It is comparatively a new field, having its beginning in the mid-sixties with Sloan Wayland’s work under the Population Concepts The objective of this emerging field is to acquaint people with concepts of population education and to educate them about the consequent imbalances created by the rapid population growth.
The effects can be witnessed both inside the family and outside in society. Inside the family, the needs of food, clothing, sanitation, housing and education are the examples.
Expanded family needs effect the whole equilibrium of a social system.
We may enumerate expanded urbanization and disuse of cultivated soil for the construction of houses, markets and roads, new school buildings, new roads to absorb the heavy transport of goods, and passengers, extended water supply programs thus diversion of irrigation water resources to drinking water, the establishment of new food, textile and other relevant industries or extended import of food and clothing items.
Along with these economic problems, there are social ailments which emerge with large urban-slums created by unplanned migration of surplus agricultural labour force to cities and industrial centres.
A large number of social problems stem from unemployment and poverty which are also the fruit of overpopulation. This list is not exhaustive. There are many other problems which also need to be understood by the people at large.
Integration of Population Education Concepts
Many social problems including unplanned population growth cannot be controlled just bypassing orders. They need proper education of the people regarding their effects on family welfare and society.
Only by continuous education, generation after generation can be convinced of the alarming situation restating from rapid population growth.
There are always two ways of conveying a message i.e. direct and indirect. In a direct way, the message is conveyed in clear terms without beating about the bush. But in indirect approach, the message is concealed in words. Writers adopt various methods for being indirect. Sometimes it takes the form of a piece of prose and sometimes of a poem.
It can be a short story, a novel, an essay, a ballad, a eyric and a sonnet etc.
In population education programmes, especially while dealing with the adult population we have to avoid the sermonic way of preaching.
At the adult age, the people have fixed notions therefore, it is difficult to change their ideas, values and attitudes, they have developed with the passage of time and experience. Studies by Strong and Davis show that children’s interest, change more often than the interests of adults.
Therefore, it is difficult to teach and create new interests among the adult people. The only way out is that of the indirect approach which may shake away their old fixed notions and help them in creating new interests.
In the coming pages, where we are going to suggest means and ways of integrating the population education concepts in the adult education programmes, we shall have to keep in mind the nature of the clientele we are faced with.
In the above pages, we identified content areas for adult education and population education programmes. As evident, population education cannot be of much interest as to attract people for coming to the centres and devoting time. In contrast, adult education and literacy programmes, being the centre of developmental activity, seem to have a large scope to attract them. Therefore, a feasible way of conveying messages of population education is that these may be integrated with the content of adult education and literacy materials.
In this approach, a complete unit related to some pacific aspect of population education is adjusted in the study material of any other subject.
This adjustment is made in such a way that the new unit does not seem something alien to the host subject. Let us take the example of the subject of Social Studies.
We want to add one unit on population education. If we add the unit without much meditation and put the unit somewhere in the history section it would look odd and people may consider it an international effort of the government to teach the people about population education and that, too, without some reference point.
If we add the same unit in the section on Geography and put it after a section on Financial Resources we can describe the imbalances in income and expenditure of the country due to rapid population growth.
Similar units can be added while writing on Employment Opportunities, Pollution’, Social Problems Housing Agricultural Production Forestry etc.
The unit added will pick up the problem of population expansion as relevant to the preceding topic.