Education and population growth
Education is an input fundamental to the success of economic development. In the last thirty years, primary education has increased three times, secondary education by six times and higher education by seven times.
The number of universities has increased from 19 in 1950 to 118 by 1981. Despite the increase in number of educational institutions and their intake capacity, the number of illiterates has also increased from 38 million in 1971 to 446 millions in 1981.
‘Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy.’ Illiteracy and ignorance hamper the successful functioning of democracy. Education enriches the human potential.
According to Prof. Kenneth Bounding, “From the social and cultural points of view, the development of human resources helps people lead fuller and richer lives, less bound to superstition and unscientific beliefs. In short, the process of human resources development unlocks the door to modernization.”
India seeks to establish an egalitarian society through constitutional ‘means. Education has a dynamic role to play by including right values, beliefs and attitudes in children, who are the future citizens.
They should be made aware of the trends in population growth, the gap between the available resources and increasing numbers, the negative effects of population growth on social and natural environment and the blessings of a small family.
Population Education is not a sophisticated name for family planning. It is not sex education, either. It expects the students to be sensitive to the problem of population explosion and how it affects the happiness and well-being of their future.
Goals of Population Education
Dr. Simmons observes “Population education holds promise not only as means of diffusing information about population problems more pervasively in a given country than can be done by the channels ordinarily available to family planning programmes, but as a means for bringing about the desired changes in attitudes, behaviours and values in the next generation (which is almost here).”
Dr. Sloan R. Wayland has given the following list of possible goals of Population Education for the individual’s own personal behaviour-pattern and attitudes:
Acceptance of the small family norm.
Understanding that the size of the family can be controlled.
Acceptance of marriage at a mature age as a desirable Pattern
Appreciation of the advantages of planning, including health and economic gains from spacing and limitation in total number of children, and of the health, education and other opportunities for children that may be more adequately provided for in the small family.