Man-Making Universal Education for Justice and Peace
EDUCATION, 31 Jan 2022
Dr. Surya Nath Prasad – TRANSCEND Media Service
Dedicated UNESCO International Day of Education 24 January
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.
No doubt, education in all and education for all is a must for justice and peace. Education in all means education for all the five elements, viz. body, vitality, mind, intellect and spirit, universally inherent in every man and woman everywhere without any discrimination. Perpetual integral manifestation of all these elements enables the learners to be just and peaceful. Partial unfoldment of these elements makes them unjust and violent. And non-unfoldment of all these elements leads them to be slaves. And the great ancient Indian Saint Tulasidasa observed and said, “There is no happiness in slavery even in dreams.” Because the conditions of slaves are worst than animals.
According to UNESCO, today 258 million children and youth still do not attend school; 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school. Their right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable.
UNESCO considers that education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility. And it thinks that without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.
But the education which may be considered partial exploitative education or mis-education is available for the children of privileged rich persons whose numbers are much less than the children of poor persons whose numbers are more everywhere who are deprived of even the partial exploitative mis-education. Thus the education has been destroying both those to whom it reaches and also to those to whom it is denied.
The root cause of all the ills in the world is ignorance, but false knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance. In this regard, once George Bernard Shaw also said, “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”. However, merely knowledge is not education. Here I would like to cite very factual two examples. The parrots have capacity to repeat the words which are spoken before them. It is said that there was a Saint in ancient India, who lived in the forest with the parrots’ The Saint taught the parrots of his hut for their safety in his absence to utter, “Hunter came, fly.” Parrots used to repeat the words: “Hunter came, fly,” which they learnt whenever they saw the passerby through the hut. Once a clever hunter throw the net with some eatable seeds to catch the parrots thinking that whether the parrots understand and apply the knowledge contained the words: “Hunter came, fly.” The hunter saw the all parrots were in his net eating the seeds even uttering the words: “Hunter came, fly.” Can anyone consider the learning like parrots is education? The answer will certainly be “No”.
Here I would like to cite another example about the warning written on the pockets of cigarettes: “Cigarettes smoking is injurious to health.” But not only illiterate, literate and highly learned and even many doctors smoke the cigarettes. Can the knowledge and learning about the warning: “Cigarettes smoking is injurious to health,” but practically do not follow and practice be considered as education? Its answer will also be “No”.
We may draw the conclusion from the above citations that merely knowledge or information is not education. Knowledge about anything requires understanding, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation to reach at complete the process of total integral education or true education, this truth about education may be justified also by Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.
Now-a-days, there is a slogan: “One book, one pen and one teacher can change the world.” But today’s world-wide 129,864,880 books, 289 billion pens and 85 million teachers’ could not change the world otherwise a great educator of 15th century Saint Kabir could not say: “Reading books people died, but no one became wise.” And he told about him, “I did not see ink, nor I touched the paper, and I never held pen in my hand”. In the sense of literacy, being illiterate, Saint Kabir was truly highly educated.
Here I would like to cite highly learned Saint Narada’s revelation before his teacher Sage Sanat Kumar. He approached him for about self, and said, “Venerable Sir, I know the Rig-Veda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, the Atharvaveda as fourth (Veda), the epics (purans) and ancient lore (Itihasa) as the fifth, the Veda of Vedas (i.e. grammar), the propitiation of the fathers, the science of numbers, the science of portents, the science of time (chronology), logic, ethics and politics, the science of gods, the science of sacred knowledge, the science of eternal spirit, the science of weapons, astronomy, the science of serpents, and the fine arts. All this I know venerable sir. But venerable sir, with all this I know words only. I do not know the self.” (Chhandogya Upanishad). Saint Narada knew everything except himself. Certainly all are not fortunate to know everything However, like Saint Narada some know everything but themselves. And many neither know everything nor themselves. Thus today everywhere some of us know much some more, and some most about everything; however all of us do not know ourselves. Hence, the greatest misery in the world is ignorance about selves.
Now I shall try to deal with the following terms, viz. literacy, learning, mis-education, non-education and integral man-making education
In the beginning, there were 3 Rs, viz. Reading, Writing, Arithmetic as principles for literacy, later 4 Rs were added in the aims of literacy, viz.:, Responsibility (Civic), Relationship (Social), Reliance (Self Economically) and Respect ( of Differences). But it is not education in true sense as based on man’s innate power in all without any discrimination to be unfolded. Certainly sometimes even some people everywhere are highly educated among the illiterates and less-learned. Some saints and sages, philosophers, educationists and even scientists were, and may be in this category.
