Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Meaning and Purpose of Education

The Meaning and Purpose of Education
Birds and animals require little teaching or training to lead a successful bird or animal life. They know how to make a home or shelter for themselves and how to keep themselves alive instinctively. The instinct of self preservation is implanted in them by nature. They are given certain faculties which develop to their maximum level with their physical growth without much conscious effort on their part or on the part of their parents. Not so with man. His intellectual growth depends on many outside factors and can not attain maturity without long and deliberate effort on his part and on the part of his well wishers. A forest can grow by itself naturally but a garden cannot.

A flower is pretty by itself but a diamond requires a lot of cutting and polishing before it will sparkle and scintillate into a thousand colors. Man is like a rough diamond and requires filing and polishing before all his faculties can function fully. Education is just this filing and polishing of the human personality so that it reaches its full development. It enables one to lead a better life physically, mentally and spiritually.

Now a man possesses a mind, a spirit and a body. So education has a three fold purpose. It aims at his physical, mental, and spiritual well being. It keeps the body fit and healthy, the mind sound and vigorous and the spirit fine and sensitive. As the health of the body is the first requisite of all human activities and is indispensable for all progress, so education must first of all enable a person to live hygienically and to earn an honest living. This basic education is most often neglected in our country and is, in fact, the cause of most of our troubles. The man who can not support himself and his family is only half educated. The man who does not know the rules of hygiene and cleanliness is even worse. He is a menace to society itself.

Knowledge of the laws of health and their faithful observance are an integral part of physical education. Appropriate food and clothing and clean ways of living play an important part in building up one's health. Physical exercise is essential to true education. It gives a healthy tone to the different organs of our body and makes them thoroughly strong and fit for doing their duty. Bodily strength is as much needed as intellectual activity in ensuring success in life. Physical exercise is, therefore, an essential requisite which every man and woman should cultivate. IF we want to be strong, healthy and free from disease, we should take regular exercise. Those who use their brain a great deal should not neglect to take part in some kind of athletic sport, if they want to be free from diseases that are contracted by sedentary habits. There are different kind of physical exercise such as walking, riding, gymnastics and games.

The education should also sharpen our mental faculties and develop them fully. It should remove superstitions, prejudice, and bigotry. The mind should be able to seek truth in everything and to see things as they are, impartially and objectively.

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