Education in the Modern Era (by Ashutosh Gautam)

Education in the Modern Era (by Ashutosh Gautam)

Since ancient times, edu­ca­tion, in one way or another, has been the basis of human devel­op­ment.  However, in modern times, the meaning of edu­ca­tion has changed dras­ti­cally.  The fore­most and fun­da­men­tal ques­tion upon us is “What is edu­ca­tion?”.  Is it limited to teach­ing chil­dren arith­metic, or does it go beyond that?

In my opinion, edu­ca­tion is an impor­tant tool with the help of which you (I say “you” because we are all edu­ca­tors in one way or another) can impact and develop the char­ac­ter of a human being in a for­mi­da­ble way.  That is why it becomes very impor­tant for us to not only provide an aca­d­e­mic edu­ca­tion, but to also impart good morals, values, and ethics to our stu­dents and chil­dren to ensure that India has solidly ethical and morally mature young­sters coming up through the pipeline to serve our country well in the future.  This is the need of the hour!  We must not delay.

If our desire is to erad­i­cate igno­rance from our society, it is then our respon­si­bil­ity to educate our chil­dren in such away that they can better under­stand their respon­si­bil­ity towards society and other human beings in a deeper way than aca­d­e­mics.  A more holis­tic approach is needed.  A care for the soul and the heart, not just the mind.

A bril­liant brain can unfold the mys­ter­ies of the uni­verse, but a caring heart can pave the way to God.

Thank you,

Ashutosh Gautam, Teacher of Senior High




Blogpost One:  “Impact of COVID-19 on Our Education”

Blogpost One: “Impact of COVID-19 on Our Education”

Impact of COVID-19 on Our Education

The COVID-19 pan­demic, caused by the novel coro­n­avirus SARS-Cov‑2 has changed the course of our life.  In this article, we will present our opinion that the lock­downs indeed had a few ancil­lary family, envi­ron­men­tal, and famil­ial ben­e­fits, but the neg­a­tive effects out­weighed the pos­i­tives and that a more careful approach should have been con­sid­ered before the wide­spread dis­rup­tion to the lives of the youth.

In order to reduce the spread of the virus, the gov­ern­ment has taken various pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures includ­ing a nation­wide lockdown.

A big concern of the pan­demic and result­ing lock­downs was how to con­tinue edu­cat­ing India’s stu­dents effec­tively while schools were manda­to­rily closed.  There were several sets of guide­lines and plans issued by the gov­ern­ment.  Due to school clo­sures, there was a need to adopt a change in our edu­ca­tional system.  Online learn­ing was put into place, and the mantra was that edu­ca­tion would con­tinue at a dis­tance, via tech­nol­ogy, and that all would be good and the edu­ca­tion of stu­dents wouldn’t miss a beat.

Edu­ca­tional insti­tu­tions made various efforts to reach stu­dents through various elec­tronic, imper­sonal means which were readily avail­able to wealth­ier fam­i­lies across the nation.  However, the poorest, and even many middle-class were hurt the most as they just didn’t have the resources to attend the online classes because they couldn’t obtain, or use effec­tively, the gadgets and tech­nol­ogy required for online classes.  

Many stu­dents fell through the cracks.

Ini­tially, stu­dents were really happy because of the the lock­down, and espe­cially of school clo­sures.  They were spend­ing their whole day playing games and watch­ing movies.  Nat­u­rally though, after a while the stu­dents became bored with this unusual twist in their daily rou­tines, and they real­ized that their old pre-pan­demic routine of coming to in-person school was much better than this new lax and elec­tronic lifestyle.  Stu­dents were waiting for the lock­downs to end so that they could become free again from the iso­la­tion and able to meet with their friends and attend in-person classes.

Every coin has two sides, and sim­i­larly, the lock­down also had both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive effects.  On the one hand, stu­dents had extra time to prepare for com­pet­i­tive exams and self-study.  They also had more quality time with family and learn­ing to concoct new activ­i­ties at home.  However, on the other hand, the closure of phys­i­cal schools forced stu­dents to do online learn­ing, which had many detri­men­tal effects in areas such as aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance, strain­ing of eye­sight from increased screen-time, mental health issues such as depres­sion, stress, anxiety, and frus­tra­tion from human alienation.

