On the occasion of 72nd Independence Day, we bring opinions from educationists on Education in Independent India - successes, challenges and opportunities. NexSchools wishes all of you best wishes on Independence Day and reaffirms commitment to spreading awesomeness in education and parenting by introspecting and informing.
“Education Means Independence and Independence Means Liberty.”
‘The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.’ This is what great Rabindranath Tagore meant about the purpose of true education, long before independence. Even Vivekanand Ji dreamt about liberal education much before our country’s independence, but the irony is that the sole purpose of education is yet to be achieved. The meaning and purpose of education have been distorted at various levels knowingly and/or unknowingly. So far, so many policies, techniques, systems and guidelines have been passed, proposed, implemented and imposed; and a lot of work has been done towards equality, rights, girl education, reservation and unemployment but a few major problems are still prevalent in education in independent India.
"The question is: Are we truly independent and have we understood the true meaning of education?"
In the constitution of India 1950, education is made the fundamental right for all. The constitutional pledge to provide free and compulsory education for all the children of India remains a distant goal for the twenty-first century.
Our education system is striving hard to achieve it but it has flaws and failed to meet the basic objectives completely. Here no one, in particular, has to be blamed. The system, institutes, teachers, parents, society and the environment surrounding the child, all the stakeholders are responsible.
Technology has made things easy and the world has become a small place to dwell and connect. Information is provided within no time and there is the easy accessibility of solutions to problems but this may have become an obstacle in generating new knowledge.
Youth makes nearly 65% of the Indian population and unfortunately, the majority of youth is distracted, indecisive, dependent and misguided. Their dependency on electronic gadgets, lack of time management, inability to manage relationships with family and friends etc add up to the problems. In India, education is attained for earning the livelihood and not for mastering life skills. Hence it is stressful, focusing on grades and performance instead of purposeful learning for life.
Here comes the role of parents and teachers in educating the child, the two main pillars in the life of a child.
Parents claim to give freedom to their children and tend to provide all sorts of facilities, material but they fail to understand that they require something else which can’t be gauged. The virtues like trust, compassion, empathy, dedication and love have to be acquired by a child from home since his birth and then continued in school education. Education is not for life; education is life itself so it is an ongoing process throughout.
Teachers prepare them to compete with others but students fail to compete with their own self during adversity. Education is not a way to escape poverty (problem); it is a way of fighting it. We have to make them the fighters and not the escapist.
There have been a lot of changes in the education system after independence which were surely instrumental in improving the society. The government has designed policies to uplift citizens, empower women, reform education and create awareness about general issues. A number of campaigns are run for cleanliness, hygiene, the physical and mental health of the individuals.
All efforts go in vain if we fail to inculcate strong value systems in the students. We have forgotten that before belonging to any particular caste, religion or gender, we all are humans and the main difference between man and human is education. It is the education only which makes us superior to other animals. Hence education is not all about making people rich and successful but letting them understand the difference between human beings and being human.
We can truly accomplish the goal of education when children’s voices will be heard; they will be set free to make decisions and would be enabled to own the responsibilities.
“Freedom comes with responsibility. Parents and teachers have to maintain the balance of providing freedom to children and teaching them to be responsible and respectful towards their nation, elders and themselves.”
Education means independence and independence means liberty.
On occasion of Independence Day, lets us all remind ourselves the sacrifice of freedom fighters and unconditional service of leaders towards the betterment of the nation. With deep gratitude in heart, peace in mind and compassion in our actions, may we all redefine our personal constitution of actions so as to bring our nation, India as a global leader.