Educational institutions must have diversity and inclusivity

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Educational institutions must have diversity and inclusivity

  • Homogeneity must not be imposed on students in garb of dress code.
  • Educational institutions must work on secularist and non-partisanship ethos.

Don't Divide the classrooms

  • Classroom of a government educational institution represents the society within which it is instituted, as it provides democratic access to students from all sections of society.
  • It also acknowledges that our society is hierarchically organised and that children from marginalised communities need to be given additional support and provided privileged access to the classroom and education.
  • It becomes a location of perpetual epistemological disruption as many social groups having differing thoughts and views are concentrated here.
  • Learning takes place not only through the protocols of institutionalised pedagogy but also through the many ways in which one aligns himself with others from different social and religious backgrounds.
  • And how he structures and inhabits this community will inform all future possibilities of living together as social groups.

Importance of inclusivity in classrooms

  • This inclusive nature of the classroom space is one of its greatest contributions to the process of learning.
  • It is this accommodation of the variety of social locations from which our students come that has contributed to the civil discussions and debates and conversations through which the process of thinking is initiated.
  • Conversations about gender and caste and religion and nationality inaugurate the process of critical questioning.
  • Learning, as an inherently disruptive process, always goes astray of the etiquettes of academia.
  • Classroom conversations can reposition the participants in a radically egalitarian practice of speech. Such a conversation demands a difficult translation of social ontologies, a disorientation of knowing, a process of becoming unfamiliar to oneself.
  • It is through such conversations that education becomes a radically transformative process of recognising the common vulnerability of all human beings and the mutual care and support that we owe each other if we have to survive as a species.
  • The classroom is a space where students are disciplined into a narrow uniformity.

Impact of politicisation of classrooms

  • When the uniformity of the classroom is shaped by political considerations and implemented through the authority of political power, then teaching is replaced by indoctrination and learning is replaced by unthinking parroting of political ideologies.
  • When education becomes the handmaiden of hate, the creativity and joy that sustain the great variety of life are destroyed.
  • When teachers become the gatekeepers of bigotry and parochial political interests, they forfeit their right to the trust and responsibility that a community places on them to guide and shape its future possibilities.
  • When the classroom is used to catalogue, classify and exclude, it inaugurates a future of insane hate and mindless cruelty.
  • In such classrooms, students are instrumentalised into votes and reduced to the colour of the shawls they drape across their shoulders or the scarves they wear over their heads.
  • They are taught the mistrust of hate and trained in the violence of anger. Then, educational institutions will shut their gates to students who fail to display the uniformity of the uniformised body.
  • And in the classrooms, teachers will close up the processes of thinking, wondering and questioning.
  • And educational institutions will shut down the processes of learning and teaching and experimenting with the many ways in which we can build an equal, inclusive, compassionate and intelligent society.

Way Forward

  • Hence, it has become incumbent on us to initiate classroom dialogues and listen to the faltering, almost illegible, voices that speak from the shadowy social margins, that are in a constant struggle against invisibilisation.
  • Educational Institutions must be the centres of learning and development of intellectual temperament.
  • This involves not only sharing knowledge but also discussing their belief, whether social, religious or political, in a liberal manner.
  • The dissonance of knowing and being should be thoroughly maintained.