Education and Human Development

It goes without saying that education is to be linked with socio-economic needs of the society. The purpose of education is not to create human robot or to supply skilled manpower to the global market. Instead, education must become an effective instrument of economic development and social change. We are a country with the unique distinction of having enormous resources juxtaposed with abject poverty. We have not been able to harness our resources to raise the living conditions of the common masses because of our inability to attune our educational system towards this end.

On the social front, the country is marked by cleavages and dissensions. Practices, old and new, that are incompatible with the demands of a just and humane society, and dominate the social scene. Right kind of education, tuned to the economic and social needs of the society, is the only answer to our socio-economic problems. Education must be able to produce an army of skilled personnel with social sensitivity that will address itself to the problems of the society with a sense of commitment. By improving people’s ability to acquire and use information, education deepens their understanding of themselves and the world, enriches their minds by broadening their experiences, and improves the choices they make as consumers, producers and citizens. Education strengthens their ability to meet their wants and those of their family by increasing their productivity and their potential to achieve a higher standard of living. By improving people’s confidence and their ability to create and innovate, it multiplies their opportunities for personal and social achievement.

Education is thus viewed as an integral part of national development. Development is not only ‘economic growth’; rather, it ‘comprehended opportunities to all people for better life’ with ‘man as end of development and instrument’. Education and development are linked in a variety of ways. First, education, as stated earlier, is a human right, the exercise of which is essential for individual development and fulfillment. The capacity of an individual to contribute to societal development is made possible and enhanced by his or her development as an individual. In this light, education is also a basic need. It is also a means by which other needs, both collective and individual, are realized. Thus, education is the instrument by which the skills and productive capacities are developed and endowed. All these interrelationships of education and development are inseparable from the conception of educational policies.