THE BHARTIYA CONCEPT OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Meaningful results of the education of any country may be achieved only when the education is based on the life philosophy of the country, and only then the character of the generations may be tailored which will be most suited to the culture of the country.
Indian Life Philosophy and Education:
Indian philosophy is continuous in its nature just like the process of human development. In the present scenario, education is fragmented according to class, ideally which should not be like child education, primary education, secondary education, and higher education. It should be consistent and continuous. Child education is the basis of holistic education as it goes on for the whole life.
The educationists have divided the categories according to age, such as:
- Before Insemination till 5 years i.e. Child education which is performed mainly at home and inspired by parents.
- Development during 6-16 years i.e. primary and secondary education which is school-centered and inspiration source are teachers.
- Development from 16 years onwards for the lifetime i.e. higher studies and self-studies.
Acharya Chankaya gives the following doctrine:
लालयेत पंचवर्षाणि , दशवर्षाणि ताड्येत |
प्राप्तेषु षोडसे वर्षे, पुत्रं मित्रं समाचरेत ||
Vidya Bharati has outlined the system of child education based on this Bharteeya philosophy, which is, in turn, the basis of the overall development of one’s personality.
Who is ‘SHISHU’ (child):
A ‘Shishu’ (child) is first like the seed of the man. As all opportunities of the development of a tree lies in its seed, so is about human too. As per Bharteeya thought, a shishu is the purest form of the ‘Bramha’.The parents are the means of bringing this ‘Bramha’ on earth.
Age of Child:
According to the Indian thought process, this phase is 0-5 years. At this age their soul and mind are pure and free from all evils, the plantation of sanskaar becomes quick. Therefore, the atmosphere where the child resides like the home, the surrounding environment, the behavior of the members of the family plays a vital role in, imbibing values in the child. The values inculcated during at this age become the life-long asset of the person If we need good fruits, we have to think about good quality seeds too. Hence, the education of the child commences even before its arrival in the mother’s womb.
Indian history of child education:
In the age-long Indian history, there was no word as ‘child education’, only ‘child development’ was there. Its main source was home only. Child development used to be done by parent’s guidance. Child psychologists around the world also believe that small children should not be separated from affectionate family.
Therefore, if we talk of the right education for children, the education must start from the time a couple gets married.
Elements of Child development:
- Love and Security: The child understands the language of love. True development of the children can be done only through love and affection. They identify the true love. Wherever they don’t find love, they refuse to go. The child feels protection in a loving atmosphere. In this age, as much as the family will love them, they will become fearless. They will also love everyone when they grow up.
- Joy: Joy is the biggest medium of development. Whatever they enjoy, they do it repeatedly which brings considerable development of children. They enjoy doing new and creative things. Children always enjoy creativity and such an environment should be provided for them to grow in the right way.
- Naturality: It is necessary to carry out activities in accordance with the nature of the child. Natural development also happens with the ease of action and there is no pressure on any means of learning. For instance, children like to stay close to nature like trees, plants, animals & birds, etc. But nowadays there is an artificial scenario, so the child development also turns into artificial growth which leads to loss of natural essence in them.
- Freedom: A child is born free. Every child knows naturally how to develop, but the schools and parents force them to adhere to a fixed particular curriculum, which gives an adverse effect on the child. As a result, the child may start to revolt against the undesired discipline.
- Aesthetic/Sense: At this stage, the sensory organs should find the best taste, elaborate word, affectionate touch, superior aroma, and superior sight. Any child, who will be aesthetic in sense from a young age, will go ahead and do great things and will be useful for society.
The epic center of the above five elements can only be home. Parents must be the first school for children up to 5 years for their development. It is the duty of the teacher that parents should be informed of the proper procedure for the development of a child in the house. But in today's era of commercialization, the school is wandering from its right direction and taking the work of the family in their hands. They are freeing the parents of their duties. They must be corrected.
Vidya Bharati's Concept of Child Education
Vidya Bharati has been working since 1980 in the field of Shishu Vatika. As an independent unit and has formulated its policy on Bharteeya thought process elaborated above, which includes:
- Education of newly married couple (3 months prior to conception) - Laxmi-Narayan Abhyaskram
- Pregnant mother’s educations (9 months) - Jagadahatri Abhyaskram
- Mother’s education from birth to a 1-year-old child – Ksheeradavastha (when the child is on mother’s breastfeeding)
- Mother’s education from 1 year to 3-year-old child: Kheeradannadavastha (while the child starts taking food as well as mother’s breastfeeding)
- Mother’s education from 3 years to 5-year-old child: Annaadavastha (while the child is fed and starts learning through sense organs)
Education for couples: This part is mainly for Couples who are willing to have an ideal child through an ideal way of conception with an ideal seed. Here ‘Seed’ indicates the baby. The ideal time to have a superior seed is three months prior to conception. The purity of intention and thought of the couple has a clear impact on the quality of seed in the Sanskaras of the child.
Education of the would-be mothers: During the pregnancy, the formation and development of the body parts of the child take place. The diet, daily routine, yogabhyasa, meditation, the atmosphere in the family, etc. of the would-be mother plays an important role in proper development. This needs to be made clear to the would-be parents and their family members. This syllabus aims at addressing this need.
Education of the mothers of the children up to 1 year of age: Under this, these newly blessed mothers are told about the conditions of the child’s place of sleeping, the proper way of feeding to the child, his care and looking after by parents and the sanskaras performed during this first year of their life which include Jatakarna, Naamkaran, Nishkramana, Annaprashana, and Karnabedha.
Education of the mothers of the age group of 1-3 years of their child: During this age, the child starts learning various activities in order to become self-dependent in his routine work. As such, this is the best part of life for habit formation, if the child is provided the freedom to perform activities on his own and the plentiful of love and affection from the parents. They are to be taught this.
Education of the mothers of the age group of 3-5 years of their child: The child comes to a Shishu Vatika in this age. Their sensory organs are most active during this age. As such, this type of activities to provides sufficient freedom to work with their hands in order to get firsthand experience through their sensory organs. Vidya Bharati has drafted a special syllabus for them which is not only for the children but also for their parents , teachers, and society as a whole.
Important points on child development:
- The child learns on its own and cannot be taught anything.
- The child learns by own experience. We need to provide them an environment where they can learn by doing things themselves.
- Children learn by imitating others. They should have such an atmosphere in the family that they can learn good things by imitation.
Keeping the above points in mind, Vidya Bharati has prepared a vast syllabus for child education, called “Shishu Vatika”, based on pure Bharteeya Educational philosophy and thought process.