Relevance of Sri Aurobindo`s Thoughts on Education to Academic Administrators

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Relevance of Indian Philosophy

Relevance of Indian philosophical approach cannot be ignored or denied in the modern age. The spiritual framework reflected by different schools of Indian philosophical thought as well as by great Indian philosophers extends interesting inputs to enhance the quality of individual as well as social life. For instance, Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on life in general and on education in particular are not merely important to teachers or students but they are equally important to parents, academic administrators and to the society at large.

This article reflects upon the core responsibilities of the academic administrators and the necessity to train them to focus more upon the intangible in education for the benefit of the students. The article in the next issue will reflect upon a training programme designed for academic administrators based on Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on education.

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Academic Administrators –Core responsibilities

‘An academic administration is a branch of University or college employees responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the institution and separate from the faculty or academics although some personnel may have joint responsibilities.’1

The key responsibilities of an academic administrator are many. Some of the most important are as follows: Framing the academic annual plan, Admission work, Supervision of academic affairs (which includes evaluation of teachers’ role in teaching and executing academic programmes, students’ overall progress etc) , Library and Archives management, Public affairs (including relation with parents, community and the media).

Academic administration is perceived in diverse ways by different educational institutes in different countries.

The approach, attitude and commitment of academic administrators largely determine in direct or indirect ways the future of the students studying in the educational institution. It is thus essential to review the role performed by the educational administrator in this entire purpose.

The educational administrator should be trained to be positive, open, objective, and innovative. They should be oriented to be reflecting upon the intangible in education.

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Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on Education- focus on the intangible in education

Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on education focus upon the essence of the human mind, the training of the senses, and development of the mental and intellectual capacities. His thoughts emphasize upon the development of the pupils by giving them freedom to realize what is within.

The need of the hour is to help the students to grasp the essence of the capacities within. It is therefore essential to train educational administrators to understand the purpose of the same.

In the next article (in the next issue) –an attempt is made to extend a training programme for educational administrators based on the thoughts on education as viewed by Sri Aurobindo.

This will enable the educational administrators to be more empathetic and concerned about the welfare of the students. This will further encourage them to develop academic programmes and inspire teachers to address the same.

References
1. Wikipedia (Website: Online Encyclopedia)

The author is Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Mumbai.

Readers who have any queries or request for conducting guest talks or workshops on the above mentioned theme can write to the Author directly.

Also read
1. Characteristics of Indian Philosophy
2. India’s Rebirth by Sri Aurobindo