Education is the only wealth which cannot be robbed. It builds both internal and outer personality and character, strengthens our mind and augments our pool of knowledge.
What is Education? Definition of Education
The word ‘Educate’ stands for a number of meanings that are synonymous and also covers a wide range; such as ‘to educate’ means to teach, to train, to instruct, to inform, etc and various other processes associated with learning. One can say that Learning is a part of education. And more precisely, it is the consequence of education. So learning is the end-product of the process called ‘education’. In other words, education is the process by which an individual is encouraged and armed to develop his or her potential.
The process of education aims at the all round development of individuals, dispelling ignorance and enhancing the moral values in the society, thus working towards a collective well being. It forms the basis for lifelong learning and instills confidence in an individual to face challenges. The person acquires skills to become more self-reliant and become aware of opportunities and rights. Through education people become more responsible and informed citizens, and have a role in politics and society.
Needless to say that education is very essential for eradicating poverty as it makes people more productive and earn a better living. Recent researches have concluded and proved that there is a 2 years rise in life expectancy for every 1 per cent increase in a nation’s literacy rate.
The education is the key which allows people to open up the world of oppurtunities, seek better jobs, and ultimately succeed in their lives.
The individual gains and develops knowledge and skills through teaching and learning. There is an important distinction between education, which is a two-way process between a teacher and student, and learning, which is a process that happens internally for a student. So, education is what a teacher imparts and learning is what a student gets.
The word education is derived from Latin word 'educare'' i.e. to bring up, which is related to "bring out potential" and ducere, "to lead".
Importance of Education
Education is a phenomenon, a process that affects a large fraction of our population. In this world of cut throat competition, ‘education’ and ‘nation’s growth’ are closely linked synonyms. Therefore the scope of education is far and wide.
History of Education
The history of education is the history of teaching and learning. Each generation, since the beginning of human existence, tend to pass on cultural and social values, traditions and skills to the next generation. The passing on of culture is also known as enculturation and the learning of social values and behaviors is socialization.
Education as a science can trace back its predecessor to the educational traditions that existed before. Adults trained the young of their society in the knowledge and skills they would need to master and eventually pass on. The human beings and culture as a whole, evolved around this practice of transmitting knowledge. In pre-literate societies this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling continued from one generation to the next. Oral language developed into written symbols and letters. The depth and breadth of knowledge that could be preserved and passed soon increased in leaps and bounds. When cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond the basic skills of communicating, trading, gathering food, religious practices, etc., formal education and schooling, eventually followed. This type of schooling was already in place in Egypt between 3000 and 500BC. The history of education is the history of man as since it’s the main occupation of man to pass knowledge, skills and attitude from one generation to the other.
As the customs and knowledge of ancient civilizations became more complex, many skills were learnt from an experienced person on the job, in animal husbandry, agriculture, fishing, preparation and preservation of food, construction, stone work, metal work, boat building, the making of weapons and defenses, the military skills and many other occupations.
With the development of writing, it became possible for stories, poetry, knowledge, beliefs, and customs to be recorded and passed on more accurately to future generations. In many societies, a formal schooling in literacy was often only available to a small part of the population, either at religious institutions or for the wealthy who could afford to pay for their tutors. The origin of earliest known universities, or places of higher education, can be traced back a millennium or more ago.
Nowadays, formal education consists of systematic instruction, teaching and training by professional teachers. This consists of the application of pedagogy and the development of curricula and syllabi.
Levels of Formal Education
Preschool education or Infant education is the provision of education for children before the commencement of formal education, usually upto the age of three years.
The concept of playschools in India was not so common a few decades ago and only a few children from rich families attended the playschool. Now, the importance of playschools is recognized as it is well understood that the preschool years are the foundation for all the learning in one’s life. It has been found that the child develops significantly in physical, cognitive, social and emotional aspects in the early years. There are hundreds of independent playschools in each state and each play school offers the lower and the upper kindergarten classes for the children between the ages four and six (Friedrich Fröbel opened one such play school in Germany and named it "kindergarten"). The playschools develop basic skills and social behavior by games, exercises, music, and simple handicrafts. The seven foundation learning areas of playschool are thinking, communicating, sense of self and others, health and physical understanding, social living and learning, cultural understanding and understanding the environments. The children also learn to be apart from their parents without anxiety. The children advance to the first grade after their kindergarten.
Some private playschools offer the Montessori Method of preschools. It is based on observing young children and learning from them about their characteristics and needs. The Montessori curriculum focuses on five areas such as the practical life, the sensory awareness education, the language arts, the mathematics and the geometry, and the cultural subjects.
