Education and Democracy

Education and Democracy

Azhar Irfan

Democracy, in order to be a reality and a way of life, has to be introduced from the very beginning of our development as individuals. Democratic values like liberty, equality, justice, dignity, co-operation and the act of sharing responsibilities have the potential to enrich the learning process, making it more effective and impactful. It is well known that there is an intimate relationship between democracy and education. In a democracy, education is given primacy, for it is a pre-requisite for the survival and success of the former. Similarly, education fosters democratic tendencies in the minds of youth.
Democracy is a form of government that is of the people, by the people and for the people. It is a system where everybody is assured a fair standard of living, where there is equal opportunity for work according to ones abilities. In a true democracy, corporate interests do not have supremacy over the welfare of the people. Exploitation is prevented through the implementation of the law, created with the peoples consent. Socially, democracy connotes absence of all discrimination based on caste, creed, religion, language or class. Every citizen is guaranteed fundamental rights.
Dignity of the individual is accorded primacy in a democracy. In other words, there exists a paramount faith in the worth of the common man. There is no domination of any individual or group over another. There prevails a sense of co-operation, fraternity, liberty, responsibility, understanding and justice. Therefore, democracy has been construed as a way of life, a way of doing things and a way of seeing and knowing. John Dewey says, “A democracy is more than a form of government, it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experiences”.
Democracy is a way of life where problems are solved through discussion, persuasion and deliberation, instead of coercion, violence, and conflict. It is an order of social relationships among individuals dedicated to the promotion of the individual’s well-being keeping personal interests in abeyance.
It is an order in which every individual gets limitless opportunities to blossom according to his/her potentialities and in which power and responsibilities are shared on a mutual basis without any confrontation and conflict.
According to Prof. Seeley, “Democracy is a form of government in which everyone has a share.” Therefore in the business of government everybody is equally an actor or player. The will of people is well recognized and is a priority at all times.

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