Authors: Mrs. Sushree Priyadarshanee Behera, Dr. Yudhisthir Mishra
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Education is a powerful agent of change, and improves health and livelihoods, contributes to social stability and drives long term economic growth. Like Tagore, Gandhi, Aurobindo, Vivekananda, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera is also a philosopher as well as educationalist. His contribution in the field of education is a milestone in the history of Odisha. His contribution towards Anthropology and Tribal Studies have the tremendous impact. His works and research studies are now selected for college and universities syllabus for respective subjects. He has really a great impact on every field such as anthropology, gender studies, children and childhood and tribal studies. Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, eminent Educationist, ace Anthropologist, able Administrator, and brilliant Author. In the view of Professor Behera education is the most prominent weapon to deal with every situation of life. The objectives of the present study entitled “Educational Contribution of Professor Deepak Kumar Behera” is to know his biography, his educational philosophy and relevance of his educational contribution to the present Indian situation. This qualitative research was conducted by direct interview method with Professor Behera. The conclusion of the research that Professor Behera’s educational system can develop an eminent and marvellous education system whose main aim to provide quality education to all irrespective their individual characters. The purpose of the study to educate every individual and which leads for a non-discriminatory society.
Professor Deepak Kumar Behera is belonging from Sambalpur District, Odisha and completed his education from CSB Zilla High School, Sambalpur, GangadharMeher College, Sambalpur and Sambalpur University respectively. He has two master’s degree from the subject Anthropology and Sociology. He has a Ph.D. degree in Anthropology. He was the Former VC of Berhampur University, BhanjaVihar& Sambalpur University, JyotiVihar and retarded from his job from Sambalpur University in last November 2020. Now he is working as VC of KISS, Bhubaneswar. He was a former Professor and Head of Anthropology Department in Sambalpur University & has 31 years of teaching experience. He has a total number of 141 Publications, and he was also the Former Chair Person of the IUAES Commission on Anthropology of Children, Youth and Childhood. His research interests are Children and Childhood, Tribal Studies, Anthropology of Development, Gender Studies, & Social Inclusion/Exclusion.
II. LIFE SKETCH OF PROFESSOR DEEPAK KUMAR BEHERA
Professor Deepak Kumar Behera was born in Sambalpur, Odisha in the year 1956. He had his schooling from C.S.BZilla High School, Sambalpur. He graduated himself from G.M. College (now G.M. University) in the year 1976. He graduated himself from G.M. College, Sambalpur with Botany (Hons). He borrowed some cricketing principles and started applying those to anthropology. Those are: hard work, determination, confidence, concentration and courage. This innovative strategy started paying off rich dividends to him eventually. He became the topper in his batch in the year 1978 and was awarded the University Gold Medal. Finally, the same subject anthropology helped him to gain recognition both at the national and international levels. Professor Behera has visited more than 25 countries through 43 overseas tours in different academic connections. Some of those countries are: USA, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, France, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, South Africa, Australia, Israel, Palestine, Japan, Singapore, Poland, South Korea, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, etc.
Professor Behera was a UGC Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Sambalpur University, for the period 1979-83. He did his doctoral research on the theme “Ethnicity and Social Interactions among the Christians of Western Odisha” under the supervision of Professor Satya Narayana Ratha, the then Professor and Head of the Department. A modified version of his thesis was published in the form of a book. He joined as a lecturer in the Department in 1895.
He became a Reader and then full-time Professor in the same Department of Anthropology, Sambalpur University, in the year 1992 and 2000 respectively. He was a former Professor and the Head of the Department of Anthropology, Sambalpur University, India for long 16 years. He served in various academic positions in the Department for more than 35 years.
Professor Behera had done extensive fieldwork among various tribes living in different remote areas of Odisha. He accompanied the post-graduate students to the field as many as 21 times. The strong fieldwork tradition of the Department of Anthropology, Sambalpur University, is well-known to the anthropologists in India and abroad. He was a student-friendly teacher. He had two-fold interest in teaching and research. Those are: (1) Tribal Studies and (2) Anthropology of Children, Youth and Childhood. Besides, he had made some contribution to anthropology of development and gender studies. Professor Behera could establish academically rewarding contacts with many Indian and overseas anthropologists. More than 300 overseas scholars and students visited the Dept. of Anthropology, Sambalpur University, under his dynamic leadership. The Department of Anthropology, SU signed MoUs with seven overseas department of Anthropology under the leadership of Professor Behera. Anthropology students and scholars from Europe, America, Africa, and Latin America visited the Department of Anthropology Sambalpur University under his initiatives.
