This article throws light upon the top seven educational programmes to gear education for national integration. The educational programmes are:
- Restating the Aims of Education
- National System of Education
- Redesigning the Curriculum
- Organizing co-curricular Activities
- Organizing National Integration Camps
- Other Activities
- Role of Teacher
Programme 1: Restating the Aims of Education
Nobody can deny the fact that the primary aim of education is to produce patriotic citizen who would spearhead national progress. Education also aims at securing co-operation and co-ordination in contrast to conflict and contradiction by creating a new social order based on the pillar of cohesion and solidarity. Over and above, another chief aim of education should be the cultivation of homogeneous thinking based on the spirit of rationality for attacking and arresting various ever-growing problems of the nation.
Programme 2: National System of Education
National system of education is an essential pre-requisite for cultivation of national consciousness and a feeling of oneness among the people.
It embraces the following:
- Evolving and implementing a common and unified pattern of education throughout the country i.e. 10 + 2 + 3 pattern of education.
- Acceptance of aims and objectives of education by all states and union territories.
- Assuming a great responsibility by the centre to implement the structure of education.
- Need for a uniform syllabus for schools all over the nation.
- Providing similar opportunities for education with similar standards all over the country.
Programme 3: Redesigning the Curriculum
In order to foster national feeling the curriculum needs to be revised and redesigned. Every subject in the curriculum must be taught from the stand points of national needs and national achievements. Through different subjects of curriculum, a feeling of unity and oneness; a feeling of our rich cultural heritage, hoary tradition, lofty values, mutual interdependence of people etc. can be promoted among the budding citizens of India.
The design of curriculum for national integration is as follows:
i. National History and Geography:
It is said that history and geography are the warp and woof of all national feelings and patriotic sentiments. The students should be impressed by the lofty values and rich cultural heritage of the nation. Indian history must be taught embracing national ideas, unity in diversity, glorious freedom struggle, the steps taken by different emperors for uniting the nation and above all biographies of national heroes. A study of geography among other things should include human geography, inter-dependence of different regions, map reading and an account of scientific and industrial development. These aspects may help in understanding the essential unity of the nation.
Students should be encouraged to value the ideals of citizenship and the importance of national integration through civics teaching. It should be taught with a national bias.
iii. Social Studies
It should be taught to create a desirable and pleasant attitude for emotional unity and essential integrity among the people of the nation. It should include the lives and works of the great men of India and the world and also stories from the scriptures.
iv. Teaching of Languages
Language is the vehicle of communication and acts as the vibrant cementing force in the unity of the country. Study of a common national language should be made compulsory for the sake of permanent integration of different communities in different regions or provinces.
Besides, study of regional languages and knowledge of at least one or more Indian language should be made compulsory along with English. For this, three language formulas has been devised and incorporated in our language policy. It is, therefore, suggested that people of South should learn Hindi of the Hindi belt states and the people of the Northern states should read and learn a language of south belt states.
v. Study of Art, Music and Literature
Art is the reflection of culture which appeals one’s emotion and paves the golden way for national unity. Music, like art, satisfies the emotion which is an instrument for bringing national consciousness and cohesiveness.
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru elegantly remarked, “Art galleries and museums in a great city are like windows which look out on the broader, richer and deeper things of life”. Literature glorifies the nation and sings the deeds of great men for the unity and integrity of the nation. Therefore, it serves the purpose of infusing the spirit of the nationalism in the minds of pupils.
vi. Moral, Religious and Humanistic Education
With a view to achieving national integration, moral, religious, and humanistic education should form an integral part of our educational system. The budding citizens should be trained in the fundamental dictum of all religions i.e. “fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man” in order to promote national feeling. Religious tolerance and respect to all religions other than the one’s own are essential ingredients to weld the nation into one.
Better understanding of the commonalities of all religions will go a long way in fostering national unity and integration. Values like co-operation, mutual trust, sharing of joys with one another love, fellow-felineness, honesty, sincerity, punctuality, courage etc. need to be injected into the tender minds by means of curriculum.vii. Redesigning the Textbooks
There is an imperative need for recasting and revising books on Indian history, geography, civics, literature and languages etc. for enabling students to appreciate social, cultural, linguistic and religious solidarities of the people of India. At the time of preparation of text books, special care needs to be taken to see that facts are not misrepresented and misinterpreted or exaggerated to create prejudice and undermine development of positive attitude. The get-up as well as the content of text books necessitate a thorough examination and change. Both publishers and authors should be very cautious as to the selection of topic, presentation of items, facts etc. Standards and objectivities should be maintained at any cost.