The Primary or the Elementary education has the initial 5 to 7 years of formal and planned education for a child. In primary education, there is one teacher in the class called as the ‘Class teacher’, who is primarily responsible for children’s education and welfare for that particular year. Additionally, this teacher is assisted by specialist teachers in certain subject areas, mainly music, dance or physical education. The most notable feature of the primary education is the presence of a single teacher in the class which helps to build up a close relationship with the class. Primary Schools are the schools that provide primary education to children.
Secondary / Higher Secondary Education:
Secondary education consists of the formal education that is provided to the children during their adolescent ages. It is a bridge between the Primary education imparted to the children in their initial years of schooling and the, "post-secondary", or "higher" education. Depending on the system, schools in this period are called secondary or high schools, lyceums (lyceum is a category of educational institution defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe), middle schools, colleges, or vocational schools. Secondary education occurs mainly during the teenage years of a student. In the United States, Canada and Australia, primary and secondary education together is known as a system of K-12 education, and in New Zealand Year 1-13 system is used.
The purposes of secondary education are also manifold; such as:
to give common knowledge
to prepare for higher education
to train directly in a profession
Secondary Education is a crucial stage in the educational hierarchy as it prepares the students for higher education and also for the professional world.
The upcoming of big businesses and technological advances in factories that required skilled workers in the United States, accounted for the system of secondary education to emerge fast and it can be traced back around 1910., High schools came into being in order to meet this new job demand as the curriculum focused on practical job skills that would better prepare students for skilled jobs.
For centuries, India has been a major centre for learning and many popular universities existed here. Even today, the country has some of the best Universities in the world. Besides, it is also facing many challenges in its primary education while striving to reach 100% literacy. Through the Universal Compulsory Primary Education, maintaining the quality of education in rural areas has been difficult and Kerala is the only Indian state to achieve this goal.
Higher education, which is also called tertiary, third stage, or post secondary education, follows the completion of a secondary education in a high school or a secondary school. It includes undergraduate and postgraduate education, also covering vocational education and training. Tertiary institutions such as colleges and universities are the main institutions that provide tertiary (higher) education. The completion of Tertiary education generally equips the students with certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees.
Higher education generally involves work towards a degree-level or foundation degree qualification. In most developed countries, nearly half of the population acquires higher education at some time in their lives which can be regarded as a high proportion. Higher education is very important towards the growth of national economies as it serves as a source of trained and educated personnel for the entire nation.
In higher education, we are faced with four major challenges – access to higher education; ensuring excellence; increasing global interaction and the growing use of technologies.
Unlike many other countries, where the young working age population is fast shrinking with higher dependency ratios, India has a demographic advantage with about 70% of the population below the age of 35.
Adult education is the education or teaching and training meant for adults beyond traditional schooling. One of the primary goals of adult education is functional literacy. In simplest meaning, adult education is about adult literacy, i.e. where adults learn to read the most basic materials. In broader terms, adult education includes everything from basic literacy to some more advanced learning, even the attainment of advanced degrees.
Adult education has become common in many countries. It takes on many forms, ranging from formal class-based learning to self-directed learning and e-learning. It also includes a number of career specific courses such as veterinary assisting, shop keeping, medical billing and coding, real estate license, bookkeeping, dairy farming, and many more.
Technical Education plays a vital role in human resource development of the country by creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity and improving the quality of life. Technical Education covers courses and programmes in engineering, technology, management, architecture, town planning, pharmacy and applied arts & crafts, hotel management and catering technology.
Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system
Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system is a system wherein teachers and learners need not necessarily be present either at same place or same time and is flexible in regard to modalities and timing of teaching and learning as also the admission criteria without compromising necessary quality considerations. ODL system of the country consists of State Open Universities (SOUs), Institutions and Universities offering education and includes Correspondence Course Institutes (CCIs) in conventional dual mode universities. This is becoming more and more significant for continuing education, qualifications and skills updation of people on jobs and for quality education of relevance to learners located at educationally disadvantageous and far flung areas.
The Open University of the United Kingdom (UKOU) was established in 1969 as the first educational institution in the world wholly dedicated to open and distance learning. It still relies heavily on print-based materials supplemented by radio, television and, in recent years, online programming. Similarly, the Indira Gandhi National Open University in India combines the use of print, recorded audio and video, broadcast radio and television, and audio conferencing technologies.
Non-traditional education, also known as alternative education is a broad term that may be used to refer to all forms of education outside of traditional education for all age groups and all levels of education. This include education designed for students with special needs (ranging from teenage pregnancy to intellectual disability), and also forms of education designed for a general audience and employing alternative educational systems and methods. These alternatives, which include charter schools, alternative schools, independent schools, and home-based learning often emphasize the value of small class size, close relationships between students and teachers, and a sense of community.
Women constitute a little more than half of the population in the world, but they are denied equal opportunities in different parts of the world. Of late, different pro-women movements have led to the tremendous improvement of women's condition throughout the world. Demand for proper education rights has been one of the most pressing agenda of these women's rights movements. Women education in India has also been a major concern of both the government and NGOs as educated women had well demonstrated in the past and can definitely play a very important role in the future development of the country.
