According to Emile Durkheim, Education is “the action exercised by the elder generations upon those who are not ready for social life”. And its main aim is to awaken the child physically, intellectually and morally. These are the prerequisite qualities from a child by the society as a whole and the milieu for which he is specially designed. In socialization terms, education is required for indulging oneself in a society and also it is essential as it is the best means of socialization which lead us to the fact that education need not be imparted formally, but informally as well.
In our country, education and its importance dated back to the Vedic period till the medieval period. While there was a slight setback during the Sultanate Period, Akbar revived the importance of education and took keen interest when he himself was illiterate. And during the British reign, the boost in education was acknowledged as the British Government wanted educated people to work for them in their administrations.
In modern-day, education is considered the most crucial aspect of a society and its significance and importance is being realized and attention is given to raise the level and standard of education. In fact, the growth and development of a state is measured by the education/literacy of its people. Today, advanced countries are developed scientifically, technologically and psychologically due to the simple fact that their rate of literacy and level of education is so much higher and leveled up compared to the backwardness in education, development and advancement of the Third World Countries. Even if we see India, as per 2011 census, the state of Kerala ranked highest in terms of overall literacy rate at 93.91%. Amongst North Eastern states, Mizoram ranked highest in literacy at a rate of 91.5% where as Manipur stands in between, neither low nor high, at 79.85%.
Education in Chin/Kuki/Mizo/Zomi Context: As mentioned earlier, education is one of the most vital factor for advancement and progress for us. In our context, we are a society where parents want their children to work and have income to support their household. This is obviously due to our poor economic backgrounds and the ignorance of our earlier generations. But we, the present generation, maybe the first or second generation who are educated/literate, probably a sign of progress and advancement; we expand our horizons and broaden our thoughts and ideas. We are a generation of learners, of curiosity and broad mindedness and also a generation who understands and are eager to study our roots and origin which will hone us to further bring exceptional changes and development in our system.
Thus it is obvious for us to focus on the importance of education and bring about an awakening in our social reforms and social practices. As A.H. Hasley rightly said “Education is increasingly the mediator of the transmission of status between generations. Education can be seen as a mechanism for maintenance of privilege and role allocation as per social backgrounds”. But the challenges lie in the level or mode of education attained by a person rather than the mere learning of text-book and class room learning system. Thus the need for a quality education is raised, an education practice which aims at all round development of personality, skills ad expertise.
Need for Quality Education – The crux for bringing about a change in our system at this point is the attainment of quality education which maybe imparted formally or informally. An education, which will not only focus on giving grades or marks but rather a learning process which will analyze and allow self introspection to understand and bring out the best talents and skills set one is highly comfortable and passionate at. This will allow us to have rational thinking and approach to a better and more advanced outlook of life and our society.
How to Obtain Quality Education – It is highly commended to re-understand the importance of imparting knowledge and learning’s as per the mindset, personality and interest of the learners and not focusing on classical methods of education. In order to revamp the mode and extent of imparting education to a child, there are certain factors which need to be considered from both the Education Institutes/Educators as well as from Students/Educands which is explained briefly below.
- For Education Institute/Educators – In this advancing world of technologies and scientific ability, Institutions should not emphasize its teaching solely on the traditional method of text books and classroom teaching. They should rather focus on imparting with practicality, implementation and also through personality development and co-curricular activities. This will allow the Educands to realize their strengths, field of interest and ability and accordingly follow it. It is also highly recommended if education institute have a counselor, not only for career guidance but also to show the students the right path to their career and passion.
- For Students/Educands – The first and foremost thing that a student need to learn and always keep in mind is that class room and text-book learning will never take him that far in accomplishing his aims or for that matter will not be enough in this cut throat competitive world. In order to fit in and survive, one needs to expand their knowledge, put more efforts to meet more ability and learning’s in all aspects of life, for a better future for themselves as well as to bring about changes/development for the society he lives in. So Educands should provoke the Educators to offer them quality essential mode of education w\for what its worth.
To add to the excitement and decrease the woes or our poor financial and economic backgrounds, as per the Union Budget 2013-2014, Education for the country receives Rs.65,867 crore. This is an opportunity for us to grab the financial help and welfare schemes adopted by the Central Government which is listed below.
- Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) – This as we all are aware, is a scheme to universalize education for community ownership of the school system. It provides an opportunity to improve human capabilities to all children through community-own quality education in a mission mode.
- National Programme for Education of Girls at elementary level (NPEGEL) – This scheme emphasizes on education of girl child and even prevention from dropping out.
- Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme (KGBV) – It provides for setting up residential upper primary schools for girls from SC, ST, OBC and Muslim communities.
- Midday Meal Scheme (MDM) – This scheme is adopted to enhance retention, attendance and simultaneously improving nutritional levels among children, the MDM scheme was launched by the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education.
- Saakshar Bharat – This scheme is modified and renamed from the National Literacy Mission. To ensure equity and inclusiveness, meet the overall goals of reducing gender gap in literacy levels and reduce social disparities.
- Kendriya Vidyalaya and Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti – A Central Government – run school with free boarding, lodging, education and other relevant necessities/facilities.
Why have I listed the schemes above maybe a question, but taking into account our inadequate economical and technological backgrounds, it is important to have a fair knowledge of the opportunities and schemes/welfare Funds available for us before we deny and decide to back out of providing or attaining education saying its lack of financial help or other problems. And considering the level of siphoning of funds and welfare schemes which is a nightmare, we can still look forward to a positive approach and options available for us because of the simple fact that “Where there is a will, there is a way”.
Thus, we can optimistically conclude that quality education is one of the vital options to meet a social equilibrium to balance the various parts of a system. That Education can only free us from the exploitation of each right and duties or rights and duties of society as a whole. And also, education can lead us to a restructuring and reforms of our society, our socio economic backgrounds, our political systems as well as a change in the overall personality and development of an individual, which has a direct influence on the advancement and progress of a society. And lastly, to bring equality, I would like to borrow the words of Lester. C. Thurow- “Education at one at the same time increases output and cut economic inequality in society”.