Programme # 4. Organizing Co-Curricular Activities:
It is admitted on all hands that organisation of different co- curricular activities in an educational institution helps in promotion of national and emotional integration. The following are some of the co-curricular activities for bringing out national integration:
- Celebration of national festivals like Independence Day, Republic Day, Children’s Day, Teacher’s Day, Martyr’s Day in the campus instills national temper and consciousness in the minds of budding citizens of the nation.
- Celebration of birth anniversaries of national leaders and great men need to be organised in schools.
- Celebration of festivals of other communities should be organised.
- Students should be made familiar with the meanings of the verses of the National Anthem and should be taught to recite it in unison and behaved in disciplined way when it is sung.
- Respect of national flag, national symbols and national institutions should be taught to the children.
- Special talks on unity and oneness of the country can be arranged. Eminent persons should be invited to deliver speech on national integration and nationalism.
- Open-air dramas should be staged at least thrice a year in the school in which students should be encouraged to participate. Glorious events in our Indian history and the life of great national heroes should be staged with active participation of students.
- Taking pledge by every student twice a year for the service of their country and their countrymen. Repetition of pledge like this “India is my country, all Indians are my brothers and sisters. I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage. I shall always strive to be worthy of it. To my country and my people. I pledge my devotion. In their well being and prosperity alone lies my happiness”.
- Seminar, dramas and exhibition on the theme of communal harmony and national unity should be organised.
- Display of educational films and radio and T.V. talks and mass media should be used for inculcation of national outlook and national feeling.
- Organisation of educational tours and trips helps the students to have first-hand knowledge about their country and face-to-face contacts by these trips and tours help in breaking the barriers and prejudices and broaden their outlook and vision.
- Cultural exchanges programmes are very useful in promotion of national harmony and national consciousness. Exchange of teachers and students from one state to another will acquaint them with different parts of the country which, in turn, will enable them appreciate the ways of life of different areas in one hand and to develop ties of friendship and mutual respect with people of other states on the other-hand. Besides, exchange of dress, imitation of manners, customs and traditions of other people need to be encouraged among the students.
- Projects for improving knowledge about other states should be undertaken. The committee on Emotional Integration (1963) suggested that schools may conduct several projects which improve their student’s general knowledge of country. For example, a ‘Know Your Country’ project can be undertaken during which children may share in the collection of information about a state in the Indian Union other than their own.
Programme 5: Organizing National Integration Camp
Organisation of National Integration Camps by department of school education. Ministry of H.R.D. is a right step in right direction for inculcating feelings of oneness among the students and teachers. The main objective of such camps is to enable school students understand and appreciate the social and cultural life of people in different states of India. At the state level, state department of school and mass education and SCERT should organize these camps on a wider scale to promote a feeling of unity among the students.
Programme 6: Other Activities
- A uniform pattern of school dress for teachers and students all over the nation is a right step in the direction of creating a national feeling in their minds.
- Development of community life in every educational institution is a step in right direction.
- Organisation of social and national service programmes concurrently with academic studies like NCC, ACC, Scouts, NSS Camps, Red-cross, Girls Guides Camp etc. are other activities which serve the purpose of fostering of national temper in the tender minds.
- Participation of students in programmes of community development and national reconstruction should be encouraged.
- Organisation of different games and sports, exercises etc. should be encouraged.
- Development of national discipline scheme is to be implanted in the school campus for promotion of feeling of oneness.
- Students, the future citizens of the country should be trained in democratic values and ideals for the full-flowering of national integration. Further, it is note-worthy to add that in order to maintain communal and religious harmony, pupils should be nurtured in secularism and values of toleration, harmony, brotherhood and fellow-feeling by suitable programmes.
Programme 7: Role of Teacher
It is the teacher who kindles the lamp of national integration. No programme of national integration can succeed in educational institutions unless the teachers themselves are immune from the scars of casteism, communalism, parochialism and all forms of prejudices. He is the epitome of all values and a living symbol of national integration.
Only the national-minded teachers can inculcate national values and create Indian ethos in their students and enable them to eschew the narrow loyalties of his region, religion and language. He should set himself as a model before the students who has to emulate the former in thought and deed. So, example is better than the precepts. Thus, his/her own behaviour affects national integration.
To conclude, national integration is essential for all-round development of our nation. In-spite of large scale diversities, there is an underlying unity which binds all segments of people representing diverse parts of our nation.
A sense of toleration, love, sympathy patience, fellow-feeling can be generated by education by bringing a desirable change in the mind sets so that children and citizens will be able to feel, think and act in common for the goodness of the nation.