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Classroom equity: Creating educational equality

Everything that happens in the society is a consequence of human actions. Even though it may seem like a roundabout route, any effort to build a brighter future must begin with a change within human beings themselves.

The way we distinguish our own lives is also the way we distinguish the lives of others. When we have a sense of our own dignity, we recognize the dignity of others and value their lives too. The most fundamental way to achieve peace and happiness is to help people around the world to the greatest extent to reveal the treasure of inherent dignity in their lives.

No epidemic or any other cause is worth depriving students of their right to education. Teachers should not be masters who offer themselves as paragons, but enablers who guide students towards achieving their goals.

It is important that we afford students the highest respect as individuals in their own right. Helping students grow requires total commitment on our part. There is a fine adult inside every child. We need to direct our voices to that inner adult. We must never treat children in a dismissive or condescending manner, assuming they won’t understand and thinking its okay not to fully explain things.

We must believe in students’ immense potential, and strive to develop their innate capacities as well as our own. The more we broaden our own minds, the more we can inspire and foster the students. That is why our growth is indispensable to our efforts to help others grow.

We, at IILM University, Gurugram believe in our students, trust them unconditionally and encourage them to grow and excel professionally as well as personally. We believe in providing immeasurable source of support and encouragement to them. Our effort to provide Liberal Education gives our students the flexibility, knowledge and wisdom to pursue their passion.

Fostering students contributes to our own growth. Teaching students makes us wiser. Learning together with our students and advancing together with them is a path of lifelong youthfulness, giving us fresh perspectives and vitality.

Liberal Arts Education: Door to Creativity, Happiness and Bright Future

Liberal Arts Education has become a buzz word in India from past couple of years. More and more parents and students are inquisitive about it and also showing positive inclination towards the same. Liberal world holds its origin in a roman word ‘liberalis’ which means freedom, hence, simply freedom to pursue the choice of discipline can be called as liberal arts. The term liberal arts originated in Europe however it was American Universities which make the concept not only popular but also successful. In fact, the liberal education brought many American Universities in limelight and on top spot in world university rankings. The Indian higher education was focused on Job driven unidirectional studies where focus was on ‘what to learn’ than ‘how to learn’. However, thanks to the fast changing world dynamics and need of multi facet skills, this trend is changing and driving Indian Higher Education system to embrace liberal arts education with arms wide open.

Is liberal Education new to India?

Before answering the question lets understand Liberal Arts Education. In the words of John Henry Newman, “The purpose of a Liberal Arts education is to open the mind, correct it, to refine it, to enable it to know and to digest, master, rule, and use its knowledge, to give its power over its own faculties, application, flexibility, method, critical exactness, sagacity, resource, address, and eloquent expression”.

If we read the above expression in depth then we understand that Liberal arts education had wide presence in ancient Indian universities like Nalanda and Takshila. Students studying in these esteemed Universities were imparted simultaneously knowledge in the field of grammar, philosophy, ayurveda, surgery, politics, warfare, astronomy, commerce, music, dance, and much more. The students were taught right blend of skills and subjects which were important to contribute in civic life.

Despite having strong educational past; during colonial era India was forced to adopt fixed curriculum model set up by British Education System. Also the greedy aspirations for professional degrees liberal education took back seat from main stream academia.

The Changing Paradigm

There is a pressing need for people to learn and enhance their creativity along with analytical skills and be a path finder in rapidly changing environment. The fast paced technological transformations and disruptions and challenges of degrading physical and social environment put forth the demand for leaders and scholars with deep sense of imagination, analytics and creativity.

Liberal arts education broadens the minds and understands the scenarios from diverse perspectives rather than being a conservative. It lights up the intellectual curiosity which fosters knowledge creation in subjects ranging from arts and humanities, social sciences to the natural and applied sciences.  Liberal education inculcates problem solving and critical analysis skills which are much desirable in corporate world as well as in daily civic life. A sufficient emphasis on liberal arts education help us to tackle practical problems of this century and also provide our current and future generations a chance of freedom of knowledge and a way of living happy.

Who are making efforts?

Since 2015 Indian government decided to invest more in research universities, in social sciences and liberal education so that world ranking of Indian Universities can improve. Taking the initiative of the government forward private universities took charge to address the challenge and creating inter-disciplinary curriculum which are globally bench marked. However, very few have moved in this direction. IILM University situated in the heart of corporate Gurugram is centering interest in Liberal Arts education and aiming at inter-disciplinary education. IILM University has created the curriculum focusing on technology, psychology, business, design, communication skills, critical thinking and academic writing. The best part is, these courses are well aligned to the demand of the market. The extensive major and minor combinations open multiple career options. In all, liberal education not only shape career of the students but also creates informed and happy citizens.

Editorial : Embracing Liberal Education for Lifelong Learning

In our rapidly changing global economy, with millennials averaging five to seven career changes in a lifetime, one could argue that a Liberal Arts Education may be more valuable than ever before. We are entering a workforce and society where having knowledge in just one field will not suffice. Gaining knowledge in a range of topics not only helps students to be well rounded in their skills, but also in their thinking. Liberal Arts Education provides multiple viewpoints and allows for educational opportunities that cannot be obtained from traditional mode of learning. The essence of Liberal Education is not what you study but the result – gaining the ability to think critically and independently and to write, reason, and communicate clearly – the foundation for all professions. The aim of Liberal Education is to produce people who continue learning after their formal education has ceased. It is to produce people who think and question, and know how to find answers when they need them. A Liberal Education is one that exposes students to a broad range of intellectual approaches and content, and prioritizes critical thinking and problem solving over content acquisition.

At IILM University Liberal Arts Education covers a vast cross section of knowledge – not only can students dominate trivia contests but also be agile enough to thrive in a complex, diverse, and fluid society. Besides major-specific knowledge, we cultivate skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and written communication that transform students into lifelong learners. We back our commitment to students lifelong success by continuously making connections between students’ studies and highly valued real-world skills. IILM promotes the values of excellence in education, free inquiry and expression, social responsibility, ethical behavior, appreciation of differences, and a joy of learning about the world around us. Further it strives to prepare students for a lifetime of personal growth and responsible citizenship in this rapidly changing society by enhancing student’s abilities to reason critically and communicate effectively