COMMERCE EDUCATION AND EMPLOYABILITY
It is commonly agreed that education should aim at ‘holistic development’ of the individual. Further, such development should be in harmony with the society and the nature. To quote the great Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo, education should aim at “all round development of the personality, which includes education of the sense, body, mind, moral and spiritual education.” The concepts of ‘all round development of personality’, or ‘holistic development’ include all the aspects of development-intellectual, spiritual, moral, economic, etc. However, some philosophers have defined the economic aims of education. Christopher Winch1; a British scholar says ‘education is broadly, although not exclusively concerned with preparation for life or for particular phase of life’. He gave three aspects to this concept of education, which are ‘fulfillment’, ‘civic participation’ and ‘vocation’ and specifies that the individual conception of education, as they can be found in particular societies at particular time, consists of distinct combination of these different aspects. In order to define the objectives of commerce education, it may be important to go a little into its history. The origin of commerce education can be traced to the 19th century. It started with the teaching of skill based courses of ‘typing’ and ‘book keeping’, to meet the emerging manpower requirements in these areas. With an increase in commercial activities and expansion of banking, insurance, transportation and other related services, the nature and scope of commerce education changed. From a vocational bias in the initial years, the focus changed to providing liberal business education. Some experts even gave different objectives for different stages or levels of education. For example, Prof. Dasgupta (1959) used three different expressions to indicate ‘business education’, at three different levels. At the junior level (higher secondary stage), it was referred to as ‘commercial education,’ covering specific skills programmes; at the first degree stage, the term used was ‘commerce education’, to cover general stream courses for preparing semi professionals and at ‘post graduation’ level, it was termed as ‘Professional Business Education’, with the aim of preparing experts in specific areas. In other words, commerce education, at less than degree level was referred to as ‘commercial education’ or ‘vocational business education’. However, the commonly accepted view at present is that commerce education at higher secondary stage is not merely to satisfy the skill or vocational needs of pupils but provides basic understanding of the various principles, procedures and practices related to business. It also fosters an understanding of the economy, of the community in which activities related to business and industry takes place. It prepares the learners to take up business career. The secondary schools should therefore, provide the students with knowledge of the background of commerce and of the way it affects the life of the community, apart from the commercial knowledge and skills. This integrating approach to the liberal and vocational education has the support of many modern thinkers on education. It is argued that education should turn the people to something he knows well and can do well. Thus, commerce should be taken as both a knowledge subject and a skill subject.
The specific objectives of academic stream of commerce education
i) To provide knowledge of principles, practices, procedures, etc. about business, trade and industry and its relationship with the society; ii) To provide basic knowledge of technological tools including computers and its application in business; iii) To develop an understanding of the environment in which we live and undertake various activities relating to business; iv) To develop basic skills needed to undertake different commerce related activities; v) to educate learners in different...
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