The Need for Population Studies in Schools in the Contemporary Scenario

It is the need of the hour to include population education as an important item and that too in an integrated manner in schools. As the total population in India has exceeded China to become thelargest in the world and is still increasing at an alarming rate, some measures for awareness are to be taken.

Even though we have been learning and discussing or even debating this national issue of population growth for ages, no noteworthy measures have been taken to confront this crisis in a practical way. And now, as the resources are becoming scarce with the demographic growth leading to a serious threat in economic development, it is vital to take action. 

Recently, the UNESCO mandate on this issue shows its member countries’ understanding of what demographic trends mean with regard to social and economic terms, and as a result of which awareness programmes are on the rise. Schools are the major platforms for initiating such awareness programmes. UNESCO regards population education as an intellectual and intelligent approach, intended to bring about an understanding of the implications of the phenomena, and not as a programme of indoctrination.So the population trends should not be presented as a problem in the classrooms. The students are to be educated regarding the population growth and they are to decide after studying relevant data, if it poses a threat.

Teaching methods that encourage enquiry, analysis, and active student participation should be considered essential to this new form of education. And the outcome should be like, the students themselves have to come up with constructive solutions to deal with this situation. Most importantly, this population education should not be discussed in isolation but in perfect alignment with the overall educational context of the nation. The levels or grades to which the concept has to be introduced must also be taken into account. Assimilating population topics with other subjects is the best option. Considering the contemporary scenario, population education has to be included as an essential programme in teacher training sessions as well. Apart from these, The government, the press and educated citizens should enthusiastically play a vital role in checking population growth through meaningful programmes.

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