Essay on Education and Modernisation – Education has become today an essential aspect of the modern industrial society. It is more regarded as an agent of social change than an instrument of social control. It has become increasingly secular.
All the nations of the world are investing huge amount of money on education for it has become an essential condition of advancement.
Education, modernisation, advancement in science, technology and industry normally go together. Formal professional education has become an absolute necessity today. Education is needed just to read, write and do simple calculations but, it is essential to earn one’s living. It is the main source of supply of trained and technical persons to industry. The job that one gets today depends largely on the type of education that one has secured.
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Modern schools, colleges and universities do not give much emphasis upon transmitting a way of life to the students as was given by the earlier forms of education. This is due to the fact that traditional education was meant for an unchanging and static society, a society not marked by rapid changes associated with industrialisation.
Modern society, on the other hand, is a changing society. In such a society education aims at communicating empirical knowledge , that is, knowledge about science, technology and other types of specialised knowledge.
A transformation in the contents and methods of education has taken place to meet the demands of the changing society. This transformation has led to some far-reaching consequences, some of them are mentioned below:
(i) Heavy Study Materials:
Modern education includes heavy study materials on modern science and technology into the syllabus. Due to this inclusion and over emphasis on this, courses of study on classical language and literature had to be abridged or altogether dropped.
This has prevented the modern learners from knowing their own past traditions and cultural heritage. “It is argued that in such circumstances an individual would be cut off from his ‘roots’ and his creative faculties, particularly his emotional and spiritual talents, would languish for want of nourishment.”
(ii) Values losing their Importance:
Due to the impact of modem science and technology many of the cherished values of the past have lost their previous importance. There is no attempt to persuade people of the younger generation to accept these values uncritically.
At the same time, new set of values have not been developed to occupy the place of the old ones. This situation has created confusion both to the individual and to the society. In the absence of meaningful human values the life of modern educated man has become more mechanical and materialistic. In the absence of consensus regarding some basic questions as to what is right and what is wrong, what is desirable and what is not – the society has to face conflicts.
(iii) The Dangerous Face of Science and Technology:
Science and technology are growing today at a fast rate. Modern education has accelerated this growth. The uncontrolled growth of technology and the directionless development in science have today added much too human tension, anxiety and misery.
Francis Bacon at one stage had said that “knowledge is power”. But today many eminent scientists have reluctantly come to the view that “knowledge is unfortunately power”. The manufacturer of deadly war weapons has created fear in the minds of people about science and technology. This only calls for rethinking and reappraisal in the field of educational planning as part of modernisation.