that is overtaking our present society; rather it is the corporate greed that would eventually destroy all God-given resources of nature. The root cause for this disease is the wrong type of primary education that turns a universally compassionate, creative, God-like child into a greedy, angry, proud man/woman who joins the rat race to acquire money, power and parking lots! The future of the world depends on a new change in schooling system, thus ushering in an era of sharing, caring and universal compassion—the true religion for the masses. 

    “Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested all your life. We must have life-building, man-making and character-making assimilation of ideas.” -- Swami Vivekananda.

(Professor Dr BM Hegde was awarded a Padma Bhushan in 2010. Prof Dr Hegde has a string of degrees to his credit like MD, PhD, FRCP (Lond, Edin, Glasg, & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, Chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London. Prof Dr Hegde can be contacted at [email protected]




5 years ago

give me a break professor.enough of the preaching.india needs entrepreneurs and not silly indoctrination centres.parents,families are responsible for the values -sharing ,compassion etc.if the school fellows could simply concentrate on the simple matter of teaching math,science and language,it would be better.anyway,you'll all be eradicated by free teaching on the internet.
as far as rishi valley types are concerned,i've a couple of friends who graduated from it.impractical girls with no knowledge or ambition to succeed.mooching off papa's money to study literature and art history.we dont want such citizens .we want doers.


5 years ago

Dear Proffessor

Would you agree that to give root and wings to young boys they need to be fearless and conquerors since the ruthlessness of today's world confuses kindness with weakness ?
Basically Nehruvian tug of war with Keynesian values creating a breed of cannibalistic vegetarians a dichotomy in every days actions and reactions...
Schools like Doons or cathedral maintain great character building alas not affordable for the common mortals the divide begins there with the purse

Narendra Doshi

5 years ago

Dear Prof Hegde,
Can you please give details of any such schools, existing in Mumbai or even near equivalents?
At what age do you feel the child should join such a school?


BM Hegde

In Reply to Narendra Doshi 5 years ago

Rishi Valley in Bangalore might come close to it.
I think a child should not go to school till at least six years to enjoy the real childhood. The real education happens at home. The environment is the best teacher

Narendra Doshi

In Reply to BM Hegde 5 years ago

Shri Hegde,
Tks for your comments.
1 Pl provide homepage of Rishi Valley, Bangalore.
2 What is your guidance for preschool/primary school girls?
3 What is the preference of order: SSC/CBSE/ICSE/IGCSE/IB/NIOS especially for Mumbai settled parents?
4 At what girl child age and which schools in Mumbai would you recommend?

BM hegde

In Reply to Narendra Doshi 5 years ago

I dont know Bombay schools. If there is any Amarithavidyalaya try that.
Girls will be much better off there.
CBSC is good as one could try and get fighter chances anywhere in India.

Eight core sector industries grow by 0.1% in October

Barring electricity, cement and steel, all the remaining segments registered negative growth in October 2011, government data showed

New Delhi: Growth of eight infrastructure industries slowed down to 0.1% in October this year, from 7.2% expansion witnessed in the same month last year, reports PTI.

The eight industries—crude oil, petroleum refinery products, natural gas, fertilisers, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel—have a weight of 37.90% in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Barring electricity, cement and steel, all the remaining segments registered negative growth in October 2011.

Electricity and steel output grew by 4.9% and 3.8% in October against 8.5% and 13.4% respectively in the same month last year, according to the provisional data released today.

No growth was recorded in cement production in October, while the same was 18.5% in the year-ago month.

Coal and crude oil production contracted by 9% and 0.9% respectively in the month under the review against 0.7% and 13.7% expansion in the comparable period last year.

Natural gas and petroleum refinery products coal output contracted by 7.4% and 2.8% in October 2011 respectively.

In the same month last year, the sectors had witnessed a growth of 6.5% and (-) 4.8%.

Fertiliser output declined by 2.1% in October. It was (-) 0.2% in the same period last year.

During April-October 2011-12, the growth of core industries slowed down to 4.3% from 5.9 per cent in the same quarter last year.


Possibility of small slippage in fiscal deficit target: Chief economic advisor

The rise in the Centre’s fiscal deficit is mainly on account of lower mobilisation of non-tax revenues compared to same period last year, when it had mobilised over Rs1.08 lakh crore from 3G and BWA spectrum auctioning alone

New Delhi: There is possibility of a “small slippage” in the 4.6% fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal, reports PTI quoting chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu.

“4.6% (fiscal deficit) is the target. We are very keen on it, but a small slippage on that is a possibility,” he told reporters here.

The government’s fiscal situation has shown deterioration at the end of the first six months of the current financial year, mainly due to poor realisation of non-tax revenues.

According to data from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the central government’s fiscal deficit went up to Rs2.92 lakh crore or 71% of the Budget estimates at the end of September 2011.

In the same period last year, the government’s fiscal deficit, the gap between overall expenditure and receipts, was 35% of the estimates.

For the 2011-12 fiscal, the government has estimated a deficit of Rs4.12 lakh crore or 4.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

“We are very keen on fiscal consolidation. We want to keep it as close as possible to 4.6%,” Mr Basu said.

The rise in the Centre’s fiscal deficit is mainly on account of lower mobilisation of non-tax revenues compared to same period last year, when it had mobilised over Rs1.08 lakh crore from third generation (3G) and broadband and wireless access (BWA) spectrum auctioning alone.

The revenue receipt stood at over Rs2.93 lakh crore during the six-month period against the Budget Estimate (BE) of Rs7.89 lakh crore for the entire fiscal. This is 37.2% of the BE.

At the end of September, non-tax revenue collection has stood at 40.5% of budget estimates, compared to 111.3% in the same period a year ago.


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