Education must be value based and it should not be in abstraction but must be based on faith, hope and love. From the nursery school onwards, education must be governed by the value of transformation. Knowledge is not to make people more clever, but to help them become mature and responsible citizens. A doctor may be very good in his profession, but if he involves in unethical practices then his profession and life have another meaning. Education is not to make corrupt people cleverer in their corruption but to transform the weak to become strong, the immature to become mature and to grow in true knowledge and wisdom.
Today, education is knowledge and knowledge is power. Education conscientizes and empowers people to assert their identity and dignity. The education ministry in the church should look into these directions and the commitment to education should lead people to an integral liberation in the present socio-political and economic situation.
In every civilized society men and women believe that education is compulsory and necessary for every individual. Every parent tries to provide the possible kind of education to his children.
1. Meaning of Education
(i) Etymological Meaning: The concept of Education has been a subject of examination by a large numbers of educationists. However, it will be meaningful to explain the term education by starting with its etymological origin so as to better understand the nature of education and its later elaboration and development.
The word education is derived from the latin word ???educare??™ which means to bring up. There is yet another Latin word ???educere??™ which means both to bring forth as well as bring up. It was Latin author Varro who said ???educit obstetrix, educate, nutrix, institute, peadagogus ocet,magister??? which means ???the mid-wife brings forth, the nurse brings up, the tutor trains, and the master teaches???. Accordingly, education does not merely mean the acquisition of knowledge or experience but it means the development of habits, attitudes and skills which help a man to lead a full and worthwhile life.
Some theorists give a different explanation of the word ???educate??™. They say ???e??™ means out of and ???duco??™ means to lead i.e. to educate means to lead further ???to extract out??™ the best in man. This explanation presumes that all knowledge is inherent in children. Addison supports this view
believing that education when it works upon a noble mind draws out to view every latent virtue and perfection. Mahatma Gandhi also supported this theory when he said ???By education I mean an all round drawing out of the best in the child and man??™s body, mind and spirit.???
2. Definition of Education
Education may be defined as that life-oriented and need-based formation which leads to an integral development and maturing of the various dimensions of one??™s personality and thus contributes to the general betterment of society.
Being so, the educational system of a country should be the outgrowth of the genius of the people, designed to meet their needs, to cure their social ills and to fulfill their goals. Hence education should not be limited to formal learning, but to the training of the students in the variety of the fields, thus enabling them to be the active participants in building a new society. This would demand that the students be given sufficient social experience within the framework of education and that they discuss and study critically the pressing problems of the society through group study, debates and symposiums.
3. The term Education According to Different People:
(i) By education, Gandhi means the drawing out of the best in the child and the man- body, mind and spirit which consist in the development of the mind and the body with a corresponding awakening of the soul.
(ii) Education, according to Tagore, is the all-round growth and the development of the individual in harmony with the universal, the super person who has in himself the various levels of consciousness and experiences corresponding to man??™s physical self, life, mind and soul. The highest education is that which merely give us information, but makes our life harmonious with all existence.
(iii) According to Sri Aurobindo the true basis of education is the study of mind, to produce a perfect and perfectly equipped mind. The chief aim of education should be to help the growing soul to draw out that which is best and make it perfect for a noble use.
4. Specific Aims of Education
The aims of education are conditioned by the social ideas, circumstances and changes that occur at a particular place and time. Hence, the aims of education also change with the circumstances. This change and adjustment is essential because education is the tool with which the society and the individuals in it can be made more efficient satisfied and adjusted. And this can be possible only if the aims of education are changed to suit the circumstances.
(i) Human Values:
Thus the first principle of satya flows to the second one of ???Dharma??? meaning righteousness or the moral law of activity in thinking, speaking and doing so as to attain the highest truth or the Supreme Reality.
Dharma or righteousness blossoms in peace which is the most priceless possession of man, is not attainable by power, position or anything mundane but by detached and devoted dispensation of one??™s duty. Peace connotes an absence of desire, anger, greed and hatred, negatively. But positively, peace is the awareness of the beauty, majesty and omnipresence of God that opens up the springs of Shanti in man??™s heart. It is a sound and balanced mental state which learns to find rest in action and which utilizes all the inherent vital energies to create a perfect harmony in action.
Love helps us to overcome the sense of fear by promoting better understanding and appreciation. Since love spring from the truth, it is in nature of righteous action and results in peace.
An act of service done with love has three characteristics. Firstly, there is whole heartedness in the action of our service rendered as an expression of love. Secondly the act is filled with humility and selflessness. Thirdly the act has nothing as selfishness and violence. It is the individual??™s identification of self with others that give joy and satisfaction while performing an act of service.
All the four human values stated above culminate in non- violence. It is the zenith of human achievement and perfection. It is the universal love that goes beyond our relations with other fellow- beings, and embraces all living and non-living things. Non-violence is the spiritual domain of existence where one experiences the essential oneness and unity of all creation. It blossoms from the understanding that man has an obligation towards every object and component of this universe.
Education consists in the training of the mind and the spirit. It should develop an inquiring mind and creative imagination. Education is a process of learning aimed at equipping people with knowledge and skills. The acquired knowledge and skills are enough to equip people well enough to enable them to live satisfactorily continue to learn and pursue a career. This means that education is lifelong. It is universal and is meant to improve the social order.