Emerging Trend of Holistic Development- An Overview by Mona Verma

Global Village, the education has witnessed a paradigm shift from mere Classroom Teaching and Academics to Holistic Development, especially in developing nations like India, says Mona Verma

By Mona Verma

Mona VermaNurturing, Shaping and Development of a child to bring about the outcomes desired by parents and the society as a whole has always been the sole objective of Educational Institutions, however their techniques and methodology differs. Working primarily on Academic front and showing signs of improvement and development in grades brought many institutions into the category of elite haven for learning. But of late, the ambit of learning has spread its wings and not merely confined to academics as the only tool to measure the performance of a child. With the world rapidly turning into a single unit, as better known as Global Village, the education has witnessed a paradigm shift from mere Classroom Teaching and Academics to Holistic Development, especially in developing nations like India.

The strongly growing emphasis on Holistic Development, Overall Development, All-round Development and some related terms is quite evident from the communication sent out by the schools, particularly the upcoming contemporary ones. But the main questions that arise that why Holistic Development, the key elements of Holistic Development and how serious are the schools towards this concept in practice. The complete focus towards excellence at academics undoubtedly yielded effective results and paved way for promising career but unfortunately overlooked other aspects equally important and vital for real growth.  On the contrary, focus on holistic development is a deliberate and conscious attempt to prepare younger generations towards not only facing and handling issues at global platform but to have a positive outlook and tolerance towards different cultures, values, traditions, ethics and social norms existing across the globe.

We are discussing holistic development, but what are the key elements that help developing the overall personality of a child and how Educational Institutes are helping to achieve the objectives. . Of course, Academics still plays a pivotal role in Education System across the globe as it is one of the ways to explore the world. With advent of technology and innovative methods of teaching and learning, academics itself is not solely dependent on and confined to text books and theoretical knowledge. In fact academics through out-of-box methods of learning has become an important key element of Holistic Development. The schools, of late, have constituted separate teams to evolve different techniques of innovative and experiential learning methods. Academics gradually is coming out of the classrooms and taking form as a concept of Learning by Doing.

Besides that, Overall Development in true terms indicates towards imbibing of different attributes in the child to make him a better and responsible being. Sports, till a few years back was simply limited to games session and a way to rejuvenate the young brains following a simple saying ‘Healthy body has a healthy mind’. But slowly and gradually, sports has become one of the most effective ways not only to turn a child into healthy being but imbibe positive characteristics of team spirit, tolerance, balance, endurance and sportsman spirit which are needed the most in today’s competitive world where working in a diversified team is inevitable. In addition to this, range of sports has come up as a full-time career that offers both recognition and benefits, both in monetary and non-monetary terms.

Many Educational Institutes have realized this fact and growing need and the increasing role of sports in the growing years of children and the sincere initiatives taken and encouragement given by Educational Groups is commendable. Many schools have set-up in-house Sports Academies and many of them are manned and managed by experts and coaches from different parts of the globe. The elite Football Clubs like Barcelona, Manchester United are looking to India as the next destination for talent hunt.

A person without an understanding of Art and Literature is somewhat lacking at creative front. The feelings, emotions and inclination towards different form of arts like Dance, Music, Theatre, Painting and many more of diverse nature adds meaning and enhances the scope of thinking and performing in a creative manner. They add new perspectives to the life especially at the growing age and certainly help in becoming a better human.

Moreover, inculcating feeling of empathy towards all living beings, environment and surroundings makes a child more sensitive towards such issues of concern.  Many Educational Institutes have come forward and there is equal emphasis on such recreational activities to make the younger ones sensitive towards such form of arts, recreation and matters of global concern. During our times, the exposure was limited and so was the time to think and act about such genuine concerns like Environmental degradation. Of late, it has become an integral part of the routine and curriculum of majority of the schools. The steps taken are practical and pragmatic and hence have succeeded in increasing the level of participation and involvement of students in a big way and is simply not confined to classrooms and hence their exposure to such issues and form of arts make them sensible, better and responsible denizens of the Blue Planet Earth.

The boundary-less world has brought cultures from every nook and corner closer and the interaction has increased manifolds. The movement of people from different parts of the world related to work has surged and domination of MNCs, the teams working on different projects come from different social and cultural backgrounds and many of the team members face the problem of adjustments and working with cohesion. Educational Institutions of late, have taken certain appreciable steps to bridge this gap and have associated international exposure with learning.

Many Educational Institutions have gone ahead and take their students even to places like NASA, China and many countries across Europe. There are many such Educational Institutions that have launched Student Exchange Programs so that the children may get an opportunity of studying and learning with their counterparts from other parts of the world and learn things with a difference.

But one notable area of development worth mentioning and adulating is exposure to social concerns in the nation and across the world. During recent years, the Educational Institutions have taken steps to encourage the notion of imbibing the feeling of oneness and sense of belonging with the underprivileged sections of the society.

Here I would like to mention one of the adopted practices that I came across at one of the established Educational Institutions in India. Here the rag pickers are invited to the school twice in a month and they share classrooms, desks, study together and share meals as well. The same children from affluent families bring meals, blankets, books, stationery and uniform from home for their economically weaker counterparts and they only feel delighted about the fact that they are able to contribute their bit to the society in some form or the other and their feeling for weaker sections is genuine, long lasting and focused towards the welfare of masses.

Development in actual terms and sense is gradual welfare-oriented mechanism and carries a positive connotation. Educational Institutions, parents and the society as a whole shall keep working towards achieving the set objectives towards all-round development keeping in mind that this ever-ending regime requires constant focus and innovation in the approach to provide maximum exposure to the younger citizens of the globe.

Ms. Mona Verma is An Education Thinker and Edupreneur.




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