As a result women's literacy rate has grown over the three decades and the growth of female literacy has in fact been higher than that of male literacy rate. The growth of female literacy rate is 14.87% as compared to 11.72 % of that of male literacy rate. But there is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India. Surveys show that the adult literacy rates in 2009 were 76.9% for men and 54.5% for women. The low female literacy rate has a noticeable negative impact on family planning and population control efforts in India.
Importance of Women Education
Women education plays a very important role in the overall development of the country. Educated women not only tend to promote education of their girl children, but also can provide better guidance to all their children. Moreover only an educated woman can understand the concepts of infant mortality rate and population growth rate and therefore can help in reduction of these rates.
No nation can prosper unless education is provided to all its citizens. Mothers are the first educators of the children, who are most influential in building their inner nature. They make a child learn good manners, warn him against indecent qualities and encourage him to show determination, strength and patience even during difficult times.
Therefore the girls of this glorious era must be fully trained in the various branches of knowledge, sciences and arts and all other fields of education, so that they may then educate their children and train them from their earliest days. Furthermore, the education of women is more important for women, for, woman is the trainer of the child from its infancy. And if a woman is imperfect then consequently, it will imply a condition of imperfection for all mankind.
Universal education is a universal law. Therefore, the governments and NGOs must give due priority and attention to the education of women and girls. The concept of world citizenship should be taught as part of the standard education of every child.
Education for All
Maulana Azad contributed to the laying of a strong foundation for education in India. His commitment to provide secular, liberal, modern and universal education is relevant even today and continues to guide us for achieving education for all. The corner stone of his education policy was his conviction that democracy cannot function without the eradication of illiteracy. He emphasized, “We must not for a moment forget, it is a birth right of every individual to receive at least the basic education without which he cannot fully discharge his duties as a citizen.” He emphasized on educating the rural poor and girls.
Benefits of the Use of First Language Instruction
Fifty percent of the world’s out-of-school children live in communities where the language of schooling is different from the language used at home. This underscores the biggest challenge to achieving Education for All (EFA). So increase in availability of resources alone would not be sufficient to produce universal completion of a good-quality primary school program. Research provides convincing evidence that a second language is learned best when a first language is learned well. In the bilingual model, children first learn to read in the language that they speak at home, then followed with a second language introduced in the early grades.
First language instruction results in (i) increased access and equity, (ii) improved learning outcomes, (iii) reduced repetition and dropout rates, (iv) socio cultural benefits and (v) lower overall costs.
The use of a language that children understand allows teachers to use more active and more effective teaching methods. The use of local languages for instruction often leads to inclusion of more local content in the curriculum and greater participation of parents and community members as classroom resources. Parents are better positioned to become involved in the school. The use of local languages in formal education has a positive impact on adult literacy as well. As parents see their children successfully learn to read and write in their own language, the parents are often inclined towards their self education.
Processes in Education
Curriculum and Syllabi:
An academic discipline or the Curriculum is a program of study or a set of courses formally taught at a college or a university, or via some other such method. Some of the broad areas of academic disciplines include the Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science, Social Sciences, Humanities and Applied Sciences.
Learning Styles & Modalities:
One can divide education into different learning "modes". There are basically three types of common learning modalities:
Visual : learning based on observing and seeing the lessons.
Auditory : learning based on listening to instructions/information.
Kinesthetic : learning based on hands-on work and engaging in activities.
Effective teaching should present a variety of teaching methods which cover all three learning modalities so that different students have equal opportunities to learn in a way that is most suitable, useful and effective for them.
Teachers need to understand a subject enough to convey its spirit to students. Besides being a Lecturer, owing to the new instructional strategies, the teachers have now evolved more into the role of course designer, discussion facilitator and coach and the student more into the role of active learner, discovering the subject of the course. Good teachers can translate information, good judgment, experience and wisdom into relevant knowledge that a student can understand, retain and pass to others. One can conclude that the quality of teachers is the single most important factor affecting student performance, and that countries which score highly on international tests have multiple policies in place to ensure that the teachers they employ are as effective as possible. Recently legislation is passed in the US with the name of NCLB (No Child Left Behind), which says that teachers must be highly qualified.
Education in the Developing World:
In developing countries, the number and seriousness of the problems faced are naturally greater. People in more remote or agrarian areas are sometimes unaware of the importance of education. However, many countries have an active Ministry of Education, and in many subjects, such as foreign language learning, the degree of education is actually much higher than in industrialized countries; for example, it is not at all uncommon for students in many developing countries to be reasonably fluent in multiple foreign languages, whereas this is much more of a rarity in the supposedly "more educated" countries where much of the population is in fact monolingual.
