The importance of aims and objectives of Education is recognized by all the Educational, professional, political, nonpolitical and religious associations, Organizations and groups at various levels in their memoranda, letters and brochures. It is said that Education without clear cut aims is like a rudderless ship. The following comparisons emphasize this point fully well.
Every pilot has a route-chart and set timing of landing at predetermined destination. There is constitution or set of Principles and traditions through which a country is governed Similarly, there should be properly defined and declared principles, aims and objectives of Education or the basis of which policies and programs of Education nave to be formulated to achieve the set goals wit out wasting scarce energies and resources in chasing the wild goose.
It is generally felt that our Educational system has not followed the desired aims as a result that it does not produce ideal citizens in the country. It has followed, rather a narrow aim of preparing individuals for livelihood, as mentioned in one of the documents received from an Organization.
The main reason of failure of Educational system is that it basically stands or, pre-independence system. The main Objective of its products was how to take degree and to earn money and to be careerist without consideration of ethical values and national spirit.
On the one hand we are developing and cultivating the British given economy, judicial system and system of administration and parliament and on the other we are decrying and criticizing the Education system which merely fulfils the needs of the British systems that we are propagating.
The aims and objectives of Education, suggested in the documents, include individual as well as social aims, with emphasis of social transformation aiming at reconstructing society to make it modernized, productive, participative, and value oriented nation committed to its constitutional obligations.
Development of an individual – physically, mentally and spiritually is well known aim of Education. Objectives related to this aim of individual development have been expressed in various ways in the memoranda:
1. Developing physical and mental faculties.
2. Acquiring the capacities of understanding, appreciation and expression through word and act, are the fundamental aims of Education.
3. Aim of Education should be to make children self- confident and self dependent, and to make them strong physically and mentally
4. Education is meant to develop every child’s character, personality and culture and as much knowledge as the child can assimilate not merely memorize.
Social and national development
Social, aim of Education in equally important because an individual lives in society and has his obligations towards his nation. There is a realization that, “The present Education system does riot yield required results mainly because it is divorced from the real social content and social goals”.
It has, therefore, been suggested that Education should be able, to discharge its natural functions and must correspond to its structure, goals and content in the interest of national development and social progress. It has also been suggested in this connection that students from young age should be made aware of the social responsibility cast on them.
There are certain constitutional commitments, which are intimately related to this aim. We as the citizens of the republic, are constitutionally Committed to democracy, social justice, equality of opportunity, secularism and above all to a welfare state. It has, therefore, been suggested that, “Educational policy and Educational program should clearly reflect these commitments”.
Aims give direction to activities. Aims of Education are formulated keeping in view the needs of situation. Human nature is multisided with multiple needs, which are related to life. Educational aims are correlated to ideals of life.
The goal of Education should be the full flowering of the human on this earth. According to a UNESCO study, “the physical, intellectual, emotional and ethical integration of the individual into a complete man/woman is the fundamental aim of Education.”
The goal of Education is also to form children into human persons committed to work for the creation of human communities of love, fellowship, freedom, justice and harmony. Students are to be molded only by making them experience the significance of these values in the school itself. Teachers could achieve this only by the lived example of their lives manifested in hundreds of small and big transactions with students in word and deed.
Individual and Social Aims
Individual aims and social aims are the most important aims of Education. They are opposed to each other individual aims gives importance for the development of the individuality. Social aim gives importance to the development of society through individual not fulfilling his desire. But it will be seen that development of individuality assumes meaning only in a social environment.
Individual Aims: “Nothing goods enters into the human world except in and through the free activities of individual men and women and that Educational practice must be shaped the individual. Education should give scope to develop the inborn potentialities through maximum freedom.”
1. Biologists believe that every individual is different from others. Every child is a new and unique product and a new experiment with life. Thompson says, “Education is for the individual”. Individual should be the centre of all Educational efforts and activities.
2. Naturalists believe that central aim of Education is the autonomous development of the individual. “Everything is good as it comes from the hands of the Author of Nature, but everything degenerates in the hands of man.” God makes all things good, man meddles with them and they become evil. God creates everything good man makes it evil. So individual should be given maximum freedom for its own development.
3. Psychologists believe that Education is an individual process because of individual differences. No two individuals are alike. So Education should be according to the interest of the individual.
Criticism of Individual Aim
Individual aim is not desirable because man is a social animal. Society’s interest should be protected.
