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Mentor Mag

OmniDel

It is, a fact, that children are passing out   of primary schools but not, all of them, are capable of  numeracy  and  literacy  skills. Is it because education and training are not resulting in a change at all? For, the last few decades, enough attention has been paid on practical training of learning in topics taught in schools, wherever, possible. Then, why are the outcomes not so pleasing? Ample amount of research and data is available on the lack of learning, knowledge, learning techniques and attaining mastery. The current scenario in classes is that education and learning do not tend to be permanent. Students deal with matter, however, they are not wholly involved in it – they are expected to achieve when they have been exposed to learning only at the mental level – without involving the other aspects of their personality. Consequently, learning becomes a tedious process. Remembering taught matter, thus becomes impossible. In the absence of involvement of all parts of our personality  in any instructional process, the knowledge acquiring process itself, becomes, difficult.

This writing is an attempt to share a model of learning and development called the ‘OmniDEL’ method – the innovation by a very modern, dynamic, progressive thinker and practitioner – Shri Sourabh J. Sarkar. Shri Sarkar’s ideas on education have the capability of permeating any domain of work and seem to be the way forward and an answer to all our problems in education and serve as an inspiration to many, on thoughts and practices concerning education. The message of the thought behind developing this and many other such techniques is that KarmYog is only a map and we ourselves, are its territory. It is to familiarise us with the idea that the greatest satisfaction that one can experience, is when one engages in ‘seva’, or selfless service without an expectation of a reward or benefit.

The ‘OmniDEL’ technique may  perhaps  be a solution to classroom engagement issues, since it has the power to heighten, involvement  of  the  learners  and  also  has the potential to keep the learner constantly engaged, in the process.

The highlights of the  technique  include engaging the learner in all the personality dimensions, simultaneously, using multimedia, technology and devices. It  takes  into  consideration the processes from  jagaran  (wake- up) till a habit is inculcated without neglecting the triachic blend of wisdom(prajna), skilfulness(kaushal) and dedication(sadhana). This methodology enables each individual to attain excellence coupled with the power to enable learners become adaptable, creative beings, harnessing a capability in them to flash their strengths and weaknesses.

The main ideas included in OmniDEL are that the learner needs to be involved omni-dimensionally, that  is, the physical, pranic (energy), mental and spiritual aspects need to be all engaged, simultaneously, in the process of education. Secondly, all the devices, media and technology need to be integrated in the process. Third, the individual in this technique experiences a high, which enables one to sustain oneself through the learning acquisition process. The working of this methodology therefore, requires the introduction of activities involving the – head, heart and hand in the process of acquisition of learning. The involvement of all these aspects of an individual in any knowledge acquiring process, aids learning and fosters development.

A further insight into the display of this technique can be found from  the  areas of enrichment in which ‘OmniDEL’ is being utilised. So far, the training of music has enchanted individuals for many years, only to find at the end of it, that one may not be fit for a concert performance, or, for a, career in it. While this technique is used, the learner finds himself/herself in sync and in harmony with the knowledge that is being shared with him, since all his senses and all aspects of his personality are channelized into this one aspect being taught. This training has led to the development of a step-wise movement towards the goal of music, thereby resulting in the learner being fully involved and engaged in the learning process. The programming of instruction, enables a learner to receive feedback on one’s performance and proceed, accordingly.

Another  example  of  the   usage   of ‘OmniDEL’ is in the  training  of  our stewards, drivers, to become better individuals, again with the involvement of all the four aspects of one’s being. Several leading business houses, by adopting this technique, have justified its, use. The philosophy is not to amass wealth and other material goods, rather to build a synergy through which we can help learners learn more effectively. The highlighting feature of the ‘OmniDEL Green Village’ project thus, is that an actual attempt has been made for inclusion, in all respects. This model of growth, in society, has become an icon for others and has brought accolades to the educationalist.

We need new ideas in the teaching space to engage learners and having used this model personally, I feel it is workable and very effective. I would not hesitate to  write, that throughout the modern times in education we have tried to make education learner-centred. The ‘OmniDEL’ technique in this century gives us a suitable and new solution, fulfilling the learner-centric goal of education. The hallmark of the ‘OmniDEL’ strategy is that the differences in the pupils are made visible easily, and if a change, does not happen because of learning, then, also it is, noticeable. Consequently, there   is no question of being misguided or not being able to decipher one’s capability for a particular occupation. Since, all aspects of an individual are involved in the process of education there, is no doubt, that the learners would be engaged throughout the transaction of the curriculum.

As an individual, who has used ‘OmniDEL’ both at the undergraduate and with the teacher-trainees, albeit on rare occasions, I can, without doubt vouch for its lasting, impact. I have witnessed it, creating a huge impact in terms of encoding, retention and retrieval of subject matter. Need we  ask for more? I’m hugely, confident that with the technique’s  proper  usage  and  with  a true understanding of  it,  the  scenario  of education can only, become better. Personally, I can see light at the end of the tunnel!

Reference

State Plan of Action for Children (2014-2018), Department of Child Development and Women Development & Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal, 2014.

Wood Kay, Education The Basics, Routledge, London & New York, 2015.

Bagjola canal banks turn into green oasis. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31812&articlexml=Bagjola-canal-banks-turn-into-green-oasis-28112015002018

About the Author /

Dr. Neeta Dang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education and B.Ed., Loreto College, Kolkata and has been teaching for the past twenty years. She believes that it is high time that the lamp of humanism is lit, by one and all to tide over smoothly in achieving all the aims that we have set for ourselves and the society. This very idea is the bedrock of the immense work that happens at KarmYog Foundation, a learning solutions foundation based in Kolkata. In this piece to MENTOR, Dr. Dang shares excerpts of the OmniDel technique which may be helpful in engaging the whole class. The technique is one amidst the monumental activities, goals and aspirations that form the basis of this organisation.

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