Education in Bharat: Past, Present and Future!

Meaning of ‘Education’

The word, ‘Education’ means ‘to develop’. In other words, Education is the process of developing knowledge, skills and character.

In the words of Swami Vivekananda:

According to the learned seer, Swami Vivekananda – ‘Education is not book learning’. According to him, ‘It is not even diverse knowledge.’

In the words of Swami Vivekananda -

‘The training by which the expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called Education.’

According to him –

a. Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.

b. Educate and raise the masses and thus alone, a nation is possible!

c. The fountainhead of all knowledge lies within you.

d. Svadharma/Svaiccha: Follow your Svadharma/Svaiccha even in matters of education and take up the education, which is suitable for you based on your aptitude and liking.

e. Have faith and be self-confident.

f. Look at the unity in the diversity.

g. Education leads to formation of character, personality development, physical and mental growth, moral, spiritual and religious development, universal brotherhood etc

The 12th of January, which is the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda is celebrated as National Youth Day in India!

Some suggestions to improve Education in India

1. Love for the environment must be inculcated within the children.

2. Emphasis must be laid on character development through moral classes

3. Children must be taught the Vedas, Upanishads, Vedantha, the Epics and the Puranas. In other words, we must not hesitate to teach children the ancient religion of Bharat.

4. Children must also be taught Spirituality including Yoga and Meditation.

5. Children must be taught the ancient history of India

6. Children should be taught Patriotism from a young age. Lessons on Freedom Fighters and patriotism must be part of the teaching curriculum.

7. The need of the hour is to allow the children to follow their dreams. They should be allowed to choose what they want to learnt from age ten. The choice of subjects must be given from age 10.

8. There should be a uniform syllabus throughout the country.

9. Education should be standardized throughout India.

10. Education in India must be decommercialized like in the Gurukul system. We cannot allow both Education and Health sectors to be completely or heavily commercialized.

11. Children should be given lessons on our culture and traditions.

Education in the Constitution of India

There are many provisions for Education in the Constitution. These include The Right of Free and Compulsory Education till 14 years (article 45) and Right to Education (article 21A). Both these rights were inserted through the 86th Amendment to the Constitution in 2002. The Education for Women is covered under Articles 15(1) and 15(3). The promotion of Education amongst SC’s and ST’s is covered under Article 46. Religious Education is covered under articles 28(1), 28(2) and 28(3). The Education of Minorities is covered under Article 29 and the Right of Minorities to establish and administer Educational Institutions is covered under Article 30. The instruction in the mother tongue at the primary stage is covered under article 350A, the promotion of Hindi is covered under article 351, the education in Union Territories is covered under Article 239 and the fundamental duty to provide opportunity for Education is covered under article 51(A). The Kothari Commission was constituted in 1964-66 to advise the government on the National Pattern of Education.

The 42nd amendment to the Constitution in 1976 made Education, a concurrent subject thereby authorizing the Parliament to prepare and pass legislations concerning Education.

National Education Policy (NEP 2020)

The National Education Policy 2020 was announced on the 29th of July of 2020. The National Education Policy report was submitted by the Kasturirangan committee. Various bodies have been assigned the responsibility of implementing the New Education Policy like the Ministry of Education (Formerly Ministry of Human Resources Development), Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), Union and State Government and Ministries of Education. The Ministry of Human Resources Development has been renamed as Ministry of Education under NEP 2020.The NEP 2020 envisages spending six percent of the country’s GDP on Education. The NEP 2020 specifies different timelines for implementing different subsets. NEP provides essential principles and methodology for implementation.

The Department of School Education and Literacy organized ‘Shikshak Parv’ -a festival for Teachers from 8th to 25th September 2020 along with consultation with State and Union Territories, autonomous bodies and all other stake holders to discuss various recommendations of NEP 2020.

The outcome was a Comprehensive Implementation Plan (SARTHAQ) (Students and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement through Quality Education) released on the 8th of April of 2021. SARTHAQ defines activities associated with each recommendation of NEP 2020. It delineates 297 tasks and identifies the agencies responsible for each of them, timelines and outcomes.

