– Dr. Kuldeep Mehandiratta
Education is considered as a unique collection of experiences received inside or outside any school/college/ educational institution, which guide a student to live in a better way. Mahatma Gandhi said “Literacy in itself is no education. Literacy is not the end of education or even the beginning. By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man-body, mind and spirit.” Therefore, real education not only focus on physical and informational development, but also care for psycho-social and emotional development in the form of inculcation character-building and moral values in students. Social and Political system of a nation bear the responsibility of all-round development of the personality of its students. So, education is integral part and parcel of Bharatiya Social and Political system.
Free and compulsory education for its children
Bharatiya constitution focusses on providing education to every Bharatiya, irrespective of caste, sex, breed, race, religion, language etc. Article 21A (86th Amendment), provides for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years. This provision converts our education system into the largest one in the world. It was clearly stated in Article 45 (Directive Principles of State Policies) of the Constitution that universal, free and compulsory education would be the joint responsibility of the Centre and the States.
Care for socially and economically backwards section of society
Article 15, 17, and 46 safeguard the educational interests of socially backward classes of citizens and scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Article 15 states very clearly that “Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of Article 29 shall prevent the state from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes.” These articles provide the special care for the advancement of educational and economic interests of socially and educationally backward classes of citizens, the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes. Moreover, Article 30 of the Bharatiya constitution provides certain cultural and educational rights to establish and administer minority educational institutions.
Women education in Bharat
The Constitution lays down the following provisions on women’s education Subject to different articles: Article 15(1) provides that the State shall not discriminate any citizen on groups only of sex. Article 15 (3) reads: “Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.” Hence in spirit and letter, Bharatiya constitution allows to make any law to promote women education in Bharat. National Education Policy 2020 provides that it must be noted that women cut across all underrepresented groups, making up about half of all SEDGs (Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups). Unfortunately, the exclusion and inequity that SEDGs face is only amplified for the women in these SEDGs. The policy additionally recognizes the special and critical role that women play in society and in shaping social mores; therefore, providing a quality education to girls is the best way to increase the education levels for these SEDGs, not just in the present but also in future generations. The policy thus recommends that the policies and schemes designed to include students from SEDGs should be especially targeted towards girls in these SEDGs.
Education in mother-tongue
Article 350A indicates very clearly that “It shall he endeavor of every state and every local authority to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups.” National Education Policy provides for ‘Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother tongue/local language/regional language. Thereafter, the home/local language shall continue to be taught as a language wherever possible. This will be followed by both public and private schools. High-quality textbooks, including in science, will be made available in mother tongue.’ Moreover, highlighting the need of conservation of different languages giving the protection to minorities of the country, Article 29(1) states that “Any section of the citizen, residing in the territory of Bharat or any part there of having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, hall have the right to conserve the same.”
Promotion of Rashtra-Bhasha Hindi
National Language Hindi is the language, which has been working as a connecting link among the different parts of Bharat since the ages. The Bharatiya constitution provides for the development and promotion of Hindi as a national language. Article 351 requires the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language. Hindi has been accepted as the official language of Bharat as laid down in the Constitution in the following terms: “It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression of all the elements of the composite culture of Bharat.”
Home language or mother-tongue is not only source of getting knowledge but also indoctrinate social and cultural values of a nation in students. Moreover, many disguised educational values of our constitution, which are introduced among students to make them aware with Bhartiya way of life. Our constitution paves the way to introduce the citizens to universal human values and character- building ethos. National Education Policy 2020 expects from our educational institutions to develop a deep sense of respect to Fundamental Duties and Constitutional values. It aims to develop knowledge, life- skills, moral values, and ethical dispositions that ‘support responsible commitment to human rights, sustainable development and living, and global well-being, thereby reflecting a truly global citizen.’
(Author is Assistant Professor and Chairperson of Political Science department at Ch. Bansilal University, Bhiwani Haryana)
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