EDUCATION OF THE PEOPLE
Plato was dissatisfied with the education system prevailed in Athens at that time. Education was completely a private affair-limited to only few people in the society. As a result an overall growth of the society was not happening. Plato was highly influenced by the education system of Spartans where it was public affairs. Hence he developed a completely new education system which had a co curriculum of Athens and organization of Spartans.
Let us try to understand his education system under the following two heads:
Philosophical aspect and Technical aspect
He criticized the old available literature and found them misleading. He believed the old literature must be edited and new literature should be written making them more favorable to people. He criticized Homar and Heaisod and said that they represented as paintings whose portraits him in wrong or misleading. He said that all those poems and stories that present god as bad and misleading must be banned. He said that fairy tales take the reader to the third degree world, away from reality and thus they should also be banned
About play and drama, he said that each class should perform only those roles that best represent their class in reality. The guardian [read about the guardians here] must perform only those roles that represent wisdom, truthfulness, bravery.
He said that stringed and violent music should be banned and a regulation on the notes and modes of the music should also be done.
Plato believed that the aim of education is to make our eyes look towards the light and not to be become the light itself i.e. it should show us the right path, right way….towards goodness.
This part deals with the technical aspect of his education system. Plato suggested that in his ideal society. Marriage and as such institutions should not be considered rather they should be a temporary affairs and with a purpose to benefit the society and not the self.
The guardians and auxiliaries were deprived of the family life, luxury, marriage. They could not even have private properties.
As a woman got pregnant, she would go to a common nursery where she would give birth to the child and leave the child there itself. The child is then taken care by the state. The parents don’t know about their child and this is done in order to ensure brotherhood among all the men and women. this was also done in order to end the dynasty and family monopoly system and ensure that no unnecessary favor can be done for any child and each child should get equal opportunity to show case their talent.
Here the child is taken care and educated. This education is done in 5 steps and under two heads namely:
Primary education (elementary education) and Higher education
Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. So do not use compulsion but let elementary education as a sort of amusement
The elementary education is divided into two stages. The first stage is the age period of 0-18yrs while the second stage is in between 18-20yrs.
In the first stage again there are two sub-stages. The first sub-stage is between 0-6yrs while the other between 7-18yrs.
In the first sub stage the child is given very formal type education in the most possible light manner. They are taught how to read and write, education of maths science etc through solid figures shapes etc. In the second sub stage a little intensive education is given but even here no extra of complicated part of education is covered.
At the stage of 17, the children have to pass through a test and those who fail, join the economic class while rest go for 2 yrs of intensive military training. At the age of 20 again a comprehensive test had to be passed and those who fail join the auxiliary’s class while rests go for higher education.
To be continued…