Social Scientist. v 3, no. 28 (Nov 1974) p. 65.


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Signposts to New Education

WE are being constantly reminded that the present educational system in India has outlived its usefulness. If it is no longer useful we must be clear about the nature and objectives of the tvpc of education we want to put in its place. Education in India has been too theoretical and primarily limited to teaching English language and literature. This system served the purposes of a colonial economy. Unaware of the know-how of the production system, the ^educated' were cut ofT from the hopes and aspirations of the masses.

The isolation of education from the needs of a changing society became so obvious at the turn of the century that in 1905 the protagonists of a national education system called for a restructuring oriented to an independent national economy. They also advocated the inculcation of patriotism among students as an essential prerequisite to nation-building. It was, however, realized that such a national system of education was not possible till India freed itself from political and economic bondage.

The opportunity for a total change, therefore, appeared to present itself with the country's political independence. But the new rulers followed the pftith of their imperialist predecessors, and the exploitation-based social structure remained almost untouched. Without introducing any fundamental change in the feudal land relations in agriculture, they started developing capitalism on the remains of the colonial svstcm of production. Moreover, the native monopolists, hoping to maintain their maximum profit and to save themselves from the deepening crisis of ihe capitalist system, came to terms with their foreign counterparts. The consequence of this policy manifested itself in increasing poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. On the other hand, the wealth of the nation came to be concentrated in the hands of the few rich. Forty-five per cent of the land under cultivation is cornered by only five per cent of the land-/ owners. This deprivation and disparity is what the people got on the completion of four successive Five Year Plans. The reflection of this battered economy can be seen in the present system of education. Attempts to bring about minor changes in the educational field came to nothing as



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