Education is the prime mover for the growth of an individual, society and nation. It provides knowledge and skill. Behaviour, knowledge and skill are the tripod for mobility of an individual from the lower strata to the higher strata.
Money is an important resource to buy anything needed for the betterment of an individual which is best earned from employment. Education of an individual makes him employable. A life without a job leads to poverty. The uneducated, poor individuals are working mainly in the unorganised sectors. The amount of work hours they put in is not proportional to what they are earning and is not enough even to feed themselves and their family in the current scenario. They therefore, cannot or do not send their children to any school, forget about quality education and therefore the children are at high risk of entering the vicious trap of poverty and unemployment.
The current society is market driven. All employers desire to get a highly educated and skilled employee at the minimum salary within the current standard of wages. The situation of education and employment is better in urban areas than the rural and remote areas like the hilly and tribal areas. The situation is pathetic in some regions as seen in many mass media reports now and then. I must say that education is not only the need of an individual, a society or a nation but it is needed for the growth of whole mankind. Whatever the human race has achieved, education has played an important role for the progress of mankind from stone-age to the modern age.
The epics and holy books like the Ramayan, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharat, Quran, Bible and many more are the gifts to mankind by the people who had been formally or informally educated by their teachers.
Now, I would like to confine myself to the problems related to education. There are many mismatches in the field of education not only in our country but in many countries around the world. There are not enough schools, or if there are schools then there are not enough teachers and if there are teachers then many are mostly untrained. Sometimes there are good schools, good teachers but the students are not having enough money to pay for the inflated fees of these schools. One feels that the quality of the work depends upon the quality of workers- this is all the more important in education particularly for the teachers.
The situation is not bad in India as in many Africans countries where a third to a half of children are still uneducated and the most affected among them is the girl child. In Yemen, a country in the middle-east, more than 80 per cent of the girls have never gone to school.
Health, education and nutrition are the basic interrelated needs of every individual irrespective of any distinctions. The international community also recognised that education is essential for the success of all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Health and education should not work on the principle of commerce because even the rich people cannot live comfortably and peacefully if they lack this trio, then imagine how can the poor people live without these three essential needs.
Education should be the primary goal of every nation. The UN lists the right to education in the universal declaration of human rights. Getting a proper education is the birth right of everyone and restricting education is a crime. Education plays a very important role in our life. Hence in order to live a better and peaceful life we need to be educated. It is education which broadens our horizon. It transforms us completely by changing our mind and thoughts, thereby changing our deeds.
Whatever we are, similar or different it is the education which has brought changes in us. A person having good education becomes a good citizen for the society and we all reap the fruits of good and proper education. As our country has a lot of diversity in geography, ethnicity, caste, creed, language and religion, I strongly believe that it is the education which has united this diverse nation and will further play an important role to keep it united. If we all get the similar, high quality basic education then, we all will work in a synchronous way for the common goal of building our nation.
John Dewey, an American educationist said whatever role food and reproduction has in the existence of physical life of humans, a similar role is that of education in their social life. The growth of the society is not only because of physical closeness of the people but also because of similarity of the thoughts. Educated people work along common lines, with a common spirit and with a common aim, which leads to growing unity. On the other hand, people having different education have differences in motive, spirit and in deeds. There are many people in India who are poor and uneducated. There are many social, financial and political problems in our country but most of them can be sorted out with the proper quality education and employment. The secret of success of any individual lies in the application of behaviour, knowledge and skill. Whatever we are today, me as an author and you as a reader, the credit goes to education. Education has brought tremendous change since independence in our country and I am sure whatever is left can be achieved or changed with good quality education.
(The author is an orthopaedic surgeon based in Dehradun)
Monday, 15 March 2021 | Dr BKS Sanjay