"Home science education is worth life education". From time immoral down the ages of civilization, "Home and Family" has been the core of all human development and the society at large. By catering to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the members, the home gives meaning to life and refines the life of citizen leading to better living and thus building a healthy and developed country. Home science can be defined as "Education for better living". It explores the plausibility of the establishment of the perfections in the social orders starting from the home life to the community level. On the whole, the goals of Home science can be spell out as "for prosperous living and achieving the highest happiness".
Home science is a dynamic and ever growing field of education. It is an applied field built upon both the discipline of science and humanities for the purpose of achieving the welfare and wellbeing of the family in an ever changing society. It is the education for "better living" and the core of this education is the "family ecosystem". It is the study of reciprocal relations between the family and its natural and man made environments.
SIGNIFICANCE OF HOME SCIENCE EDUCATION
The development of Home science education reflects social pressures that are evident around the turn of the century. It is a need-based, professionally oriented education to assist family and community towards improved living. In the context of growing pressures in the work environment and external world, the family assumes a significant role in shaping the citizens of tomorrow. The family is the main factor which protects the individuals from all external forces and provides the right type of atmosphere for children to grow into strong and independent personalities. Home science, then becomes the key subject in shaping the future course of our lives, as it equips the future citizens with relevant knowledge, competencies and prepares them to become efficient custodians of the nations future. Thus, the importance and significance of Home science education can be discussed as follows:
(i) Use of scientific knowledge in managing Home life:
Great advances have been made in the areas of health, nutrition, textile, psychology, housing and managerial skills, which the home maker requires in her day-to-day life of managing and maintaining the household. Hence, it is essential that such knowledge and skills are made available to every home maker for creating a health, happy and enriched family life.
(ii) Use of available services and facilities:
Modern day society has changed a great deal in terns of availability of various services to each and every household. Therefore, a formal and systematic approach of understanding and utilizing these services has become necessary as a preparation for home making. Moreover, use of modern technologies, its maintenance and management also is of great importance, which Home science education tries to fulfill.
(iii) Economic necessities:
More and more women are working outside the home due to basically economic necessities. In this context, managing and balancing both household and professional life is essential. Home science education tries to train and educate one to make a perfect interface between these two spheres of women's life.
(iv) Managing day to day family affairs:
Human relations are undergoing sea- change during the last few decades. Family values, ethos are severely affected. People are becoming more and more individualistic in nature, contrary to our Indian collectivism. Thus children are growing up in a very complex psychological environment and thus leading to very many problems found among children in general and the problems of working women, elderly people in particular. Today family problems are in rise, leading to various types of domestic violence, abuse, crimes etc. Home Science education tries to educate and acquire the ability to manage this crisis at right time with proper emphasis.
(v) Preparing for a healthier and purposeful life:
Happiness and Peace in the family are the goals of purposeful family life. Home science education tries to create an environment and outlook, which will enable people to live richer and more purposeful lives. It tries to provide a wholesome knowledge and attitudes towards family health (both physical and psychological), nutrition, child care, home decoration, use of clothing's, elderly care and management during risk and eventualities. It tries further to enrich the lives of each and every members of the family through better understanding of the human relationships.
(vi) Family Life Education:
Home science education helps in preparing for home making, in the development of right values, appreciation, and understanding for better family life. It enables the pupils to understand the functions of parenthood, responsibilities of family membership and management of one's resources. It helps them to develop a sound philosophy of personal and family living. Understanding oneself (in terms of strengths and weaknesses) and others is the basic essence of family life. Moreover, it helps us in careful weighing of and balancing competing demands and making intelligent selections and decisions.
Thus, the objective of Home science education is to foster the growth, development and wellbeing of individual’s families and communities, utilising the findings and advances of science and technology. The overall objectives of Home science education aim at:
1. To foster the growth, development and well-being of individuals, families and communities in utilizing the findings and advances of science and technology.
2. To achieve family happiness and overall well-being of the society.
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