You have introduced progressive education model to Himalayan WhiteHouse School. So, what should we know about progressive education?
If you see quantum’s progressive education, it has a vast definition as there are many hands-on activities, but if you consider progressive education, it is something very dynamic, changing, and progressing. It’s not stagnant. It is neither based on textbooks nor does it stick to a certain topic. It is neither traditional nor stable. Therefore, progressive education is constantly growing for positive changes. It is not guided by a certain school of thoughts.
Although the essence of education is progressive in nature, how is the progressive education of today is different from the Gurukul education of the ancient time?
I would take you back to the ancient time of Hindu philosophy when children were sent to Gurukul for at least 14 years, and they would learn from their Gurus. There were no textbooks and notebooks as they used to learn in the lap of nature and managed all learning resources from nature, which is considered to have been the first progressive education.
If you say it’s British people who introduced progressive education, you’re wrong since they imitated the Hindu philosophy of activitybased education and modified it to the extreme level of modernization. They are the ones who brought system of education which promotes the same books and certain instructions given by instructors. Subsequently, after Europeans validated oriental education system and formulated a certain guideline, progressive system came back to the oriental countries with the Western hallmark.
How would you differentiate general education from progressive learning? What are the distinct features?
In traditional system, a teacher is the focal person of the class. A teacher instructs students and even students are motivated to dictate an essay. You cannot expect a teacher teaching 50 students in a class equally caring each student in a period of 45 minutes.
In the progressive education system, there is a small class size that accommodates as few as 25 students where the teacher can care for them and becomes a mere facilitator. A teacher is not at the center rather students come to the limelight. In other words, students decide how they are going to learn in the classroom.
On the contrary, a school with the art-of-the-state infrastructures, cutting-edge IT, ultra-modern science laboratories, futsal etc. cannot misguide the parents as a progressive school. In fact, progressive education enables learners to learn about the law of physics, team building, personal and social etiquettes while playing the outdoor games. But if students study Physics in the classroom memorizing law of motion, law of force and playing basketball and football separately without getting involved in activities, they are guided through traditional way of teaching and learning.
Progressive schools seem quite expensive; as a result, they are beyond the capacity of a majority of public. Why do you think students and guardians choose Himalayan WhiteHouse School for progressive education?
First of all, I would say education is something you shouldn’t compromise. Many Asian families save money for their children’s higher studies and want to see their children become engineers or doctors. But they should invest money in their holistic development which complements the traits of a human being. There are many engineers who are unemployed because they know physical engineering but lack human conscience. In this sense, what they have learnt is not applicable to other avenues besides construction projects. So, I believe children should be provided with holistic education which progressive education can foster.
If there were IB education system in my schooling time, I’m sure my parents would send me to an IB school even though I belonged to a middle-class family. Himalayan WhiteHouse School is not as expensive as you have heard of it. The fee structure is affordable even to a middle-class family, and it is cheaper as compared to other IB schools in Nepal. Himalayan WhiteHouse believes this kind of education is right of every child because every child deserves the best education.