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Travel as a means of education?

Travel as a means of education?

By Krithika S

Edited by Namitha Sadanand, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist

As talks of repairing Delhi University’s existing FYUP course structure are in progress, the one important issue which we are ignoring is the need for a sensible makeover of our higher education system. As a nation we still obsess over how many exams our ministers have passed to sit on their seats and how many 90s are in our children’s marksheet. It proves we are definitely not heading the right way or the so called progressive way.

College is one of the most beautiful time of one’s life- where young minds after working hard for the past twelve years of their existence, hope to finally enter the ‘real’ world and live their life their own way. Graduation is not just completing the mandatory three years to be eligible for employment. Hence, college should be a platform to nurture the nascent ideas of every thinking mind in the right direction. College symbolizes breaking free from rigidity. This reminds me of how one of my enlightened professors suggested that students should complete one year of their graduation not in India but elsewhere like Europe. In Europe, students have to compulsorily do their final year of graduation abroad. So why can’t it be made part of the curriculum here? If one year or maybe one semester of graduation, irrespective of the course, is completed in a university or college of a different city it will renovate the present education structure. To start with, collaboration with the state and central universities across the country can make such an option a possibility and later it can extend to other institutions.

Such an idea can only be a boon in a country as culturally diverse as India. When out of city, a totally new experience awaits you- new culture, new people and new ideas. We might be in a high speed Wi-Fi era where we know everything about almost everything but there are still some experiences prove educational especially when moved out of the comfort zone. Such an experience can only make students brighter, smarter and more aware.

Someone said, ‘travel makes one modest’, and I couldn’t agree more. In my opinion, all practical and philosophical knowledge can be acquired by travelling. And nothing is better than living in a new place on your own. All this can lead to a new and better perception towards life.

With many psychological barriers in our minds, there can be no better way to overcome them. Several unnecessary and outdated stereotypes about fellow nationals fed wrongly by the popular media will vanish by communicating with different cultures.

If this idea becomes part of the course, maybe one day people will stop fixating on top-notch colleges and metro cities and will give an opportunity to lesser known cities to become educationally viable. Untapped potential of many cities and towns can be realized through this.

My proposal might sound too ambitious but it is not entirely impossible. If given a chance, it can help in broadening the outlook and progress the mindset of the younger legion. When everything can evolve with the changing times then why should knowledge be restricted to books? It can be taken as an experiment which has the potential to make the young a better human being.

Although she goes through an existential crisis every now and then, she somehow manages to keep herself sane in the company of friends, books, newspapers, internet and movies. Meanwhile, she is studying French in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

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