Education in the Modern World

O.N Koul
Commission after commission has been constituted to reform the education but still there is much scope for Re-visioning the education. The education in the present world should not be confined to the acquisition of the skills to earn a living only but the aim of the education should be the development of the individual in a diverse society. There is no denying the fact that education should train one for bread and butter but at the same time the development of the individual in a diverse society is an important aim of the education .Education should be man making and character making but alas here we are lacking and the results are before us and a concern for all of us. One should go beyond the utilitarian or human capital approach of education. No doubt the education in the modern time should equip us with the required skills to prepare us to earn a decent living but at the same time the education should develop the morality in the people and therefore education should develop finer qualities in a society so that the society becomes a good place for living. One has to go beyond the utilitarian approach of education and give importance to the human and ethical part of the education. There should be balanced approach in education and the utilitarian emphasis should be checkmated by the human approach of education. One cannot deny the fact that the modern education should prepare individuals with the skills for earning a decent living but at the same time education should aim at the production of the noble citizens in a democracy who can differentiate between right and wrong. Education should enable people to earn a living but at the same time it should also aim at making the good individual who are worthy for the diverse society. Therefore the cultivation of the noble citizens for the running of the democracy is also an aim of the education and therefore the education should prepare the citizens for the democracy and not only to limit the education for the earning a living .The present era is considered to be the era of Humanistic Approach to education which reflects Universal Ethical Principles of integrated approach to life.
Therefore education should prepare noble and desirable citizens who can contribute to the dynamic functioning of the democracy and so the education should aim and train a citizen in the finer qualities of life so that the citizen can contribute to the development of the integrated society. In the modern technological world the cultivation of the citizens for making the earning and at the same time for the value education should not be ignored. Thus along with living the education system should prepare the individuals for acquisition of the finer values of life and so the cultivation of the noble citizens for a healthy democracy should be the aim of the education .The modern education should make a vocationally strong as well as morally strong citizens for the running of the democracy. In India education is given a status of fundamental right under the article 21-A of the constitution. Article-21 is related to right to life. So it implies that education has been seen as a means to life. It also has to be seen in the light of the four basic values of preamble of the constitution. It follows that the education should make worthy citizens in a democracy who will march to an egalitarian society. Thus education should not be utilitarian only but should make capable and worthy citizens who can fit in the democracy. In fact the democratic qualities should be cultivated in the individuals so that the experiment of democracy will be successful.
It is well mentioned in the UNESCO reports again and again that education is not only about the acquisition of the skills, it is also about values of respect for life and human dignity required for social harmony in a diverse world as a whole and not limited to some communities. It should be understood that the ethical issues are fundamental to the development process of the human beings. In fact the modern education should be for earning a decent living and at the same time for cultivating a man making and character making education for which there is great need given the moral degradation in the society.
(The writer is retired education officer and columnist)