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The Constitution of any country serves several purposes. It lays down certain ideals that form the basis of the kind of country that we as citizens aspire to live in. A country is usually made up of different communities of people who share certain beliefs, but may not necessarily agree on all issues. A Constitution helps serve as a set of principles, rules and procedures on which there is a consensus. These form the basis according to which the people want the country to be governed and the society to move on. This includes not only an agreement on the type of government but also on certain ideals that the country should uphold. The Indian Constitution has certain core constitutional values that constitute its spirit and are expressed in various articles and provisions. In fact, in a layman’s understanding, value is that which is very essential or ‘worth having and observing ’for the existence of human society as an entity. The Indian Constitution Contains all such values, the values that are the universal, human and democratic of the modern age.
The constitutional values are reflected in the entire Constitution of India, Its Preamble embodies ‘the fundamental values and the philosophy on which the Constitution is based. These are: sovereignty, socialism, secularism, democracy, republican character, justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, human dignity and the unity and integrity of the Nation.
Moreover, teaching about constitution does not merely mean giving information and knowledge in the classroom, but it also covers all modalities which could sensitize a person, awaken his/her conscience and develop an attitude of behaving decently in a social set up.
STATEMENT OF AIM
A Study of Awareness of Constitutional Values and their Achievement in the views of Student Teachers
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research can be relevant to all the stake holders of the society, policy makers, curriculum engineers, teachers and students as this study throws light on the various constitutional values and objectives. This research is useful in sensitizing the student teachers and makes them understand about the various aspects of constitution so that they are able to understand the complexity of the various social issues of our country.
SCOPE AND DELIMITATION
The data was collected from student teachers of Bombay Teachers’ Training College of Education and not from any other college of Education. The student teacher consisted of 41 student teachers and not in-service teachers. The medium of instruction was English and not in any other vernacular language.
METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
The aim of the research was to create awareness about constitutional values and objectives and then to know their views on the level of achievement of these values in the present context. The peresent study is quantitative study (Descriptive Survey)
Sample of the study included 41 student teachers from Bombay Teachers’ Training College in Mumbai.
TOOL OF RESEARCH
The tool was constructed by the researcher. The tool consisted of 9 constitutional values/ objectives which are Social & Economic justice, Liberty of status and opportunity , Equality of status and opportunity, Unity and integrity of the nation, Abolition of untouchability, International peace & security, Universal adult franchise, Sovereignty with the people of India, Independence of Judiciary.
The constitutional values and objectives were stated in one column. Student teachers had to express their view of achievement made in respect of each of the values /objectives in our country by awarding marks to each value mentioned in the tool on the scale 1 to 10 marks.
For the present study descriptive analysis was used. Mean and Standard Deviation were used to find out the level of achievement.
To achieve the first objective student teachers were oriented on various constitutional values which are imbibed in the constitution and the focus of teaching and learning was on the constitutional values and objectives. To achieve this task sessions were planned, structured and designed to teach the basics of Constitutional values and objectives to student teachers. Lectures were organized with the help of cooperative learning strategies and with learning tasks, achievable objectives, open questions and activities. Various aspects of the constitutional Values and objectives were discussed in the class as follows:-
PHILOSOPHY AND IDEALS OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.” From the Preamble we can understand the philosophy and ideals of the Indian Constitution–
India as a Sovereign state: The Preamble declares India as a sovereign state. It is free from any external control. No foreign power can interfere in the internal affairs of India. India can determine her foreign affairs according to her free will.
India as a Socialist state: It means the Constitution of India has a great objective to secure social and economic equality and fair distribution of wealth among all sections of people in the country.
India as a Secular state: The characteristic of Indian secularism is that India does not recognize any religion as the official or state religion and treats all religions equally.
India as a Democratic state: The Preamble describes India as a democratic state. The prime philosophy and ideal of the Indian Constitution is to make India a democratic state. India is regarded as the largest democratic state in the World. According to Abraham Lincoln, “Democracy is by the people, for the people and of the people.”