After facing this haz­ardous pan­demic, we realize that the offline mode of study is more ben­e­fi­cial and pro­duc­tive as com­pared to the virtual mode of study.  Offline classes pro­vides for direct inter­ac­tion between teach­ers and stu­dents, hence it pro­vides a health­ier envi­ron­ment for the student to flour­ish.  There­fore, in our con­clu­sion, despite the few bless­ings that came our way via the lock­down, overall, the lock­downs and school clo­sures were much more harmful  than ben­e­fi­cial.  The lock­downs gave us a better appre­ci­a­tion for our phys­i­cal learn­ing envi­ron­ment and inter­per­sonal inter­ac­tions, and we will hope­fully not take it for granted now that we’ve seen the neg­a­tive impact we’ve expe­ri­enced without it.

Thank you for reading our opinion.

The Student Website Edi­to­r­ial Team

*Dis­claimer:  This is the sole opinion of the Student Edi­to­r­ial Team and does not nec­es­sar­ily rep­re­sent the views of our school or teachers.



Welcome to our website!

First, let me say a big “thank you” to our friend Matt in New Zealand for his effort and artistry in creating this site for us.

Second, as a guest here in the heart of India (well, I guess I can’t say that I’m a guest any longer since I’ve been here for nearly ten years, and Nagod has become my home just as much as Chicago or the Twin Cities), I want to express my heart­felt grat­i­tude to our stu­dents, staff, and local folks for being so kind and wel­com­ing of me.  I truly trea­sure this state, this town, and this school.  I am deeply honored to be here amongst you.

My per­sonal daily goal is to be a person who values, honors, and pro­motes the local culture, which is so his­toric and impor­tant.  I do this by teach­ing our stu­dents, in as quality a manner as I am able, to become excel­lent cit­i­zens of this great country by respect­ing each other, respect­ing nature and clean­li­ness, and respect­ing them­selves and their own think­ing and behavior.

I believe in an edu­ca­tion that is vast:  encom­pass­ing the areas of music, art, sports, truth­ful news explo­ration, expan­sion of mul­ti­ple vocab­u­lar­ies for self-expres­sion and good com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and helping each other achieve all that we can be as indi­vid­u­als and as a com­mu­nity.  My aim is to help our stu­dents evolve and evoke their inner dreams into real­i­ties, and help create quality path­ways towards success through a quality edu­ca­tion that spans the world.  Stu­dents with large minds that can tra­verse mul­ti­ple coun­tries, mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines, with an appre­ci­a­tion and knowl­edge of world history and world cul­tures will become solid world cit­i­zens whose voices can be heard beyond Nagod and beyond India — stu­dents who will one day make India the world leader that it deserves to be.

Upon moving here, I noticed right away how won­der­ful the people are of this area.  The stu­dents work hard and are polite.  They have many skills in music and ath­let­ics, art and dance, and scholas­tic aca­d­e­mic sub­jects.  But, what they need is a quality pathway forward upon which they can exer­cise their skills and voices.  The talent is here; all it needs is proper cul­ti­va­tion and encour­age­ment, and to be taken seriously.

This is an excit­ing time to be here in Nagod.  I am thank­ful to be here playing a small part in making Nagod the best it can be through the edu­ca­tion of stu­dents and young people.  To encour­age them to appre­ci­ate their won­der­ful culture and history, and to show them other cul­tures through my expe­ri­ences and per­sonal studies (in clas­si­cal Western music, jazz, art, design, culi­nary explo­ration, lan­guage and vocab­u­lary, geog­ra­phy, and nuances that only a person who has expe­ri­enced first-hand) with the goal of widen­ing their minds and under­stand­ing of the world at-large.

When one has a wide vision and knowl­edge of the world, only then can they have a deep appre­ci­a­tion of the great­ness of where their roots are.

Our website will be the hub of our com­mu­ni­ca­tion.  My goal, with our student edi­to­r­ial team, is to keep our site updated daily with current school and civic events hap­pen­ing around the local area.  I will promote special events, for example at Art Ichol (our local gem).  I will help promote and orga­nize ways for our stu­dents to get involved as cit­i­zens (for instance, in tree plant­ing, clean-up days, and health­care events such as blood dona­tion drives).

I’m proud to be a citizen of Nagod and I pledge to always do my best for our town.  Our school, Satya Niketan Higher Sec­ondary, is here to help in many ways.  We work hard for quality, and we take the edu­ca­tion of stu­dents to be a very high calling to which we are honored to serve.

Sincerely, and many thanks!.….Ron (your local foreigner).