Educational views of Swami Vivekananda


Q. Educational views of Swami Vivekananda

Curriculum – 

Swami Vivekananda did not prescribe any specific curriculum, but some general instructions were given by him on the type of the subjects which the students would learn. According to him children should include cultural heritage in terms of history, geography, poetry, grammar and language.

He also prescribed for every pupil to study various branches of modern science and equally gave importance in Western technology and engineering and said that it should be included in the curricula of schools and colleges, and it would aim at the economic development of the country. Education must be life-skills building process.

He laid special emphasis on physical education in the sense that a good physique beholds good mind. He not only asserted for Brahmacharya but also prescribed practice of yoga for the students. Moral and religious education was other dimensions of curriculum according to Swami Vivekananda.

However, he advised that this part of curriculum should be free from any particular dogma or secretarian philosophy or theology. On the contrary, the subject matter of moral and religious education must be a synthesis of religion and science. It would help inculcation of universal values in all human beings. Thus, he pleaded for the education of unity of world’s religion what his great master Sri Ramakrishna testified in his life.

The Method of Instruction –

The method of instruction what Swami Vivekananda proposed, is based on an ancient Indian tradition but still it has a great value. Swami Vivekananda gave more importance on Guru-pupil relationship, so that the pupil learns by example and percept rather than through books and lectures alone.

According to him “The practice of meditation leads to mental concentration”. He holds that there is only one method which helps to attain knowledge that is concentration. He asserted that the more the power of concentration, the greater amount of knowledge an individual can acquire. Lack of concentration leads to wastage of power.

Discussion among teacher and pupils is an effective method of instruction. The teacher should invite questions and stimulate the spirit of enquiry in the pupil.

For Vivekananda, travel was an ideal method of learning because he wished the teachers and pupils to go out and learn from outside, not only within India but to other countries too, so that they can communicate with each other and be able to share our knowledge and philosophy with people of other countries.

Medium of Instruction –

As regards to medium of instruction, Vivekananda strongly advocated for mother tongue.

He is true nationalist, and a champion of national education argued instruction through mother-tongue. He visualized to Indianize Indian education. He also wanted to spread mass education through mother-tongue so that it will reach to everyone.

Women’s Education –

Swami Vivekananda’s worries as well as eagerness for women’s education had been deep and genuine. As he was highly impressed to see the women of the progressive countries (America, England, Japan) working with men and, thereby immensely contributing to national advancement Vivekananda was greatly pained at the miserable condition of women in India.

According to Swamiji – “The real strength or ‘Shakti’ of a country are its women”. He quotes Manu – “Daughters should be supported and educated with as much care and attention as the sons”. He wanted women to be free from all fetters as self-respecting persons, with their own individuality, and was in favour of women being gives such training as would infuse them with strength so that they can tackle the problem that face them.

So far, he opined: women had been down-trodden, and considered inferior to men, they could not enjoy equal rights and privileges with men, because of their denial to opportunities to education.

His idea of women’s education included fostering ideal daughters, ideal wives, and ideal mothers and of course building ideal nation and humanity.

He strongly advocated that schools should be established for girls and educational centres for women. He prescribed teaching of History and purans, housekeeping and the arts, the duties of home life and the principles that make for the development of character, so that women may grow up as ideal mothers of heroes and as women of courage and chastity. Thus, he visualized women as true partner of all-inclusive social development.

Advancing his thoughts on women education much work has been done in the field of women’s education after independence in India. The education policy adopted by the Government of India for equality of opportunities for the women education and empowerment has been saturated by Vivekananda’s urge for women education. In this way he was so modern even in one hundred years ago.

Conclusion:.

In conclusion, Swami Vivekananda was the most eminent great educator who contributed his life for the welfare of the masses. So R. C. Majumder has rightly said –  Swami Vivekananda combined in himself the role of a great saint and fervid nationalist. He placed Indian nationalism on the high pedestal of past glory, and it embraced the teeming millions of India both high and low, rich and poor. He devoted his life to the awakening of national consciousness and many of his eloquent appeals would stir the national sentiments of India even today to their very depths.

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Some important study notes