Learning knowledge contained in different disciplines and getting degrees of Bachelor, Master and Doctorate and joining indifferent professions like professors, teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyer, judges, bureaucrats, and other professionals, is also not education. Learning the warning “Cigarettes smoking is injurious to health” written on the pockets of cigarettes, not only illiterates and literates smoke cigarettes, but learned people like doctors, professors and other professionals also smoke cigarettes. What you may say them? Can they be called learned? In all the leanings of different subjects are leading to the same happenings and results. Hence learning without awakening and practice is not education.
Everywhere from nursery to higher education, there is preparation for better and high salaried posts. A very few privileged well-to-do in every society have opportunities and means to get these education. And they exploit each other of their ignorance by their expert and specialized knowledge gained with license to practice. And the most exploited are those by all of them, whose numbers are many, everywhere in every society, are those who have neither opportunities nor means to afford these exploitative so-called higher education. In fact, this also is not education, but this is mis-education, which manifests intellectual body neglecting other bodies in every man and woman and only to those who have the chances to have this.
57 million children and 69 million adolescents are still out of school as per UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report, 2014, and numbers are more adults everywhere who are not in classrooms of the institutions of so-called higher education, they are all out of in touch with mis-education. However, they are products of non-education of exploitative mis-education. Hence there is no hope of peace from the products of mis-education and non-education of mis-education., because this education destroys those to whom it reaches, it destroys those to whom it is denied.
True education is the mother of justice, and grandmother of peace, which is yet to be born. The nature of true education everywhere is the same, because perpetually integrated manifestation of universally inherent five elements, viz. body, vitality, mind, intellect and spirit in every man and woman without any discrimination is education. Education as discipline is cosmopolitan because there is no American physics, Russian chemistry and Indian Mathematics, and their laws are the similar everywhere. And education as self realization is also universal because it is perpetual integral manifestation of universally inherent five elements, viz. body, vitality, mind, intellect and spirit in every man and woman everywhere without any discrimination, which enables them to be just and peaceful. If education is based on the above cited elements and practiced in campus and out of campus education till the end of life by everyone everywhere, justice will prevail and peace will come out, and violence will have no place there. For more details, one may refer to:
A Dialogue on Man-making Universal Peace Education By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D. On UCN News Channel – YouTube Video
A Talk on Solution of Terrorism and Other Forms of Violence By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D. YouTube-Video – Brief of Speech at The World Forum of Spiritual Culture, Astana, Kazakhstan on
On the Day of Education, UNESCO, the world body of education, must rightly conceive and define education. The UNESCO has produced two wonderful books on Education, viz. “Learning to Be” (1972) and “Learning: The Treasure Within” (1996). In Learning to Be, UNESCO talks about education for complete Pearson, and In Learning: The Treasure Within, UNESCO has proposed a holistic and integrated vision of education based on the paradigms of lifelong learning and the four pillars of learning to be, to know, to do, and to live together.
However, we shall have to set right the all types and levels of education, which have failed to create man (human). A few privileged persons have opportunity to the mis-education and many are deprived of this mis-education also. Hence the both need what they are means what are the elements which constitute every man and woman everywhere without any discrimination. And these would be the core curriculum in all educations including higher or university education to enable the learners to be human for saving the world from oppression, exploitation, poverty, injustice, violence, war and terrorism.
Education including higher education is highly merit good, people and public good. Hence expenditure on all levels of education is not “expenditure”, but it is an “investment”, investment in human resource development, and it is in long run, not only the particular society, but all societies of the world will get heavy return for centuries while the cost of ignorance can be very high for every society. For more details, one may refer to:
Financing Higher Education to Build Non-exploitative Society for Peace By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D. University News – A Weekly Journal of Higher Education Vol. 42, No. 52, Dec. 27, 2004 – Jan.02, 2005
Dr. Surya Nath Prasad, former president & currently executive vice president of International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), associate professor of education emeritus, former visiting professor, the graduate institute of peace studies, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea, founder & editor-in-chief, Peace Education: An International Journal. email@example.com
Tags: Education, Education for Peace, UNESCO
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 31 Jan 2022.
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