On Education - Articles

What is the prime need of our civilization today?

During the last fifty years, the world has moved in a direction where productivity can be increased and employment opportunities can be multiplied. There is, indeed, a problem of scarcity and we know that resources are never unlimited. But with the advancement of science, inventions are continuing. It is not impossible to foresee a great breakthrough in the utilization of solar energy in a way that would replace many other forms of energy available today. There would be, at the same time a great breakthrough in the invention of machines that would make sea water potable, a need which is almost a crisis today. These are only two small examples to indicate a possible graph of future development. If we analyze this scenario in the context of employment opportunities in the coming world, we have to reckon the fact of globalisation under the impress of which markets of all kinds will open up greatly, and even poverty can be reduced all over the world almost to a vanishing point. To equip individuals with capacity to produce, to market and to consume has now become a foreseeable reality.

Therefore, the most advanced thinking in the world today has turned to the deeper questions of creating a mankind that is not only more productive but also more humane, more cultured, more compassionate. It is now being recognized that human relationships are extremely important, that human beings need to understand each other more and more humanely and more and more sympathetically. It is being acknowledged that happiness is now at the gates of human relationships, and that the better one understands and practices the art of harmonious relationships, the greater will be the fund of happiness in the world.

As yet, our education systems do not recognize this emerging need of mankind. Educational systems are still geared to the production of efficient and productive human beings. Indeed, the world does need productive and efficient human beings, but looking to the future, − an educator has to look at the future more and more boldly and clairvoyantly, − the increasing need is to produce human beings who care for each other, who know how to live together, who feel responsible and who can relate themselves with others in wider and wider contexts and who can sacrifice their egoistic needs and ambitions for the welfare of larger sectors of humanity.

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