August 15, 2023
As we commemorate our country’s independence on 15th August, it is fitting to understand that our freedom struggle involved great sacrifices by our heroes of freedom who owned the country’s burning aspirations and made tremendous efforts to lead India towards sovereignty. Over the years India has made tremendous progress and achieved greater milestones. One of the key factors for the progress has been ‘Education’. In this context, Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations had aptly said, “Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.” This statement is a clarion call for every country to place education among the foremost national priorities. There is no substitute for education to establish democracy, freedom and sustainable development in every society and nation at large.
India is blessed with a large, dynamic young population with 65% being under 35 years of age. (Times of India article (Feb 2023). And according to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) projections, India will continue to have one of the youngest populations in the world till 2030. These young people have all the potential to transform the country in every sphere. The growth of our country will completely depend on the quality of education they receive and their ability to be productive citizens. Our nation therefore has a huge responsibility of making the best of this asset by educating them.
Education holds the master key towards effective nation building as it plays a vital role in the economic and social growth of the country. It is the backbone of our society and a strong pillar of development. “According to the performance grading Index, the Indian education system is one of the largest in the world with about 14.9 lakh schools, 95 lakh teachers, and nearly 26.5 crore students from varied socio-economic backgrounds.” (Financial Express, November 2022). It is therefore important to further strengthen our education system so that we can provide quality education to develop skills and help our youngsters acquire knowledge which will equip them for employment and take up entrepreneurial endeavours in future. Education provides innumerable avenues to explore to bring about individual as well as the growth of our society.
Education in our country is witnessing a tremendous change due to technology. In this scenario of technological revolution, every educational institution has to focus on technology integration and hands-on-training for our youth in order to make them future ready contributors and productive citizen leaders. We see educational reforms happening today because of the paradigm changes introduced as a result of the new National Education Policy (NEP). NEP has given a road map to nurture not only employable citizens but also researchers and entrepreneurs through education that is holistic, accessible, equitable and research based. Development of necessary infrastructure and relevant teacher’s training and encouraging them to upgrade their skills and qualification will definitely give the required boost towards this end.
Quality education with new age skills and digital advancement will help our youth realize their potential and strength to be value laden, empowered and responsible citizens of our country. Education is imperative; it is a very important tool that can help India become a global super power by educating our largest youth population of 254 million in the age group of 15-24 years (ref. Business Standards August 03, 2023). As Denis Waitley had said, let us give our children and youth ‘roots of responsibility and the wings of independence’ through education.
Happy Independence Day! Jai Hind!