Universal primary education is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals and great improvements have been achieved in the past decade, yet a great deal remains to be done. Furthermore, demand in the developing world for improved educational access is not as high as one would expect as governments avoid the recurrent costs involved and there is economic pressure on those parents who prefer their children making money in the short term over any long-term benefits of education. Recent studies on child labor and poverty have suggested that when poor families reach a certain economic threshold where families are able to provide for their basic needs, parents return their children to school.
But without capacity, there is no development. Some basic principles to be followed for the education system to improve and to be more effective can be listed as:
National leadership and ownership should be the touchstone of any intervention;
Strategies must be context relevant and context specific;
They should embrace an integrated set of complementary interventions, though implementation may need to proceed in steps;
Partners should commit to a long-term investment in capacity development, while working towards some short-term achievements;
Outside intervention should be conditional on an impact assessment of national capacities at various levels.
Un-availability of good universities, and a low acceptance rate for good universities, is evident in countries with a high population density.
Literacy in India (as in whole of the world) is the key for socio-economic progress and the Indian literacy rate grew to 68% in 2007 from 12% at the end of British rule in 1947. But still the level is well below the world average literacy rate of 84% and India currently has the largest illiterate population of any nation on earth. At present, Indians account for about 35% of world's illiterate population.
India is now developing technologies that will skip land based phone and internet lines. Instead, India launched EDUSAT, an education satellite that can reach more of the country at a greatly reduced cost. There is also an initiative started by the OLPC foundation, a group out of MIT Media Lab and supported by several major corporations to develop a $100 laptop to deliver educational software. The laptops are widely available as of 2008. The laptops are sold at cost or given away based on donations. These will enable developing countries to give their children a digital education, and help close the digital divide across the world.
In Africa, NEPAD has launched an "e-school programme" to provide all 600,000 primary and high schools with computer equipment, learning materials and internet access within 10 years. Private groups, like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are working to give more individuals opportunities to receive education in developing countries through such programs as the Perpetual Education Fund. An International Development Agency project called nabuur.com, started with the support of former American President Bill Clinton, uses the Internet to allow co-operation by individuals on issues of social development.
Suggestions for Improvement:
In India, much still needs to be done in the field of primary education. There are factors such as less qualified teachers, very high student-teacher ratios, lack of teaching materials, and obsolete teaching methods which result in a low quality of education. As a result, there are many students who even after completing six years of primary schooling in village public schools, lack even basic reading and writing skills. At the same time, the children attending urban schools are subjected to extreme competitive pressures. For rural India to have strong educational base, the present system of education should be de-centralized to a certain extent and it should be more rural oriented. The curriculum should be more directed and worked out on the real life-view and the simple living styles of the communities to which the children belong.
According to the old saying, ‘Many sleep, one person speaks, that's what called education’, only personal interaction is not very suitable and befitting now-a-days. There can be a better mix of settings of personal interaction that caters to a larger audience.
Though, some teachers are already averse to the advent and use of technology in teaching, which fear that this will diminish their interaction with students, but such concerns can only delay the adoption of information technology in education but cannot halt it. Electronic media is likely to become the principal carrier of information for education, and effective teachers must learn how to manage and exploit it. The implications of new and more diverse modes of education such as e-learning, open educational resources and mobile technologies need to be understood and harnessed. The ICT revolution worldwide has facilitated ready access to information and knowledge. It is, therefore, important that our Universities and Colleges develop a system of knowledge management to reap the benefits of the Information Technology revolution.
Universalizing Access to Secondary Education: Following the success of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, it has become absolutely essential to move towards universalization of secondary education, which has already been achieved in a large number of developed countries and several developing countries. In these modern times, it can be well recognized that eight years of education are insufficient to equip a child for the world of work as also to be a competent adult and responsible citizen.
The young may be hungry for learning, but we may not have quality teachers to ignite their minds. The focus, therefore, must be to improve the quality of teachers and also the other members of the society must respect teachers who play a pivotal role in building a peaceful and just society.
Last but not the least, the three major issues of education in today’s world, namely access, equity and quality need to be addressed in a holistic manner to ensure that our systems of education and research not only contribute to nation building but also to create a knowledge society, with values of harmony, peace and development.
The relation between education and career development of any individual need no emphasis and is self evident. Education makes man a to think right and positive and it enables him to take correct decisions in life. Education does this by imparting knowledge from the external world, teaching him to reason, and acquainting him with past history, so that he may be a better judge of the present.
A person who gets a good education will become a more dependable worker, a better citizen, and a strong consumer.
"THUS IF CAREER IS THE BODY THAT PERFORMS MANIFOLD TASKS FOR A HUMAN BEING, ONE CAN UNDOUBTEDLY CONCLUDE THAT EDUCATION IS THE HEART THAT PUMPS BLOOD LIKE SKILLS TO PERFORM THOSE DAILY TASKS ".