III. MEANING OF EDUCATION
According to Professor Deepak Kumar Behera education is a board concept. In his views we think about the education it should not be time or space context as we travel to remote area pupils want life skill education as they want to settle in their own environment but when we come to the students of urban area, pupils want regular routine education. So education cannot be same for everyone. Education is a very vast term. In an indigenous aboriginal community teaching learning process begins at home from the beginning of childhood in an in-formal way. In so called civilized society now-a day education is confined to classroom and school atmosphere and education does not take place in a natural way and natural environment which is happening in case of a tribal child. The children of tribal people learn everything from the nature in a natural process and environment by themselves. And education should not be confined to the four walls rather than it should be gaining knowledge from the natural sources and environment in a natural process. So education is a life-long process and from each and every time we are learning something. Every person should learn something from his/her mistake and he/she should be a quick learner and education should not be confine to single person or object or time.
IV. AIM OF EDUCATION
According to Professor Behera the aim of education is making the concern person as a good human being at the end. If someone is not a good human being than his/her education is incomplete. Education helps the person to develop his knowledge, personality and behavior towards the society and nation. In the view of Professor Behera Education enables the mind to the find out the ultimate truth, which gives us the wealth of inner light and love and gives significance to life and it is the process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experiences. Education allows the students to think individually as well as enhance the life style of everyone including himself/herself, family, society and nation. Education should be broad in all aspects and look for all round development of the individual as well as its belongings. Education should not be confined to a single subject or area, rather than it should aim for Individual Aim (Cultural Aim, Character development Aim, Vocational Aim, Harmonious Development Aim, Citizenship Aim, Complete Living Aim, Self-expression Aim, Self-realization Aim, Spiritual Development Aim and Intellect & Emotional Development Aim), Social Aim and Moral Aim as well as all round development of the individual.
V. TEACHING LEARNING PROCESS AND EDUCATION
According to Professor Behera teaching learning process should be simple and interesting. Now-a-days the students’ lives are over-burdening and they are moving from infancy to direct adulthood without experiencing childhood because of the excessive load of study. They are over worked, over burden and over loaded. According to him education should not be monolog. Because of the loads of the vast curriculum, the teacher also does not get time to make his classroom situation more interactive and this is the job of the teacher to influence and facilitate the students for their study as well as co-curricular activities. As because the teacher are not interactives, there they are going wrong and for which the students are suffering to enjoy the classroom situation. Teacher have to facilitate the students to go for various co – curricular activities along with their study and make them prepare for the life lessons. In current situation the students are not even encouraged to deal with the life situation which make the life problems more critical and for which the students can not realise the actual scenario of life as they do not know how to raise questions also.
In today’s time the teaching learning process is a one-way process, which does not allow the students to ask question out of the syllabus and students are not allowed to participate in the learning process.
This results for the dropouts in the school which directly influence the education system in India and the mass percentage of illiterates increasing in numbers. Punishment is still in India, which is also a major problem. This results in number of dropouts because students are frightened to attend the classes. So present scenario the classroom situation is neither interactive nor effective. As the students are unable to relate their education with their daily life with their education they are losing interest for going school. So curriculum must have some relevant with the daily life situation of the students and the students must can utilize their knowledge out of the classroom situation.
VI. CURRICULUM AND EDUCATION
When coming to curriculum, according to the views of Professor Behera curriculum should not have any load on the students. According to Professor Behera Education system should be focused on selecting small course curriculum and go in-depth to that rather than focusing on large course curriculum with no goals. Also in his views teachers are also over-burden with lots of extra works including curricular and co-curricular activities and they are doing everything other than their basic duty that is teaching. They hardly get time to prepare lesson plans and to prepare themselves for delivering a lesson. This load on teachers also impact highly on the education system of India.
The education department is responsible for this, because for a teacher it is important to teach rather than doing all other stuffs. So the education department should ensure that the teachers are getting enough time to teach and the children should get enough time to learn and the learning should be interactive learning rather than one-way process.
