Unleashing the community potential of Indian villages

3.1 Education
For a start, every village has to ensure that all the children in the village are put through the formal process of basic schooling. It should coordinate with the neighboring villages to establish institutions that a single village cannot afford. It must support efforts of the government and private agencies at setting centers of learning in the taluka or district neighborhood of the village. It must participate actively, through the parents of the students and through the village elders, in shaping that part of the syllabi in schools which has to do with indigenous culture and values (all secular). In a holistic sense, education is the totality of culturing that happens from birth to death. It is not just about what is taught in schools. A village should therefore develop its own vision of total education and implement it in a way such that its human resources are upgraded constantly.
Relevance:         This freedom is important because, through this, the citizens of the village can pursue the best ... of available education opportunities available anywhere and adequately empower themselves to participate and thrive in the modern economy. Modern systems are designed in a way such that the key to progress and prosperity is education. (Therefore, in the modern world, people seek to ensure fairness and justice by ensuring that every child is educated.) If a village cannot ensure this to its citizens, it is making them handicapped in a world that is driven by the power of education.
Detailed Rationale:         In the villages of today, traditional professional knowledge is indeed transferred from ... parents to children. But this knowledge is meant to meet the requirements of a different time and a different economic situation—for the economic system of the past. Relying on these alone to help children gain economic survival/success in the present economic scenario is a bad idea. Children in the villages, while still being good at what their traditional occupation requires, must also gain a foothold in the competitive contemporary world. Experts agree that this can be achieved by education. It is therefore the basic minimum that a person needs so that he is set on a course to explore the best he has to offer to the world. It is a take-off platform, and therefore, basic education must be ensured to all children at all costs.

It is true that there are certain negative influences that come in through modern education, which traditional people do not desire for their children. But that needs to be corrected in other ways. It is better to pursue a goal of collecting good from everywhere (including modern education) rather than protecting children from what is seen as harmful and consequently making them ill-equipped to participate in the modern economy. Ultimately, the system must take the best from all worlds. Sound knowledge in the arts and sciences from the scientific world, skills for earning a basic livelihood in the present economic environment and the best of values from personality development and spirituality must all be added into the syllabus. The elders in a village and parents must ensure that the education of children is holistic in a true sense. And yet, they must not interfere with the performance of teachers. Ultimately, it is what they patronize (support) that will gain strength in their village. They should support the right thing.
Success Stories and Action:
(Share examples of villages that have succeeded with this freedom. Click here for feedback.)
Though hundred percentage basic education may not be feasible at the moment, a lot is expected to change. A shift from a supply-and-push approach to education must change into a demand-and-pull model. With pull from the villages and push from the government, remarkable things in the environment can be achieved. As the village takes responsibility upon itself and as prosperity sets in, a greater amount of time and effort can go into the education of the citizens. As Gandhiji said, what we see now is dung heaps. Imagine what swaraj villages will be like…

It is important that the basic requirement of studying up to tenth or preferably twelfth class must be met in all citizens at any cost on top priority. This is the best place to start. Eventually, as Gandhiji famously says, ‘When our villages are fully developed, there will be no dearth in them of men with a high degree of skill and artistic talent. There will be village poets, village artists, village architects, linguists and research workers…’

The outstanding example for the success of education is Kerala. The communist governments of the 1960's were able to push villages to take on education as an extension of thier respective village movements. This is an excellent case of village-government partnership.

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