Education for Citizenship:
Everyone indeed should recognize that Education is an experience and it’s core componentEs are understanding and values. It is often forgotten that India is no exception that the purpose of education is primarily to help students become better human beings and effective citizens. Treating education as an opportunity to proceed further in the life by becoming good Engineers, Doctors, Accountants, Managers, Lawyers etc., in diverse field to increase income is in the long-term a secondary objective. As someone involved in higher education and in management for several years in India & outside, focus on the secondary objective with almost total disregard of the primary objective of education.
It has always been a disquieting experience. The kind of education, which is not attempted to be imparted starting at a very early stage and continuing into what is often referred to as higher education, can at best be called Vocational education because it prepares participants to become proficient in their chosen profession. The looser is what should appropriately be called basic education. The result is that the trained personnel we have are good at doing Vocational and Professional works only due to lack of basic human qualities. The myriad social tensions and issues that we face today are evidently inevitable consequence of the basic human qualities.
It is absolutely forgotten that the so called Politicians, bureaucrats, exploitative business people etc., whom we may be blaming for the ills of the society are originally citizens first before they are named Villains or anything else. Evidently they are primarily ineffective or irresponsible citizens only.
While most seem to be quite aware and knowledgeable about fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution, few seem to be aware of fundamental duties of citizens. It is of course, that fundamental rights differ from fundamental duties. The former are judicially enforceable while the latter are part of the Directive Principles of State Policy and are only recommended but not legally enforceable as such. This is one of the major ills of Indian Society.
There is, therefore, urgent need to devise mechanisms to ensure that all citizens not only School & College students even the well said grown-up people should become Conscious of their responsibilities as citizens. Every one should be aware that Democracy involves hard-ship, the hard-ship of unceasing responsibility of every citizen. Where the entire people do not take a continuous and considered part in public life, there can be no Democracy in any meaningful sense of the term. Democracy is always a beckoning goal, not a safe harbour. For freedom is an unremitting endeavour and never a final achievement. That is why no office or portfolio in the land is more important than that of being a citizen.
In the light of the foregoing, it is evident that developing a Nation-Wide initiative for Education for Citizenship is National imperative to ensure that democracy continues and succeeds in India.