Children are born with a profound desire and capacity to learn. They learn with joy and enthusiasm once their intrinsic tendency to make sense of the world is excited. The primary aim of schooling should be to draw upon this valuable capacity in the young, and offer learning that makes them truly empowered to make sense of life around and ahead of them.
Without such larger goals of teaching-learning, extrinsic motivators like marks, rewards and punishments, future careers, and adult ambitions often work in conflict with the child’s natural tendencies, and damage whatever is the most valuable in a growing human. Add all this to the extreme social deprivation faced by a large section of our children, and we destroy our most valuable resource for future, namely, the potential of our young.
The Foundation believes learning science empowers a human to decipher the world nature gifted her as the most fundamental basis of life she is going to lead, and gives her the critical capacity to sift true understanding from the misinformation surrounding her. In a world getting increasingly complex and chaotic, the capacity for thinking critically and responsibly is the only hope for survival of the individual human, as well as of the human race. Science and technology provide very potent tools to humans, which can be used constructively or for destruction. Knowledge of these must be accompanied by understanding this power, and its responsible uses, towards humanity and the environment.
Teaching-learning of science has to be also with a lot of observation and experimentation with actual phenomena, and should bring out the great fascination of discovering how the world functions. Reducing science learning to memorization and only chalk-and-talk is great disservice to understanding of nature. Not only science teaching should have lots of hands-on activities and concrete experiences, but enough questions, inquiry, analysis and discussions that lead towards the formal understanding humanity built for itself over the millennia. The new generation, as inheritors of this great legacy, has the right to this gift of understanding, as well as the mandate to refine what the previous generations built and how they used it. Passing this baton with sensitivity and gratitude is the sacred responsibility of the current towards the future.