Samta Shiksha Samiti has made special efforts during last four years in Rajasthan on education, women empowerment, health, youth and related issues. On the basis of financial help from friends and the income earned through self resources.
Samta Shiksha Samiti is a non governmental and non profit making organisation, founded in year 2008 for efforts in education and social development sectors under the society act 1958. Its head office is at 190/81,Pratap Nagar, Kumbha Marg, Sanganer Jaipur (Rajasthan) and it can work throughout Rajasthan.
The objectives of the organisation are as under-
· To make women socio-economically self dependent.
· To develop a harmonious atmosphere to maintain national awareness, democratic values and national integrity.
· To make available quality education for all the children of Rajasthan without discrimination.
· To encourage child rights and safety.
· To help in making available the equal opportunities of education, health and livelihood.
1. Education as we understand it
There is unanimity on the issue of universalisation of primary – as well as elementary–education. But why do we want universalisation of primary/elementary education ? The unanimity on the second issue – if there exists any – is superficial. All the government documents emphasise (i) the necessity of literate/armed-with-basic-education population to achieve the national goals, (ii) need to be an economically contributing adult, and (iii) need for everyone to earn her lively-hood. By far that is the crux of the matter according to the general view. A sizeable number of people, especially educationists and concerned citizens, feel that though the above mentioned goals are important and education perhaps should address them, they are inadequate. They omit some thing vitally important in a pluralistic and democratic society. We happen to agree with this second view, our vision of education is informed by this consideration.
Education in a democratic and egalitarian society
· The twin ideals of democracy and egalitarianism can not be divorced from each other. Democracy is an acceptance of the principle that all human beings are essentially equal. Even if a society has not achieved equality in practice, the ideal of democracy demands a commitment to make unceasing efforts to achieve it.
· Every human being has the right to live with dignity. And in an egalitarian and democratic society all have equal right to participate in socio-political decision making.
· Many sections and individuals in our society are deprived of democratic participation in deciding matters that effect their lives.
· Many find it difficult to live with dignity; due to poverty – defined as lack of control on socio-economic and political factors effecting their lives.
· The reasons behind this deprivation can be seen as: one, lack of control over the means of production; and two, lack of opportunities to develop capabilities.
· Education can not directly effect the distribution of means of production. It is true that education eventually changes this distribution but it takes a long and complex social process.
· Education directly effects the personal capabilities of individuals, and thereby, of sections of society. And that is what education should aim at.
Development of abilities for a democratic society
Some of the important assumptions about abilities needed by citizens in a democratic society are listed below:
· Many of the innate abilities of a human being can be developed into various capabilities.
· Elementary education should concern itself with the capabilities which; i) are needed for independent and rational decision making, ii) abilities related with effective and equal participation in socio-political decision making (democratic discourse), and ii) abilities related with modes of desired action. Because these abilities are fundamental to participate in democratic processes that shape the society we live in.
· It is not possible to give pre-set formulas to learners for rational and autonomous decision making. Such pre-set formulas would be against the very idea of autonomy of the decision-maker.
· The only way is to have knowledge and understanding of the world we live in. That is, having information and understanding of how this world – natural as well as social or human world – functions. Therefore, development of the understanding of human and natural world should be an important aim of education.
· But autonomy also brings responsibility with it. One who want to be autonomous in decision making must also be prepared to accept the consequences of those decisions. This implies that development of values is essential. In the rational framework values can be seen as function of understanding of the ‘effect of ones actions on others’ and sensitivity to others (‘others’ includes all living creatures). Therefore, the second (no priority is intended here) aim of education has to be moral development and development of sensitivity.
· Aesthetics plays an important part in any social and cultural life. One can neither hope to be independent in decision making nor be responsible without having a developed aesthetic sense. The whole entertainment and fashion industry today runs and makes money on the aesthetic gullibility of the people. Education has to aim at aesthetic development of the learner as well.
