What are the principal objectives of education in India ?

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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.

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.”

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