The different types of education: The term education is comprehensive. it has a wide scope that includes in its ambit, the ‘individual’ as well as society. It also includes the development of all aspects of the personally of an individual i.e., cognitive, emotional, spiritual, moral, aesthetic, social and physical. Today there are several areas of concern confronting the field of education. For instance providing education to the deprived sections, building human resources through education development of values, etc. These issues are the Challenges that have to be overcome in order to attain the goals of education.
Education is a life long process that generates awareness about one’s own self as well as the environment. This is a liberating voice that brings forth progress for the individual as well as the society. Education is as old as human civilization. Its scope is so wide that it is debatable if there can be any fixed parameters within which the concept of education can be bound. According to the pragmatists, the concept of education is dynamic. It changes with the changing needs of a society. But the idealists feel that education should be based on absolute values and ideals.
Etymologically, the word education is derived from two Latin words, educare and educere, Educare means bringing up or nourishing a child Educere means drawing out or bringing forth the potential within an individual. In ancient India, education was considered to be the means for gaining knowledge, becoming a righteous person and finally attaining salvation. Kautilya said that education should develop character and patriotism.. Thus the social dimension was added to the concept of education. It was no longer meant for the uplifttment of only the individual.
Swami Vivekananda considered that education leads to the manifestation of the divine potential already existing in human beings. Thus the function of education is not merely to fill up an individual’s mind with information but to draw out and develop the inherent potential.
Western philosophers have defined education in various ways, According to Plato, education develops in the body and soul of the individual all the beauty and perfection which he is capable of, while Aristitle felt that education develops one’s faculty so that s/he is able to contemplate the supreme birth, beauty and goodness. Thus we can infer that education is not limited to cognitive growth. It is comprehensive and encompasses physical, cognitive, emotional, social, aesthetic moral and spiritual growth.
The modern concept of education is considered to be a tool for, development of the individual and the society. The four pillars according to Delors, on which education is based are:
- Learning to Be : It is a considerable departure from conventional educational thinking and deals with the concept of life long education. For leading a life of quality,. life long education is essential.
- Learning to Know : Education is not merely the process of acquiring knowledge and skills but it is a preparation to acquire them.
- Learning to Do : Through education one not only acquires the abilities to take up an occupation but also develops the ‘right attitude towards work.
- Learning to Live Together : Education develops respect for pluralism understanding and peace.
Now a days the concept of life long education is gaining popularity. It is being realized that education is not limited to that imparted by formal agencies of education. Unlike formal education, non-formal’ education is flexible and open to people of different age groups and geographical areas. It is offered usually by the distant mode and is characterized, by greater freedom and flexibility for the learners. Apart from formal and non-formal education there is also informal education which is open and incidental. It does not involve any deliberate attempt to educate and is devoid of predetermined goals and curriculum. It continues from’ birth through adulthood and old age.
Education is comprehensive in nature. It is not limited to only academic activities but aims at the holistic development of an individual. It extends far beyond the narrow concept of formal learning and is the ‘sum total of the experiences that life provides.
Education does not merely aim towards the upliftment of the individual but has the twin aims of developing both the individual as well as the society. Education is provided in accordance with the goals set by the society. These , goals or aims are formulated in the perspective of the social, political and economic milieu. Some of the major aims of education according to IEC (1964-66) are to increase productivity (agricultural and industrial), social and national integration, modernization of the society, development of social, moral and spiritual values etc. According to National Policy on Education (NPE, 1986) education should aim to promote equality, develop appreciation for the diverse cultural and social systems and promote life long education. Thus education aims at the development of the society through that of the individuals. It generates awareness at the individual and social levels, It is a liberating force that frees us from the shackles of ignorance, poverty, prejudice and parochialism.