To ensure Justice: Justice implies that the Government will try to promote the welfare of all the sections of the people. The Preamble embraces three types of Justice- social, economic and political. To ensure Social Justice the Constitution has made special arrangements for the weaker sections of the society, abolished untouchability, provided free education up to a certain standard, etc. With a view to providing political justice, the Constitution has introduced the principle of universal adult franchise and has given an equal right to all adult citizens to be elected or appointed to public services. Economic justice implies that the Constitution seeks to ensure economic security for the common people and to do way with unequal distribution of income and wealth.
To ensure Liberty: The other important philosophy and ideal of the Indian Constitution is to ensure liberty to its citizens for the all round development of their personality.
To ensure Equality: Equality is the basis of a democratic state. Equality is necessary for the development of a society.
To promote Fraternity among the people: The term fraternity has been incorporated in the Preamble as a means of assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation. The term ‘dignity of the individual’ means that the personality of the individual should be recognized, because, the recognition of the personality and the dignity of the individual is an essential condition to promote fraternity among the people.
India as a Welfare state: India is committed to the ideal of a welfare state and must establish socio- economic justice.
ANALYSIS OF THE SECOND OBJECTIVE – For the Descriptive Analysis, data was analyzed using the mean and standard deviation.
The above table shows 3 levels of grading of achievement of values in the present context in the views of the student teachers.
In level A grading, achievement of constitutional values shows high mean scores on Abolition of untouchability i.e.7.66 and Universal adult franchise i.e. 7.22.
In level B grading, achievement of values shows moderate mean scores on five constitutional values. They are Sovereignty with the people of India i.e. 6.51, International peace & security i.e.6.37, Independence of Judiciary i.e.6.32, Unity and integrity of the nation i.e.6.22 and Liberty of status and oppurtunity i.e.6.20.
In level C grading, achievement of values shows low mean scores on Equality of status and opportunity i.e. 5.90 and Social & Economic justice i.e.5.39
This signifies that the probable reasons for the above result may be that in India we have been able to eradicate untouchability to a large extent and right to vote is exercised all over the country without any biases ,restrictions and irrespective of religion. Hence student teachers have rated these two values high on the level of achievement. The student teachers may have felt that there is more awareness regarding the abolition of castes and the Indian society has progressed and have become more liberal in thinking.
More over the researcher think that India has managed to substantially reduce the absolute poverty of her citizens, and even in terms of relative poverty, still lifted millions of people from the stark poverty levels of the pre-independent India. India has by and large managed to emerge as “prosperous, democratic and progressive Nation”, and has successfully “created sound social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman”
Student teachers have rated moderate level of achievement in five values of Liberty of status and opportunity, Unity and integrity of the nation, International peace & security, Sovereignty with the people of India, Independence of Judiciary. The probable reasons may be that India has strong networking with other countries and still striving for maintaining peace and harmony with in the country and with other countries. Moreover India has powerful judiciary system which conveys the message that all are equal before law.
The current education system which consists of reservation for minorities, OBCs and women in education creates a sense of hatred towards them by the other communities and divides the nation. Most of the communities believe that they are not getting equal opportunities in education system because the reserved categories are given more preference. So, others also ask for reservation and quota system and create conflicts.
The researcher feel that the main objectives of reservation are to uplift lower strata of society, ensure proper political representation of minority groups and ensure that minorities are not discriminated in education, job selections and promotion. To achieve these objectives, there is no need to put reservation system in education. Everyone must be treated equally.
Thus the study overall, brought out that it is easy to change the constitution and introduce amendments in it but it is very difficult to bring about a change in the mind-set of the people and the society as a whole. We still are struggling to bring about a change in the way people think of and treat the under privileged, women and the socially and economically backward classes.
Education plays an important role to change the thinking of the people. The right to education and other opportunities are for everyone irrespective of the caste, creed, gender and class. We need to accept all and leave none as long as education in India is concerned.
Quoting the words of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru:
“We have to build the noble mansion of free India where ‘ALL’ her children may dwell”, and this mansion needs to be built by its dwellers, all of them, and all of us, and only then will we be united and free and equal in the true sense.”
Author: Dr. Manisha Tyagi
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