Education for welfare – The need of the hour
The concept of ‘Education for Welfare’ starts witha healthy body, mind and spirit,which encompasses a number of dimensions – the physical aspect, the psychological aspect, and the social aspect.
The school tries to focus on all these aspects. The physical aspect is taken care of through physical education;teachers help their students to learn and take care of their psychological needs through effective classroom interaction. The school is a miniature society so the social interaction training is given in schools where the child learns through formal and informal interaction. Above all these three dimensions, there is the intellectual aspect which, most pupils and parents work hard on, that is achievement of marks. Very little attention is given to preparing a better person and a healthier person. In most literature ‘Education for Welfare’ means concentrating on the ‘Health and Physical Education’ of the child.
India is presently tackling a number of health issues that are affecting the birth and death rate of the population. There are issues of malnutrition, sanitation, deteriorating maternal health, unsuccessful child births, maternal mortality, depleting nutritive value of food leading to under nourished children, lack of health facilities and many other related issues. The depleting health of especially the young India, poses a challenge to the Indian government.A wider perspective of the meaning of Education for Welfareis: ‘An education programme catering to the improvement of the body, mind and the spirit of the individual which leads to optimum performance’. Education for Welfare, thus, has a number of objectives,the main ones being:
- To maintain the overall physical and mental health of students
- To attain optimum performance of the students
A perfect education programmefocusses on all three areas of development. The school must plan sufficient programmes to achieve a balance and produce a complete child.
Fig 1: Focus Areas of Education for Welfare
The government has planned uniform Value Education as a compulsory part of school curriculum from 2019-2020 ensuring uniformity in value education imparted all over the country, focusing on core constitutional values of equality, justice, fraternity and liberty and promoting general compassion and respect for all. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will be preparing the Common Minimum Programme. The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry wants moral/value education to beincorporated into all subjects that students study, as opposed to one class for moral science. It is called a Whole School Approach (WSA). There will also be modules on Life Skills Education and Experiential Learning.All these efforts of the government cater to the welfare of the students and society at large.
Proposed Plan for Educationfor Welfare Programmes in schools:
Education for Welfare could have the following components.
- General Awareness programmes – Talks, Seminars, Conferences, Charts, Posters, Debates, Talk shows, Paper presentations on topics which would deepen the understanding of matters at all levels – political, social, health, sports and any other related matters could be organised. The school must tap human resources for these programmes who can relate well with children. Talks by doctors on awareness of current diseases would give better awareness of health care.
- Life skills programmes –Life skills must cater to building certain skills and the overall mental health in the children which can prepare them for life, and would include communication skills, how to procure a ration card, adhaar card, pan card etc., how to pay bills – electricity bills, telephone bills – adopting healthy life styles, caring for the elderly, etc.
- Value Education Programmes –Value inculcation and value integration in day to day teaching is a must for a meaningful value education programme. Value education must be adopted as a commitment from all teachers.
- Competitions – Various competitions at the communicative level – debates, drawing, music, etc.can be organised. This would bring in the component of co-working and healthy competitive spirit.
- Social Action Programmes – Health education as discussed before is not a programme of the school but a programme of the school for the community. Health check ups and area surveys could be taken up to cater to the community around. Awareness programmes conducted in school could be extended to the community around.
- Physical Education –Sports is dealt with as P.T. in schools.It must change to P.Ed. The day must begin with exercise so that later in life the child knows the importance of daily exercise. The focus on physical education must be coupled with testing of the physical agility, speed, muscle quality, height and constitution, sight vision 20 by 20. Talented children must be provided extra coaching and pushed to perform at higher levels – District, State, National and International levels. Childrenmay need extra time for their studies and may be financial and technical assistance to excel. All benefits could be provided to these children at every stage of their education.
- Supportive Education – Most students and parents are worried about their academic performance. So teachers must organise supportive programmes to improve their academic achievement. This programme must include more practice in the content less familiar to the child. The motive must not be to label the child. A follow up through this programme must be organised to see how well the child has fared to improve his/her performance.
Proposed Infrastructure Plan for Educationfor Welfare Programme in schools:
Fig 2: Infrastructural facilities for Education for Welfare
Education for Welfare and Social Obligation: Teachers could integrate the social context in their daily lessons and one way of doing it is as follows:
Fig 2: Steps of the lesson
A well thought out plan for the lesson keeping in mind the current happenings/ social issues must be planned by the teacher. The teacher must keep abreast of the latest happenings in the society/country and link it to the theme and concept. This practice would bring in much awareness among students. It will also lead to focus on social issues intellectually. This would lead to social awareness and transformation.
The non-performance of children in curricular activities is shown in the poor learning outcomes; this will soon lead to a ‘Learning Crisis’. If education focuses on welfare then the learning outcomes in the curricular area will also improve, as there would be happy children. Educational institutions must be reoriented towards their goals for a better society and must be able to shift their attention from mere ‘paper performance’ to ‘life performance’.
VaibhaviKhanwalkar: Uniform value education part of curriculum for schools in 2019-20 sessions,https://in.news.yahoo.com/uniform-value-education-part-curriculum-153833616.html, 15 June 2018
Planning Commission, Government of India, Twelfth Five year Plan (2012-2017) http://nhm.gov.in/images/pdf/publication/Planning_Commission/12th_Five_year_plan-Vol-3.pdf
Jamison, Dean, and Marco Schäferhoff. 2016. “Estimating the Economic Returns of Education from a Health Perspective.” Background Paper for the Education Commission. SEEK Development.
Syllabus on Health and Physical Education (Classes I-X) http://ncert.nic.in/html/fest/Microsoft%20Word%20-%20Final_Sullabus_on_H___P_I-, X_for_Website.pdf, Department of Education in Social Sciences and Humanities, NCERT, New Delhi.
Dr Vini Sebastian, Associate Professor, St. Xavier’s Institute of Education, 40-A, New Marine Lines, Churchgate. Mumbai -400020. Dr. Vini Sebastian is a teacher educator for the last 20 years and has been involved in curriculum development in the University of Mumbai, research and extension work in teacher education. Dr. Vini Sebastian is an author of the book ‘Harnessing Parent Resource for Schools’, Lulu Publication. Dr. Vini has completed her research in the area of ‘Academic freedom, Accountability and Professionalism of Teachers in Higher Education’. With so many years of experience in teacher education she believes that, ‘Education is the only way to transform hearts’. St. Xavier’s Institute of Education is the oldest, teacher education institution in the city of Mumbai.