The Education Commission (1964-66), said that the development of values such as a scientific temper of mind, tolerance, respect for the culture or other national groups, etc., will enable us to adopt democracy, not only as a form of government, but also as a way of life.
This clearly shows that in a democratic country like India the first and the foremost goal of education should be development of democratic values.
Indian democracy is made by the people who profess different religions, speak different languages, belong to different races, castes, classes and communities, keeping in mind these and several other characteristics of Indian democracy following should be the most appropriate goals of education:
1. Development of Democratic Values in the People
These values apart from those given above include a spirit of large-hearted tolerance, of mutual give and take, of the appreciation of the ways in which people differ from one another.
No education is worthwhile if an educated man does not translate these values in his behavior and no democracy in that case can survive for long. Hence, education has to make deliberate and planned effort on development of these values in the people.
2. National Integration
It means harmonizing religions, language, caste, and class and community differences as they exist in India causing social tensions. It is essential that the people of India in spite of these differences live peacefully and cooperatively and utilize their varied talents for the enrichment of the national life as a whole.
Education through various programmes and tailored curricula should make efforts to develop in the people such attitudes and values. It is difficult but possible.
These changes include realizing the importance of knowledge and education, learning various social skills, developing scientific attitude, computer literacy considering science and technology important, and so on.
The Commission (1964) said that, “The most important tool in the process of modernization is education based on science and technology.” But, the Commission, further said “Modernization, if it is to a living force must derive its strength from the strength to spirit”
The Secondary Education Commission (1952-53), has formulated three social or national aims of education. These are:
1. Development of democratic citizenship.
2. Improvement of vocational efficiency.
3. Development of leadership which means training pupils for discharging their duties efficiently.
Ishwar Bhai Patel Committee (1977) also reiterated the importance of development of citizenship as a social or national goal of education.
The Adiseshiah Committee Report (1978) formulated the following goals to be achieved through education:
1. Removal of unemployment.
2. Removal of destitution, i.e., poverty.
3. Rural Development.
4. Adult literacy.
All these foregoing aims are social or national objectives to be achieved through education. They are the tasks completion of which is imperative for strengthening the society. These aims have been discussed here with special reference to India. Hence, they may be considered national goals of education or educational aims of national development.
Our schools should develop a strong tradition of striving to generate a sense of national unity and national consciousness, in the pupils. This can be achieved as suggested by the National Commission on Education (1964-66), by (i) making pupils understand and revaluate our cultural heritage and (ii) by the creation of a strong driving faith in the future towards which we aspire.
The first may be promoted by well-organized teaching of the language and literature, philosophy, religion and history of India as well as by introducing the students to Indian architecture, sculpture, painting, music, dance and drams.
Faith in future would involve an attempt to bring home to the students the principles of the Constitution, the great human values contained in preamble of the constitution.
3. Development of Physical Resources
It is through the modernization of agriculture and rapid industrialization should also be an important aim of education in a democracy like India.
To achieve this purpose education should be linked with productivity, science should be made a basic component of education, work- experience should be considered important, vocational education should be expanded, scientific and technical education should be improved.
4. Development of Human Resources
It should be considered still more crucial an aim of education in Indian democracy. This aim implies changes in the knowledge, skills, interests, and values of the People as a whole.
In a democracy the individual is an end in him and the primary purpose of education should be to provide him with the widest opportunity to develop his potentialities to the full, through social reorganization and emphasis on social perspectives.
Cultivation of essential values in the people, development of dedicated and competent leadership and educated electorate are essential for strengthening democracy. Education, therefore, must develop such human resources needed for the defense of Indian democracy.
5. Development of Social, Moral and Spiritual Values
In a democratic country like India it is inevitable to inculcate social, moral and spiritual values in the people. Knowledge in the absence of essential values may be dangerous.
The success of democracy, its strength and stability are contingent upon people’s developed sense of social responsibility and a keener appreciation of moral and spiritual values hence, education must make efforts on developing these values in the people.
Nehru in his Azad Memorial Lectures (ICCR, 1962) said “Material riches without toleration and compassion and wisdom may well turn to dust and ashes.”
The provisions of Education in Indian Constitution
Education for democracy in India
Democracy in India
India is not merely a modern democratic state but a country which is traditionally inclined towards democracy. A democratic constitution was adopted after independence. In 1938, Jawahar Lai Nehru had said, “The Indian Constitution seeks to establish a popular government in the country on the basis of democratic principles outlined earlier.
For this every citizen must participate in the administration, through his right to vote and to be elected. Every individual is guaranteed and given equal status and opportunity, because no one is discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste, community, sex, or on any other grounds. The government is responsible to the people and its elected representatives.”
Provisions in Indian Constitution
In order to achieve this objective of democracy, education is as necessary in India as anywhere else, a truth which the Indian people have been quick to realize. In the words of F.W. Themes, “Education is no exotic in India.
There has been no country where the love of learning had so early an origin or has exercised so lasting and powerful an influence.
From the simple poet of the Vadic age to the Bengali philosopher of the present day there has been an uninterrupted succession of teachers and scholars.” Not only did the Indian constitution accept the ideals of democracy, it considered education the prime responsibility of the state.
In Article 45 of the Constitution it has been stated that every state must arrange for the provision of free and compulsory education to all children upto the age of 14, within ten years of the date of inception of the Constitution.
