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!
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