1. Individual aim makes individual selfish.
2. Maximum freedom may go against the society.
3. Individuality cannot develop from a vacuum; it develops in a social atmosphere.
4. Unless society develops, individual cannot develop.
5. Who will recognize society- where individual is selfish?
The supporters believe that society or state is supreme or real. The individual is only a means. The progress of the society is the aim of Education. Education is for the society and of the society. The function of Education is for the welfare of the state. The state will make the individual as it desires. It prepares the individual to play different roles in society. Individuality has no value, and personality is meaningless apart from society. If society will develop individual will develop automatically. Here society plays an important role.
Criticism of Social Aim
1. It makes individual only a tool of government.
2. It reduces individual to a mere non-entity.
3. Society ignores the legitimate needs, desires and interests of the individual.
4. It is against the development of individuality of the individual.
Synthesis between individual and social aims of Education:
Individual aim and social aim of Education go independently. Both are opposing to each other. It is not in reality. Neither the individual nor the society can exist. The individual is the product of the society while society finds its advancement in the development of its individual member.
“The aim of Education is the development of valuable personality and spiritual individuality.” The true aim of Education cannot be other than the highest development of the individual as a member of society. Let Education burn the individual flame, feeding it with the oil of society.
Different aims of Education
Life is very complex and complicated. But an aim in life can make the complex life simple and purposeful. Aims give us direction to work and without aim, destination, or objective life becomes incomplete and haphazard.
Individual has different interests, attitudes and needs. Every individual wants to achieve certain goals in life. But a clear-cut aim makes the road of life easy. Educational aims are varied. They have their different role in different fields. Some specific aims are listed below:
(i) Knowledge Aim
The aim of Education is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes. It helps to adjust properly in one’s own environment. Knowledge helps the man to overcome the nature and satisfy human wants. It links the teacher and taught with social situation. It helps with certain skills to live in a society as human being and civilized one. Philosophers and Educationists of the world believe in knowledge. It is the valuable asset of life, which helps the individual to overcome misery and problems of life.
(ii) Vocational Aim
Knowledge aim of Education is narrow by nature. The theoretical knowledge will never meet our basic needs of life. We need bread and butter to fill up our belly. We can get it if education is vocationalised. Gandhiji realized it in 1937 when he introduced Basic Education. Vocational aim develops the social efficiency of the individual. It reduces mental tension after completion of Education. Those who are lower, intelligence in vocational Education or training are a blessing for them. Realizing this aspect. Indian Education Commission (1964-66) introduces work-experience in the curriculum.
(iii) Character Building Aim
The Indian concept of Education believes in self-realization. Self-realization is possible through moral Education. So the individual should cultivate moral virtues or values which constitute character. Swami Vivekananda said, “We want that Education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.”
(iv) Complete-Living Aim
The individual has various aspects to be developed. Every aspect of the personality is reflected in various activities to be performed. Education should help the individual to fulfill the various needs and necessities of life like self-preservation, fulfilling necessities of life, rearing and bearing of children, performing civic responsibilities and utilizing his leisure time properly.
Firstly, the individual must know the art of self-preservation. Secondly, Education should enable to him to earn his living. Thirdly, he should know how to take care of his own children. Lastly, he must have the idea how to utilize the leisure hours properly in a profiting manner.
Development of the personality aim- Gandhiji said, “By Education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man-body, mind and spirit.” The meaning itself indicates to develop all-round aspects of individual-physical, intellectual, social and spiritual. All these aspects of the individual should be harmoniously developed. True Education is development of 3H’s instead of 3R’s.
The development of Head, Heart and hand of an individual makes him happy.
(vi) Democratic Aim of Education
One of the important aims and objective of Education suggested by Secondary Education Commission (1952-54) is to develop the democratic citizenship. India is a democratic country. Even citizen must have to realize the duties and responsibilities carefully. So the aim of Education is to train carefully the future citizens. Training should be provided to develop the following qualities of the individual.
(i) Capacity for clear thinking.
(ii) Receptivity of new idea.
(iii) Clarity in speech and writing.
(iv) True patriotism.
Further the democratic aim of Education develops vocational efficiency, personality and leadership quality.
Indian Education Commission (1964-66) suggests the following as the aims of Education in a democratic set-up.
(i) Increasing productivity.
(ii) Developing social and national integrity.
(iii) Making education modernized.
(iv) Cultivating of social, moral and spiritual values.