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Book 1 | Education & Individual - Page2



The second stage of education, i.e. from sixth year onwards to adolescence, is important from a viewpoint of academic learning and acquiring basic knowledge of various subjects. During these years, the growing child should know something of great literature, world history, arts, science and architecture so that his imagination is ignited and developed. Moreover, in these years the foundation for a correct approach to religion and culture should be laid with a view to make the child identify as well as adapt himself to his faith and cultural heritage. It is the age when the body and mind both grow with a fast tempo. He is no longer merely a child, and consciously mixes with others, learns rudiments of human relations, picks up virtues or vices, depending on the sort of atmosphere given to him and persons he moves with. The school, which plays an important role, should have capable personnel and adequate facilities. Dingy, congested and poorly staffed so-called schools produce more of a literate delinquent than a well-developed person out of a child. It is here that the parent can show a genuine concern before sending a child to the school.

The third phase of education starts when the boy or girl has acquired basic knowledge of various subjects and is mature enough to enter the threshold of adulthood, ready to understand and execute the responsibilities that go with it. He has to specialize in certain well-selected subjects in a college or university, which should be undertaken and seriously pursued only after a thorough consideration of one’s mental aptitude and future assignments. It is no use acquiring degrees or diplomas just for passing a few carefree years and qualifying for this or that job. In an ideal system of education university should be regarded as the summit of acquiring specialized knowledge and skills, which would command the highest respect in the society.

Together with imparting knowledge, the aim should be to arouse receptivity to knowledge, discovery of self, aptitude for acquiring skills and an alert curiosity about general propositions than only about particular facts. What is needed is a greater degree of emphasis on developing those mental possessions, which can turn a child into an intelligent and imaginative man or woman. Great importance is given to proper development of character in the entire process of education. In fact, some educationists consider ideal character to be the ultimate aim of education. A leading philosopher has suggested four characteristics of an ideal character – vitality, courage, sensitiveness and intelligence.

Vitality implies liveliness and zest for life – the mental vigour that goes with an active and purposeful life. Courage is to be understood more in the sense of mental courage – the courage to hold on to one’s convictions and capability to sustain opposition. Sensitiveness enables one to react emotionally to certain things and ideas, which are desirable for the development of one’s personality. For example, aesthetic sensitiveness drives one to look for and appreciate works of arts. Intelligence can be described as a sum total of faculties of mind, which enable us to comprehend propositions and phenomena in their various implications. Cultivation of intelligence aims at producing rational and scientific attitude so that our decisions and beliefs are not based on bias and prejudices.

Lord Bertrand Russel briefly describes the aims of education in these words: “Education should have two objects: first, to give definite knowledge – reading and writing, language and mathematics and so on: secondly, to create those mental habits which will enable people to acquire knowledge and form sound judgments for themselves”.

The correct approach to education follows from the correct approach to individual – he or she should be considered right from the birth as a potentially dynamic personality who deserves love, understanding and respect. A quotation from the inspiring words of a French genius Antoine De Saint Exupery when he saw an ordinary peasant child will be found illuminating: “This is a life full of beautiful promise, Little princes in legends are not different from this. Protected, sheltered, cultivated what could not this child become?”




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Edition No # 2, January -June 2019


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