Curriculum should enrolled some topics related to the live experiences such as Agriculture, Arts and Drawings, Crafting and others. Also the curriculum should utilize the local examples instead of International, so that students can directly relate their life experience with their study. This is the duty of the administration as well as policy makers to understand the real life situation of the students and plan the curriculum and syllabus. The curriculum should be contextualized and time and space are very important. We should not ignore the real dimensions of curriculum, otherwise even we cannot able to understand the students’ interests and goals.
VII. EDUCATION AND EVALUATION
So, according to Professor Behera feedback mechanism is very much important for monitoring mechanism. Children are the most important part of the education system and students should give their opinions and feedback in every part of education for a well-managed system. They should give feedback in the teaching-learning process, course curriculum and also the punishments. So according to him the students should participate in every act of education. “How can a teacher avail interest in the students?” or “Is the teaching-learning process is enough for all the students to understand the concept?” Such questions should be asked and children should give their feedback in all the aspects.
This feedback situation is very poor in our education system and results for an unsystematic development of overall education system. For which the system should keep a suggestion and complain box in the school and allow every students to give their feedback on any matter of their study and school. Also we can have the children’s parliament in the school where all the school is managed and run by the students under the supervision and guidance of the teachers and administration. This enhance the leadership quality, group-working, managing and all other hidden qualities of the students. This also allow the students to participate in the school management system which directly enhance their personalities. So in the view of Professor Behera children should be involve more and more in the decision making process and their talents should be identified. Each child is unique in his/her own way and this give them confidence to do something better. Teachers and parents should discover and nourish these talents and avail the platforms to them to show their talents and personalities.
VIII. ADMINISTRATION AND EDUCATION
According to Professor Behera educational administration is a system of proper utilization of workforce and materials for effective and well-organized teaching and learning in schools and colleges. They can act as a link between the teachers and the management. They can handle the infrastructural needs of the institution and pay better attention towards financial management. They can build a positive relationship with the community and strengthen parent-institution relationship. Administrators should assess the feedback from the students about their teachers in a more dispassionate manner and work towards improving it. Administrators are leaders who should take pride in their strategic planning, tremendous support in every sector, respect for the education system, including faculty, students, parents, and school board members. Administration should understand and utilize the actual talents of learners as well as provide them all type of support and stabilities to enhance their inherent talents.
IX. TEACHER AND EDUCATION
Also according to Professor Behera the teachers should maintain the quality of themselves. They should not be biased to any students and the process of teaching- learning process should be same for all the students. It’s the duty of the teachers that no students should be feel any kind of biasness and education should be equal for all the learners in all situation even if outside of the classroom. So those who are managing the systems they should go for in-depth analysis and understand the real situation of both the teachers and students to maintain the quality of education and where they gone wrong that should be analysed. In current scenario we are checking this in technical or mechanical way for which the output is not fruitful.
X. STUDENT AND EDUCATION
According to Professor D. K Behera the education should be student centric and the students should be at the centre stage. But in our country it is still teacher centric and education is only bound to textbook truth. For the students they do not want to learn beyond textbook and the textbook is the ultimate truth for all the knowledge.
This also results for that children’s voice remain unheard. This might think for the unknowing, responsibility, rational and dignity of the students and children are rational being with their own right and dignity. Therefore it is very much important to treat the human being with their own rights, by which children can be rational and competent. Like the parents are knowing about the technology from their children and this enhances the interest of the students to perform and know better in technology platform. But in case of education system of India children are being treated as irrational and non-competent which directly impacts on the dignity of the students.
Professor Deepak Kumar Behera is an eminent Educationalist, an eminent Anthropologist, an efficient Administrator & an outstanding Academician. So, this study will help all the Students, Teachers, Educationalists, Administrators, Academician, Anthropologists, Policy makers, Curriculum Developer & Stake Holders in their respective fields. So this study is aimed for the contribution of Professor Deepak Kumar Behera in the field of education which will help many people in their respective fields. Professor Behera educational philosophy denotes for student centered education where children learn beyond the textbook with all equity and equality. In the view of Professor Behera Education enables the mind to the find out the ultimate truth, which gives us the wealth of inner light and love and gives significance to life and it is the process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experiences. Children are the most important part of the education system and students should give their opinions and feedback in every part of education for a well-managed system. Professor Behera’s educational system can develop an eminent and marvelous education system whose main aim to provide quality education to all irrespective their individual characters. The purpose of the study to educate every individual and which leads for a non-discriminatory society.
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