Education and Democracy

Written By: / Editorial / Wednesday, 07 April 2021 17:43

Fortunately, children of today started attending school, after a bit of relief from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Hope once more is restored for a better future as school is an instrument of making a better world. It is everybody’s understanding that the climate of school life and the dynamics of human relations are potent factors in what students learn about the way of life and the values which direct their interpersonal relations, possibly even greater factors than what the school explicitly teaches about democratic human relations. Learning experiences in schools make or mar the growth of democratic human relations. Since children are the future citizens and the success of democracy depends on their ability, both children and democracy are interrelated and interdependent.
As for citizenship, Education begins in the family which is the first and most enduring nursery of good citizens. The democratic values like tolerance, self-abnegation, fell feeling, etc, are likely to be inculcated in the young children in the family, a perfect balance is struck between the needs of the individual and the demands of the social group. Every individual learns to adjust and harmonies his own unique interests and needs to those of the other family members. The family is a small social unity, the young children can easily understand their position ‘and realise their rights and obligations in an adequate manner. Thus as a simple miniature society, the family provides an invaluable learning experience for democratic living in the future. The foundations laid in the family should be consolidated in the school. The democratic experiences should be deepened, enriched, and expanded to wider circles. Narrow loyalty of the family life has had to broaden into wider loyalty of the larger, more complex a more impersonal community. There may be difficulties in striking a happy balance between the needs of the individual and those of the community.
However, the curricular and the co-curricular activities should be organised in the schools in such a manner that real experience in democratic living can be provided to the child. The best way of imparting citizenship education to children is to provide every opportunity for learning the rights and responsibilities, joys, and sufferings of democratic living.
With a view to providing democratic education the entire educational system-philosophy, organisation, methodology, administration, management, and so on, have to be geared to the desired objectives and oriented to the principle of democracy. This is called the democratization of education and it with the spirit of democracy. The above point has been very strong and clearly put across by the International Commission of the Development of Education (1972) when they laid down that anticipating the advent of democracy to the world of education is not an illusion. It may not be a perfect democracy, but when has this over existed? Yet it will at least be a real concrete, practical democracy, not inspired and built by bureaucrats or technocrats, or granted by some ruling caste, it will be living, creative, and evolving. For this to be achieved social structures must be changed and the privileges built into our cultural heritage must be reduced. Educational structures must be remodeled, to extend widely the field of choice and enable the people to follow the principle of life-long education. Subject matter must be individualized pupils and students must be aware of their status their rights and their own wishes; authoritarian forms of teaching must give way to a relationship marked by independence, mutual responsibility, and dialogue; pedagogical training must be geared to knowing and respecting the multiple aspects of human personality; guidance must replace selection; those making use of educational institutions must participate their management and policy-making, the bureaucratic aspects of an educational activity must be broken down and its administration decentralized. Equal access to education with equal opportunity and broad access to education with democracy in education is the keynote to democratisation of education. Democratizing education does not only mean giving more education to more people but also involving more people in educational management. Traditional education is failing to adapt itself to the needs of the growing number of people. It must be recreated. But who will do it? Not the administrators in education, but the people, all of them.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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