After the achievement of independence, a new phase began in the history of education. Articles 29 and 30 of the constitution give fundamental rights to every individual in connection with education and cultural development.
According to article 20, every Indian national living in any part of India will have the right to maintain his own specific language, script and his culture.
No person can be refused right of admission to any educational institution, established by the state, by reason of religion, race, caste, language or any other similar consideration.
According to article 30, every minority community will have the right to establish and maintain educational institutions of its own choice, irrespective of whether the minority is a linguistic or religious one.
The state will also not refuse aid to any saucy institution created by a religious or linguistic minority. Articles 45 and 46 determine the policy for education as part and parcel of the directive principles.
According to article 45, the state will make every effort to provide free and compulsory education, within ten years, to every child below the age of 14.
According to article 46, the stage will pay special attention to the educational and economic interests of all backward classes, especially the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. It also entrusts the state with the duty of protecting such tribes from social injustice and exploitation of every kind.
The Indian Constitution laid the foundation for a federal government in which the functions of the state government have some duties with respect to education.
It has been realised that there must be coordination between the central and state authority on education for a balanced development of the country. The modern Indian state is a welfare state whose objective is the complete development of its people.
This welfare can be achieved only through education. Little surprise therefore if all the leaders of the nation stress the importance of education as a first step to improving the future of the nation.
The democratic ideals which the existing educational policy is trying to achieve have been outlined most precisely in the Secondary Education Commission’s explanation of the objectives of education:
1. Development of Democratic Citizenship
The success of democracy depends largely upon the people’s awareness of their rights and duties and the extent to which people fulfill their responsibilities. Education aims at developing this ability in the people, because education teaches the man to think and distinguish between right and wrong.
He can understand social, economic and political issues, and reflect on the possibility of solving such problems. He can decide upon the political party or the leadership which should be entrusted with the task of forming a government and undertaking administration.
He does this after thinking on the problems facing the country and considering the ability of each group or leader to face such problems. He can express his ideas and suggestion through lectures, essays, articles, etc.
He can organize new movements or constitute various kinds of committees to solve the problems facing the country. It is the duty of the state to insist upon a syllabus which can be expected to generate such democratic awareness among the children being educated.
2. Training in Skilful Living
Democracy can be said to have succeeded only if it translate the democratic ideals to its society. And, for this, socialization of the individual through education is essential.
It is desirable to develop such social qualities as collective feeling, cooperation, discipline, tolerance, sympathy, brotherhood, etc., in the individual. Education must also aim to create faith in social justice and the willingness to rebel against injustice.
Education helps people in adjusting to each other, and the educated individual is generally tolerant and liberal. Although he may differ from other people in their opinions, he has the ability to adjust to such people because he can understand their attitudes.
Hence, education is the only means of removing the obstacles in the path of democracy and also of achieving some adjustment between people who differ from each other in respect of language, race, caste, religion, sixe, etc.
3. Development Vocational Skill
The Secondary Education Commission has pointed out that another aim of education is to develop some vocational skill in the educand. No nation can progress in the absence of economic progress.
The first duty of the state is to provide a system and means of education which imparts some vocational and professional skills to the educand so that they can earn their livelihood at the same time as they contribute to the nation’s economic growth.
The country urgently needs skilled craftsmen, engineers, doctors, teachers and administrators. For this, specialized colleges are required. Every child should be given the right to choose a profession of his own liking, and he should be given the opportunity to acquire the highest training and education in this profession.
4. Development of Personality
The success of a democratic society also depends upon whether mature men and women form the majority or minority in its population. Democracy can succeed only if most of its members have developed mature personalities, because a mature person has gone through physical, mental, social, ethical and spiritual development.
Hence, education should aim at the development of all aspects of the educand’ personality through various kinds of training. Keeping this in view, most schools and colleges now provide many kinds of extracurricular training, which supplements all that is taught as part of curriculum.
5. Developing Leadership
The success of a democracy depends upon the capabilities of the leadership. The democratic government is a decentralized government, and for that reason it requires skilled leadership at many different levels of administration.
The democratic government is run by the elected representatives of the people, who should be possessed of special qualities. Expert leadership is required for development and progress in every sphere-political, social, economic, artistic, scientific and cultural.
Education should aim at evolving such leadership, because without doing this education cannot make any real contribution to democracy, for then it is leaving unfulfilled one of its important responsibilities. The element of leadership can be encouraged through many kinds of curricular and extracurricular activities in schools and colleges.
Apart from these objectives of education laid down specifically by the Secondary Education Commission, it is desirable to reflect upon some other objectives, which have significance in view of the fact that India is a democracy.
In fact, the aims of education vary a little bit with the level of education-the primary, secondary and university education-a fact which has been recognized by the different education commissions established from time to time.
The ‘aim of education, at the primary level, is to develop the child’s mind by presenting the fundamental elements in the various areas of knowledge, and also to give him an opportunity to develop all his abilities-physical, mental, moral, motor, creative imagination, etc.
At this stage attention should be paid to physical development no less than mental development, but attention must also be paid to the burden such an education places on the child. The education imparted should not become a burden.
At the secondary level, attention should be focused on discovering the interests and abilities of every adolescent, and then developing such abilities. Education should be concerned not merely with the general welfare of society but also with the self-realization and personal development of each individual.