The NEP recommended the extending of the range of the Right to Education Act of 2009 to include Early Childhood and Secondary School. The NEP recommends 5-3-3-4 pattern, which is 3 years of Pre-Primary followed by Class 1 and 2. There are also 3 years of Preparatory class from 3 to 5. There are 3 years of Middle School between classes 6 to 8. There are 4 years of Secondary school between 9 to 12. There is restructuring of the 10th Board Exam mainly focusing on the skills, core concepts and higher order thinking and capacities. The NEP 2020 looks at setting up the NHERA (National Higher Education Regulatory Authority). It also calls for separating NAAC from UGC into an independent and autonomous body. The NEP calls for setting up National Research Foundation. NEP recommended Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog or National Education Commission. NEP 2020 insisted on the expenditure of 6% of the GDP on Education. Doubling the current 10% of Total Expenditure to 20% in the next decade was recommended. Vocational courses are also recommended. The Three Language Formula recommendation includes Hindi, English and one modern Indian language preferably a Southern language in Hindi speaking states and Hindi, English and a regional language in non-Hindi speaking states.

Thus, the NEP has merits like comprehensiveness, early childhood education, holistic, inclusiveness and self-assessment and voluntary declaration.

Other Suggestions to improve Education in India

12.Promotion of Education in the mother tongue

13. Promotion of Hindi

14. No need for State Exams for students of Classes Third, Fifth and Eighth.

Dharampal’s View on Indigenous Education

In his book, ‘The Beautiful Tree’, Thiru. Dharampal has said that Gandhi ji said in Chatham House on the 20th of October of 1931 –

‘The British administration scratched the soil and began to look at the root and left the root like that and the beautiful tree perished.’

Essentially, Gandhi ji meant to say that there was no recognition for ancient schools and the European schools were too expensive for the Indian masses.

More Suggestions to Improve Education in India

15.Schools should offer both Formal and Informal Education

16.Schools should offer vocational courses

17.There should be a school every 4 kms

18.Schools should perhaps have only number names to ensure uniformity.

Tagore on Education

Rabindranath Tagore used to consider formal school as a combination of Jail and Hospital in his younger years. He learnt a great deal at his home, JOROSANKO, which was like the meeting ground of intellectuals and the culturally rich. He insisted that Education should be imparted in the natural surroundings. Shantiniketan and Viswa Bharathi are both based on these very same principles. Tagore believed in giving children, the freedom of expression. According to him, there are 4 fundamental principles in Tagore’s Educational Philosophy – Naturalism, Humanism, Internationalism and Idealism.

 According to Tagore, Teaching should be practical and real and not theoretical or artificial.

In 1919, Tagore said, ‘A sound educational system should provide for the development of variety without losing hold on the basic or spiritual unity.’

Further Suggestions to improve Education

19. Education should never be profit oriented.

20. We should not keep competing with other countries all the time. We should do what suits us…. our land, our people and culture.

21.We need not adhere to the western ways of education measured by Blackboards and cruel methods of Teaching. A kind teacher with knowledge is better than mere white buildings and black boards.

22. Real Education is that which helps students to think on their own and we become sympathetic to everyone around us.

23. Those Educationists indulging in profiteering in their education business should have their licence taken away from them.

24. We must give importance to Music, Dance, Literature and Arts.

25. We must also have a better system of recruitment of Teachers to ensure that the highest standards of Education are maintained.

26. We should have a maximum of only 30 students in a class.

27. Schools are not meant to ‘produce’ students but ‘facilitate’ in the learning process. Schools should help to bring out cultured and learned people in society.

28. Thus, emphasis should be laid on giving importance to Nature, Culture, History, Religion, Patriotism, Spirituality and Morality in our educational system.

29. David Malpass, the President of the World Bank has noted that 70% of the children in developing countries are unable to read the basic texts. It is therefore essential to give standard, uniform and high-quality learning to our children so that we can create properly literate and well-educated children.

30.  Mental and Physical health care facilities must be provided to the children.

31. College students should be taught how to handle Personal Finances.

Thus, all the relevant points relating to Education in India have been covered!


More by :  Dr. Padmapriya S

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