Education can imbue people with the knowledge, the sense of purpose and confidence essential for building a dynamic, vibrant and cohesive nation capable of providing its people with adequate skill and means for creating a better, fuller and more purposeful life. Education includes under it all the processes by which an individual is adjusted to his whole ambit of existence. Thus, true education provides assistance to live life properly and perfectly. However, a true education aims at harmonious development of all the faculties and powers of man-physical, intellectual, moral and aesthetic.
Community development implies that outside agencies may help to develop a community but the actual efforts are to come from the members of the community concerned. It aims at developing the potentiality and ability of the people to control their environment, helping in acquiring new skills of association, of the organisation, of communication, inculcating a sense of citizenship, introducing and strengthening democracy at the grassroots, initiating the self-generative and enduring process of growth.The relationship between education and community development is dialectical each affected by and affecting the other; such as:
Any worthwhile change in the target community requires raised awareness and motivation, changed attitudes and patterns of behaviour. Education, on the other hand, generate social change by-
1. Changing the values and aspirations of the participants;
2. Changing opportunity structure; and
3. Introducing knowledge and skills of communication.
Education equips individuals with a sense of independence and adventure essential for encouraging initiative self-help and material help and for making these more effective. It gives a greater capacity and discrimination and judgment whereby people can make their own choice for their role in the community. So, education is essential for building human capabilities and for opening opportunities.
A community development project is cooperative rather than controlling activity. It requires cooperation among the community members. Education inculcates the qualities necessary for living graciously, harmoniously and efficiently with one`s fellowmen. It provides the essential conditions for successful group work such as discipline, cooperation, social sensitiveness and tolerance.
Education plays a vital role in building up human capital i.e., the stock of useful, valuable and relevant knowledge built up in the process of education and training. It increases the productivity for the workers to earn higher wages in the labour market.
The social benefits of development spread in many directions which is much more broader than the benefits ascribed by the narrow economic approach to development. Almost all the areas of community development are inescapably implicated with community education which makes the community members conscious about their rights and duties, needs, problems and prospects.
After all, education leads the better healthcare, reduced family size, greater community and political participation, conscious and active citizenship, a greater reducing of absolute poverty, equitable economic growth and broad base of community participation in local decision making. So, the success of community development depends on literacy and literacy itself should be a prime concern of community development. Development work in literacy must go hand in hand with community development programme.
For the development of a country like ours, priority should be given to community-driven education which would create the forum, structure and environment within which young people can develop a clear and realistic vision for themselves and strengthen their sense of social and civic responsibility.
The writer is the Research Officer, District Education Office (Secondary), Munshiganj.