Thursday, 26 July 2018

Education of Indian Women -1

It is not only India, but the world as a whole, that is being agitated today by the question of the future of Woman. In India, discussion centres on her right to education : in Europe, it centres on her right to political expression. In one form or another, Woman is everywhere the unknown quantity, the being of uncertain destiny. We are in no position to help Europe in the solution of her problems : it is sufficient for the present if we can bring a little clear thought to bear on our own. What do we mean by an educated woman? What is ideal for woman : What, for the matter of that, is our ideal for man ? What is an educated man?

As usual, it is easier to say what education is not, than to define what it is, or ought to be. And first, in order to test the depth and extent of education, we go instinctively to the examination of the individual's relation to the community about him. Evidently education is partly a question of social adjustment. If we find a man growing more and more extravagant, as he grows poorer, can we call him an ideally educated person ? If we find a wife making it impossible for her husband to cut down his expenses when necessary, fighting against him, instead of with him, on behalf of personal comfort and enjoyment, rather than the well-being of the family, can we call her an educated woman ? If the captain of a ship behaved in such a manner, could we call him a skilled navigator ? Evidently education is a word that implies the power to survey a situation and put ourself into a right relation to it. A woman cannot do this— she cannot even submit herself to her own husband—unless she has the power and habit of self-control. Self-control, then, with wisdom and love, must be the crown of the educated woman. In other words, education, finally, works on the will, and installs the heart and the intellect as its loyal and harmonious servants. To be able to will nobly and efficiently has been described as the goal of education. The end of all culture lies in character.