· The development of rational autonomy can not be complete without abilities to act in order to implement the decisions made. This requires various skills – skills here are generally seen as psychomotor skills. A skill can be seen as the ability to transform an idea into an action or an object, with or without tools and material. A further analysis would reveal that skills can be divided into three groups: i) those which are concerned with efficient use of our body alone, ii) those which are concerned with influencing other people’s thinking and behaviour, and iii) those which are concerned with transforming material into desired object.
· The first kinds of skills depend upon abilities to manipulate our own bodies. Second king depend upon understanding others and efficient communication. And the third kind depend upon our understanding of the natural world (materials) and ability of precise use of, again, parts of our body, particularly hands.
· Therefore, development of these abilities also needs to be included in the aims of education.
Aims of elementary education
· The assumptions listed in the last point can be summarised as follows:
· The over arching aim of education should be to help the learner become rationally autonomous individual and a concerned citizen.
· Elementary education should aim at:
· The development of rational understanding of the natural and social world.
· The ideas and skills related to the above listed areas that human race had developed/accumulated make a formidable collection. And further, there is no limit to development in any of these areas.
Therefore, it is impossible to predict in advance what knowledge and skills the learner will need in future.
· Also there is a limit to how much a child can learn in five years of primary education. Therefore, we can not hope to make him a rationally autonomous member of the society by the end of five years of schooling.
· Which means that we have to teach her something so basic and important that: i) helps her in further independent learning, and ii) motivates her to keep on learning, and iii) gives confidence. This then should be seen as specific goal of primary education.
· Independent learning does not thrive on information mugging. It becomes possible only when the child herself gets involved in enquiry. In other words the child has to experience formation of knowledge rather than just storing information.
· Motivation for learning can become part of ones character only if learning has been associated with thrill of discovery, recognition and enjoyment.
· Points 5 and 6 above can provide us with some guidelines for curriculum and pedagogy.
Teaching methodology: Some important assumptions are given below.
· Children can develop independent thinking and ability to critically analyse their socio-economic context only if they get opportunity to ask questions, express dissent and are allowed to interpret text according to their own understanding. Therefore, the teaching methods should provide the flexibility needed to accommodate all this.
· Before teaching new things the teacher should take into account the child’s understanding.
· Pressure, competition and fear of punishment should not be used as motivating factors as use of these will be detrimental to independent learning.
· Experiences of learning with ones own efforts help in building self-confidence and in understanding how human knowledge is created. Learning with the help of other children and helping them in learning emphasise social base of learning and also develop a positive attitude towards co-operation.
Relationship with the community
The community should be an active partner in decision making about the school. Here we are making a few points only about the academic side of that relationship.
· A child is part of her environment and community.
· A school capable of influencing the child’s world-view should necessarily have close interaction with the community ethos. Events and activities in the community should become part of the learning process in the school.
· The teachers should take the community’s comments on the school and its activities seriously and should establish a dialogue on curriculum and teaching methods with the community.
We have tried to give a very brief account of vision of education starting from the desirable society, aims, some hints at the curriculum, teaching methodology and school community relationship. All this depends on the teacher to be realised. Some of the qualities/capabilities of the teacher consistent with what is written so far are listed below:
· The teacher should understand education and its relevance for a democratic society.
· S/he should be democratic and egalitarian in her/his values and social concerns.
· Should understand how children learn.
· S/he should be capable of wining confidence of the community and should be sensitive to the community’s critique of the school and it’s functioning.
· Should know the primary curriculum content well and should understand place of subject areas in human knowledge. Should also understand the basic structure of science, mathematics, geography etc.
· Should be able to use the available teaching/learning material creatively relating it with the child’s existing understanding. Should be able to develop learning programmes for children.
· Should be able to learn independently and be interested in learning.
· Should have requisite knowledge base and teaching skills.
· Should take his/her work seriously and should be able to critically analyse her own work.
· Should be able to work in a team and take criticism of his/her ideas and work with patience.
we are the volunteer organization in rajasthan and working for justice, equality & dignity for all through education.our viewes about Education is as below-
1.1. Education in a democratic and egalitarian society The twin ideals of demo.....read more