Education has always been important but perhaps it has never been more so in mans history as it is today. In this era of a science-based world, education and research are crucial to the entire developmental process of a country, its welfare, progress, and security. This emphasizes the need for an educational policy which contains a built-in flexibility so that it can adjust to changing circumstances. It also underscores the importance of experimentation and innovation.
In this very diversified age education along with food, cloth and shelter have become essential for an individual to stand up on his feet. Education is a powerful weapon that can be used to change the world, according to Nelson Mandela.
Education has become highly commercialized in India. If an individual is interested in generating an income or investing money in the market, he has to simply own a piece of land and get an educational institution set up there. The current state of the education system in India is in great turmoil. It is imperative for the government to pay attention to it, failing which the scope for Indias growth will be compromised. An effective education policy for India is the need of this hour
Modern education stresses on preparing an individual for the job market but it does not stress on character building at all. Education must involve the transformation of a man and the manifestation of the perfection inherently present in a man. The Vedanta declares the dignity of mankind. In great man, we see this application later on in the field of education.
A seed germinates into a tree with the help of water, manure and the care of the gardener. The different accessories as it removes the obstacles in the manifestation of the seed. Similarly, all knowledge is within the student, education as the different accessories help in the removal of the obstacle, which prevents the the manifestation of this knowledge within the child.
The process of education therefore isnt like filling up a bucket with water, it rather involves the removal of avidya (ignorance). The student can do a vichara for himself, he can then also become with his introspection, with his deep understanding, with this the confidence he can look at the world and become a vehicle for social change.
I criticize the materialistic and negative outlook of the prevailing education system. Studying in modern-day schools and colleges has made the life of a human being despicable, you live you die, education doesn’t change you. It doesn’t help you in growing into a complete man. This is what modern education is contributing to society.
In due course of time, reading books, memorizing for exams, trying to advance one’s career without the absorption of knowledge and character building, education merely becomes a tool for earning money. It doesn’t lead to a basic transformation of the character of an individual or change in character. A basic positive self-confidence and ability to judge for oneself, do vichara (discrimination) for oneself this is what education is lacking.
Education from my point of view should also raise the lower caste in society, it must be a vehicle for social change. It should teach history, geography, science, literature and along with this it should also teach religious theories. By means of such educational efforts, the teacher would also be able to earn a living and through such mutual exchanges, the two that are the higher caste and the lower caste would reduce any differences with one another. In the 19 century, various reformers had made strenuous efforts for the education of women. According to me, it is very important, just as a bird is unable to fly with one wing alone, society is unable to prosper unless women are educated properly, the woman in her role as the mother is the real basis of family life. An educated mother is able to raise children by instilling great values in them. Modern education should instill the western scientific outlook and should also preserve pristine eastern values. This is necessary as mere inculcation of western methodology, without the stressing on the purity, the humility and the patience that characterizes Eastern values would make imparting of education incomplete.
Modern education also equips boys and girls for earning their livelihood, but it also sometimes infuses them with the cut-throat competition which leads to symptoms such as depression.
In the larger scheme of things, growing a strong body is important, One would be nearer to heaven by playing football than by studying the Gita. A person who is physically weak is unfit for the realization of the self, the physically weak person is always concerned with his bodily needs and is unable to concentrate on intellectual matters. A sound mind in a sound body is what the proverb says and indeed a higher intellectual pursuit, modern education is impossible in the sickly body.
Control and sharpening of skills of the mind is the aim of education. For this aim, from my point of view, the purity of mind and body is very important. The concentration of the mind is what will help a student in gathering information and attaining the development of oneself. Modern Education should not be merely about pumping the mind with information, the boy/girl must be able to meditate and concentrate properly. He/She must be able to assimilate the information which is available to him and churn something noble, something unique. He/She must contribute in some manner with original ideas that pave the way for growth and development of the society at large. This is what education should mean.
It is a scientific notion that any truth becomes living when practiced in daily life. Education is not the amount of information that one puts into his/her brain and lets it run riot there, undigested, all your life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making, and a nation-building assimilation of ideas.
In the course of time these thoughts will gradually roll and catch the imagination of the modern youth and will build a new India. Education is the panacea for all evils. The right kind of education will be the real vehicle for social change and will bring about a transformed India.
Finally, we are in dire need of that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded and by which one can stand on ones own feet.