Education as an Instrument for Social Change
“The relationship of education with social change is not a simple, unilateral one, as perhaps many would like to believe, for education is not only instrumental in bringing about social change, it is also quite interestingly instrumental in maintaining the status quo. In other words, education plays a “conservative” and “radical” role, i.e., it helps both in maintaining and “changing” different aspects of the social system.”
A society that wishes to change or modernize must use a variety of tools, instruments, institutions, agents, or agencies. Education is possibly the most essential of these tools. Education provides the essential training in skills and professions, resulting in the production of qualified people for the various specialized tasks required in contemporary industrial, business, educational, and research facilities.
Not only that but education is supposed to improve people’s ideas and attitudes. Because of the importance of education in bringing about social change or modernization, leaders and planners in emerging countries have made large-scale educational institutions available to their people.
We in India have also witnessed our educational planners’ tremendous efforts over the last fifty years of national planning to increase various educational facilities at all levels and in all parts of the country. India is also fostering people and idea exchanges with industrialized nations to gain and apply educational theories, methods, and systems to establish a modernized society. Many positive outcomes have arisen from these efforts, yet more progress has to be made.
If we examine the lifestyles of individual residents in India, we will see two significant shifts. More and more individuals from the lower and middle classes are making significant sacrifices so that their children can receive an education and, as a result of their education, improve their living conditions. Second, an increasing number of people from lower castes are achieving social and economic advancement by obtaining an education. Education has undoubtedly helped them to improve their lives; it has provided them with a higher social position and opened the borders of ambition for their children.
Education must stress social changes in the same spirit, viewpoint, and power as social reform movements such as Jabri Taleem, Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj, Protestantism, and others; just demonstrating more liberalism and openness to contemporary influences is not enough. Meaningful programmes, frequently social action, that current Indian society needs but could not be implemented throughout the country’s sixty-plus years of independence must now be substantially implemented in the shortest period feasible through the application of education’s power.
Agents of Social Change Society and Culture
Teachers must undoubtedly assist the nation in achieving long-awaited social reform. First and foremost, we must develop personalities with high levels of empathy, accomplishment, motivation, social sensitivity, risk-taking capacity, and other contemporary male characteristics. Only then will we be able to awaken or regenerate our young minds and energy. Teachers in India must have a liberal viewpoint on modernization. Teachers may help their pupils prepare for their future roles in such a society. As a result, teachers must fully commit to initiating the process of social transformation in India.
We recognise that instructors cannot accomplish everything on their own. Teachers should be assisted by numerous reference groups, curriculum designers, educationists, political and social leaders, and families by modernizing their work in their particular area of social activity. Regardless of their political affiliations, all political parties must examine the country’s educational requirements and reach a consensus on a basic educational program to be implemented throughout the country.
Nevertheless, it is the teachers of contemporary India who will ultimately be responsible for activating all of these group norms and mobilizing this practical commitment to the transformation and modernization of our society through education. This is a huge duty as well as a huge task.