Functions of Education in the Sphere of Social Change
Education is the most powerful instrument of social change. It is through education, that the society can bring desirable changes and modernize itself. Education can transform society by providing opportunities and experiences, through which the individual can cultivate oneself for adjustment with the emerging needs and philosophy of the changing society. A sound social progress needs careful planning in every aspects of life, as social, cultural, economic and political. Education must be planned in a manner, which is in keeping with the needs and aspirations of the people as a whole, Indian Education Commission (1964-66) observed that realization of country’s aspirations involves changes in the knowledge, skills, interests and values of the people, as a whole. This is basic to every program of social and economic betterment, of which, India stands in need.
The functions of education in the sphere of social change are outlined as under-
- Assistance in adopting social change- Whenever some social change occurs, it is easily adopted by some people, while others find it very difficult to adjust themselves to this change. Overcoming resistance to change- certain factors create resistance in the way of accepting social change. Education helps in overcoming resistance.
- Analysis in change- Education invests the individual with the capacity to use his intelligence, to distinguish between right and wrong and to establish certain ideals. Education determines the values, which act as a criterion for the analysis of social change.
- Assistance in creating desire for change- Education creates a desire for change in a society, which is pre-requisite for any kind of change to come. It makes people aware of social evils, like drinking, dowry, gambling, begging, bonded labour etc. and creates an urge to fight and change such things. Education makes under-privileged, down-trodden and backward people aware of their lot and instills a desire to improve their conditions. Thus, education creates a desire for change.
- Assistance in changing attitudes- Education helps to change the attitudes of people in favour of modern ways of life and develops attitudes, which can fight prejudices, superstitions and traditional belief. It can bring about a change in attitudes of people in favour of small family towards rising above orthodox values and socio-cultural barriers of caste and class and towards religion and secularism. Education interacts with the process of social development, which is another name of social change.
- Emergence of new changes- Education initiates, guides and controls movements for social reform. Education helps in agitating public opinion towards the abolition of many social changes.
- Transmission of culture- Education is the creator, generator and director of all social change. In short, education is a preservative, consolidating, establishing and creating force.
- Stabilizing democratic values- Education is a weapon of democracy. It can help in developing democratic attitudes and values for better living. It can help in developing democratic attitudes and values for better living. Democratic values such as liberty, equality, fraternity, justice, tolerance, mutual respect, feeling of brotherhood and faith in peaceful methods, are stabilized through education in free India. These values are helpful in bringing about social change.
- National Integration- Education can prove very useful in bringing about national integration, which is the basis for unity among people.
- Economic prosperity- Education is the most important factor in achieving rapid economic development and technological progress and in creating a social order, founded on the value of freedom, social justice and equal opportunity.
- National development- Education is the fundamental basis of national development. Education is the powerful instrument of economic, political, cultural, scientific and social change.
- Leadership in social change- Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, highly educated and enlightened Indians, made all efforts at conscious level to bring about the social changes. Mahatma Gandhi designed Basic Education, to fight the ills of mass illiteracy.
- Advances in the sphere of knowledge- New researches and inventions depend upon education, because only the educated individuals can search for new things in every field. Thus, education contributes to social change, by bringing changes in knowledge.
- Perpetualizing eternal values- Education protects the eternal values, promotes knowledge and acceptance in such a manner that in spite of social changes, people in general keep faith in these values.
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