EDUCATION IN INDIA
Education is an important activity in society. It gives an opportunity to man to understand the world around him and his place in it. In ancient times, nature was a complete mystery to man. He could not comprehend the dark forces of nature and had to depend upon the existence of supernatural powers. It led to the growth of religion and ‘superstition with the passage of time, the man started developing various kinds of tools to cope with nature. This led to the growth of natural sciences and the laws of social development or social sciences.
Knowledge and understanding come to us through the study of natural sciences (Chemistry, Physics, Biology, etc.) and social sciences (History, Economics, Political Science, etc.). The primary function of education is the acquisition, interlinking, and transmission of this knowledge and understanding. It enables us to understand and improve the working of the society so as to create conditions of a better life for all. It means that education has a social purpose (the proper organization of the society).
Education in India is primarily the responsibility of state governments. Our constitution also entrusts the Union Government with certain responsibilities. Most of the educational development plans are formulated and implemented with the assistance of the Central Government. The Central Government is responsible for the running of central schools, some other similar Institutions, and central universities in different parts of the country. The promotion of the education of the weaker sections is also the special responsibility of the Union Government.
The Kothari Commission on education was appointed in 1964 to advise the Union Government on a national pattern and development of education. The government formulated a national policy on education which was largely based on its recommendations e.g. free and compulsory education up to the age of 14, three language formula, development of education for agriculture and industry and investment of 6 percent of national income on education, etc. The Education Commission had also suggested a uniform pattern of 15 years duration leading to the first degree (10 + 2 + 3). Many states have introduced a new pattern. Diversification of courses takes place at the +2 stage.
Most of the states have introduced free education for children in the age group 6-14. Girl students and children belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes get special benefits in certain states. Vocational and technical education is provided at schools and higher levels. The I.T.l’s, and the junior technical schools also prepare the students for employment or for the engineering trades. Some prevocational training centers are also being conducted on an experimental basis. five National institutions provide facilities for higher levels of education and research in engineering and technology. There are also engineering colleges, university departments, technological institutions and polytechnics providing facilities for specialized courses in collaboration with the industry.
India, at present, is in a position to meet the technical manpower requirements of not only its own industries but also export technical personnel abroad.
But it is a pity that teachers in India are not well paid. As a result, they have to hanker for material benefits and fail to develop a missionary spirit. They should make all-out efforts in causing the harmonious development of the students by increasing their fluency, flexibility, and originality. This would inspire them to be disciplined through will power. Modern education has not yet accepted the concept of learning through action or productivity. The examinations test only the cramming capacity and backward thinking. There is a dire need for vocationalization of education from the secondary stage.
The academic performance should also be punctuated with physical standards and sports achievements. Stadia and gymnasia should also be provided at convenient places to promote sports and games, In a nutshell, the system of education should take full note of the requirements of the youth and prepare them for life and in the interest of the nation.
India is witnessing the age of science and technology. There is a huge demand for technical education in the modern age. The pattern of life evolving in this age is very much different from the one we would find in our society. Technical education imparts knowledge of specific trade, craft or profession. General education has been substituted by professional technical education in many cases. Technical education offers a good opportunity for employment and a successful career.
Technical education can meet the expanding demands of expanding society and to meet its multiplying demands. Instead of bare hands, we must use machines and technological devices for all-round development. Science and technology alone can produce specialized armies for making and operating modern machines.
In free India, education was thoroughly reorganized again stressing the importance of science and technology. This brought about total regeneration. Quite a number of regional engineering colleges, institutes of technology, and centers for researches on science came into existence all over the country.
It is heartening to find even our schools introducing new syllabus making science and vocational courses compulsory. Right from the beginning our students today are shown the way in which they can explore avenues of their choice and participate in the march towards human progress.
New Education Policy
New policy on education as approved by the Government stresses that a human being is an asset and a precious resource for the whole nation which needs to be cherished. It requires to be developed with the dynamism and removal of disparities in a phased manner.
Common education structure: For the all-round development of society, it is essential to take effective measures in the direction of the implementation of our new education policy. A common school education system is recommended. The common core of the national curricular framework has to include contents related to national integrity and identity.
Promotion of values: The new policy envisages the promotion of values such as India’s common cultural heritage, democracy, and secularism. The youth requires to be motivated towards peaceful coexistence and international cooperation.
Equal status to all: The status of women needs to be changed with the basic tool of educating the masses. Lots of measures are required to be taken to bring the scheduled tribes on par with other general fellows.
Universal enrolment of children: Universal enrolment and universal retention of children up to 14 years of age are to be emphasized under the new education policy.
More open university system: Professional education should encourage a minimum orientation in computers and training in their use. There is a need to start a more open university system.
Conclusion: Here priority would be to introduce discipline in the implementation of the new education system. To eliminate the elements of chance and subjectivity in our examination system, the evaluation system, as well as the mode of conducting examination needs to undergo a lot of structural changes in the new education policy.