According to UNESCO, “Population Education is an educational programme which provides for a study of population situation of the family, the community, nation and world, with the purpose of developing in the students rational and responsible attitudes and behaviour towards that situation.”
The objectives of Population Education are:
1. To enable the students to understand that family size is controlled.
2. That population limitation can facilitate the development of a higher quality of life in the nation.
3. That a small family size can contribute materially to the quality of living for the individual family.
4. To enable the students to appreciate the fact that for preserving the health and welfare of the members of the family and to ensure good prospects for the younger generation, the Indian families of today and tomorrow should be small and compact.
5. To give accurate information to the students about the effect of changes in family size and in national population on the individual.
Growth and Development of Population Education in India
1. India is the first country in the world to have a State-sponsored population policy favouring family planning to limit the size of the family. The National Family Planning Programme was initiated in 1952 during the First Five Year Plan (1951-56).
2. National Population Policy of 1976: a comprehensive National Population Policy integrated Population Education: Concept and Development with the overall strategy of socio-economic development was evolved.
3. The National Population Policy (2000) provided a framework for the next decade in several sectors for population development, with the objective to improve the quality of life of the people, to enhance their well-being and to provide them with opportunities and choices to become productive assets in society. Its aim is to achieve a stable population by 2045 at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development and environment protection.
Population Education in School Education Sector
1. Population education programmes in the country owe their origin to the National Seminar on Population Education held at Bombay on August 2-3, 1969 under the joint auspices of the Union Ministries of Education and Youth Services and of Health and Family Planning.
2. During the decade 1970-80, efforts were initiated to develop curricula, teaching units and to revise teacher education programme in the country. As mentioned earlier, National Population Policies announced in 1976 and 1977 stressed the need to introduce population education in schools.
3. The National Population Education Project was launched aiming at the institutionalization of population education in the existing education system.
4. Post 2005, in thc wake of the controversy around sex education; the program was restructured as the Adolescence Education Program (AEP) that focused on enhancing life skills among adolescents to enable them to respond to real life situations effectively.
5. Furthermore, National Curriculum Framework (2005) that guides the school curriculum across the country recognized Adolescence Education as an important area in school education.
Population Education helps improve the quality of life of the people, to enhance their well-being and to provide them with opportunities and choices to become productive assets in society.