At the present day the struggle for existence has become so keen that it is no longer possible for the old theories about education to be followed. It was formerly held that education should be such as would widen the mind, enlarge one’s ideas and, on the whole, ennoble a man. Literary education, which is concerned with the study of literature, philosophy and the like, was cultivated to equip a man with these qualities. But broadmindedness and nobility of character are not sufficient by themselves to solve the bread problem. Education in modern times, therefore, should be of such a nature that it is both able to broaden the mind and to enable one to earn one’s living. The circumstances that exist today are such that mere literary education is not sufficient by itself. It requires to be supplemented by some other sort of education which is capable of bringing an income. Here comes the use and the necessity of scientific education.
Though scientific education is primarily concerned with the study of the sciences such as Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Biology and the like, it is in fact an education which gives a thorough grounding in the practical concerns of life. The study of science can never be perfect by a mere study of theories. The practical application of the theories must be learnt simultaneously. Whereas literary education only fills the mind with ideas, principles and theories, scientific education teaches a man to be practical, teaches us how to apply theories to practical things. Such a training is of immense value at the present day, for, without practical knowledge, it is impossible for one to make headway in the rapidly progressing world. Armed with practical knowledge, one can hold one’s own against all sorts of competition and earn a decent livelihood.
Science has unlimited scope and is daily progressing. The modern world is undoubtedly a scientific world and , on account of this, it is making rapid progress. To march with the times, therefore, and not to be looked upon as a back number, and to be a useful member of the world, we essentially need scientific education. It will give us ample opportunities to bring our intellect and energy into full play, which in literary education, being limited in scope, would fail to give us. If we be energetic and fortunate, we might, by our scientific education, make valuable contributions. It would be idle to expect ourselves to be of any material benefit to the world with a literary education.
It should, however. be borne in mind that scientific education, being by its very nature confined to a particular branch of science, has the tendency to narrow the mental outlook. But this defect of scientific studies can be easily removed by using scientific education on a certain amount of literary education. The latter will be able to counteract the evils of specializing in a particular branch by widening the mind and upon this foundation the structure of scientific education should be based.