A National Agenda for Education

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learn how to remain perpetually youthful; and (c) become fearless and heroic in the quest of Truth, Harmony and Liberty, and work always at the boundaries of their limitations so as to surpass them by the constant aspiration to rise higher and higher.

VII. Role of Parents

Parents are the first teachers of the children, and the pressure of our times imposes upon every parent to develop all that is expected of a good student and a good teacher.

Parents have to realise that the world is changing rapidly, that the horizons of knowledge are expanding constantly, and that children are growing up in a new atmosphere of currents of culture in which the values of the East and the West are getting blended with a great deal of uncertainty and consequent disequilibrium. It is in these difficult times that parents have to build and maintain bonds of trust with children and guide them with love and understanding, with practical dexterity, and with largeness of mind and heart. They have to harmonise the demands of freedom and the demands of self-discipline.

Among all sections of the society, it is the parents who have perhaps the most difficult role. And it can be fulfilled by means of: (a) continuous programme of training; (b) participation in teachers-parents associations; (c) participation in their children's development processes; (d) deeper understanding of values of Indian culture and how they can be made active under the present difficult conditions where all that is good in the West is to be assimilated, and all that is injurious to our culture and its future has to be rejected; and (e) ensuring that children are protected from exposure to influences that are injurious to their value oriented development.

Parents should set healthy example of harmony in the family relationships and should take care to avoid gender bias while treating children in the family.

A powerful parents' movement requires to be initiated in our country to undertake, encourage and support programmes that will enable them to discharge their difficult role.

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