Knowledge for Empowerment

Sohan Tiwade - Knowledge Empowerment
Sohan Tiwade

Sohan Tiwade proposes solutions that can help our education system to be more empowering:

An old lady of 80 years was once sitting on the front porch where her son was doing some repairs under his Jeep vehicle with the jack on. Suddenly the jack slipped, and the whole weight of the vehicle came on the chest of the son, which could have killed him. Seeing her son dying, the old lady did something unbelievable; she lifted the jeep with her bare hands and saved her son’s life. Many people were shocked to hear about this impossible feat that the mother had performed to save her son. People wanted to interview her, but she refused to meet anyone. One reporter got through, though and asked her how she felt about the incident that saved her son. To his astonishment, the mother replied, ‘I feel very bad! Not because I saved my son, but all these 80 years I have been living an ordinary life with all that strength and potential buried within me.’

“Don’t die with the music still in you.”

  • Wayne Dyer.

Is it not a tragedy that most of the people who live on this earth never discover their true purpose and potential in life? They live a life that is a copy of someone else. Maybe their parents have passed it down to them; they learnt it from their peers and society. Many of them go for the life that is the current fashion. It’s not new to see students who opt for a course because their friend did the same, or it is the current hot course that the market is open with opportunities for.

The major culprit for this tragedy of human life is our education system, that fails to empower. Here are some of the solutions that I propose that can help our education system to be more empowering.

Self-Awareness: Whenever you are flying a chopper, the ATC asks you three questions viz. Who are you? Where are you? And where do you want to go? I believe those are the three questions that our students should ask themselves to be self-aware. Self-Awareness means simply I am aware of my real self. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I am aware of my purpose and the talents that I possess to help me fulfil my purpose in life. Our education system should not treat students as copies of one another. If one student is excellent at Math, the teacher should not force other students to be excellent at Math too. The teacher should understand the unique and varied gifts that students possess. Our education system can be more empowering when it stops making students copies of each other and helps them to self-introspect and be Self Aware.

Holistic Approach: The education system should have a holistic approach. Human beings are made of four parts viz. body, heart, mind and spirit. Our education system caters mostly to the mind and, to some extent, the body. We cannot empower our students who never have exercised their emotions, their bodies or their spirits. Education should teach students about relationships and managing one’s emotions. Education should cater to financial learning and healthy living. Education should help students to be spiritually connected to the Higher Power. How to create and manage wealth? How to live longer and healthier? What does it mean to be successful? Relationship Management, Self-Actualization, how to start your own business? These and many more subjects need to be part of our curriculum in Schools and colleges. Many of our students who have excelled in school education don’t do well in life. Many of our students cannot handle failures in life and take extreme steps. Many of our students never become financially independent. Many of our students are swayed by religious fanatics for extremism. When our education system just caters to one or two areas, it is natural for others who can feed our students with the wrong kind of knowledge.

Encourage Curiosity: Education that empowers is the education that encourages the spirit of inquisitiveness among students. When our education system is designed in such a way that students are not given ready-made answers but asked to discover them by asking the right kind of questions, then we can ensure empowering education. The exam system is designed for rote learning rather than conceptual learning. This has to change. How about rewarding students to come up with the right questions and helping them further discover the answers? If our textbooks and exam system are designed to do this, it would greatly help students. Lack of research bent of mind is the result of a loss of inquisitiveness and curiosity in our education system. If we can give students problems to solve, they will surprise us with their ingenuity. But by giving them ready-made answers, we limit their potential. I know of a student who solved a mathematics sum by his own method that was considered to be very tough. His teacher acknowledged the correct answer but also advised him not to use the method while writing the exam. What kind of education system is this that kills the creativity of students at its very budding stage?

My article is not comprehensive to address the issue of Empowering Education. It is just intended to spark a thought. You may know many more ways to bring about positive change in the education system so that it becomes empowering. I invite you on that journey that can spark a revolution in the education system. If you already implement the above points in your educational institutions, I applaud you. May we all come together to build a better education system that will empower our students, free them to be themselves and help our world to be a better place.

About the Author

Sohan Tiwade is a well-known author and Professional Speaker; along with this, he is also a corporate Soft Skills Trainer at the Edge. He is also an Assistant Professor. at Sanjay Ghodawat University.


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