Importance of Educational Tours:
According to a great writer, there are four new experiences in life- the sight of molten lava coming out of an active volcano, a walk on a glacier or a moving river of ice, a journey through a desert and seeing the sea for the first time. To these novel experiences, we may also add an educational tour. An educational tour is bound to widen our sympathies, broaden the sphere of our knowledge, enlarge our vision and sharpen our outlook. Bacon is right when he says, “Tours and travels in the younger sort are a part of his education, while in the older sort they are of his experience”. Education means the harmonious development of our body, mind and soul and it surely remains incomplete without undertaking some tour or travel.
The knowledge gained from books in a classroom is further supplemented by educational tours. Bookish knowledge is at the most abstract and theoretical. It is made concrete and practical by undertaking an educational tour. The lessons of History and Geography are made clear when we see with our own eyes the historical buildings, scenes of the battlefield, old monuments and sites. In fact, they tend a life-like reality to their accounts in the dull pages of History. The Taj Mahal at Agra, the Red Fort and Jantar Mantar at Delhi, the site of Panipat or Plassey etc. fire our imagination and have a living interest for us. This is why Rudyard Kipling has aptly remarked, “What do they know of England, who only England know?”
Whatever thrill we might feel by reading in books about the Taj Mahal, but it is only the actual visit to that place, which will reveal to us its marvellous beauty and exquisite workmanship. Similarly visits to museums, zoological gardens and art galleries at big places like Calcutta and Mumbai add much to our information.
This will explain why educational tours are made compulsory in colleges and Universities. A home-bred person has only a home-bred interest. His outlook remains narrow, his knowledge is limited and his intellect is worked. Only a wide contact with different men and their manners, places and things can liberalize his mind. Only then he comes to shed his own whims and prejudices and narrow-mindedness. By undertaking an educational tour our curiosity is aroused to see new things and our interest is sustained. We naturally become eager to observe them closely and have our outlook widened. In addition to this, the scenes and sights of nature give us joy. They feast on our eyes and soothe our minds. A visit to new places brings us in contact with new people. We come to know of their modes of living, their manners, their food habits. We are simply struck by the amazing variety of life.
In short, Life, Art and Nature cover the entire horizon of the human mind and an educational tour brings them within our reach. It is highly informative and instructive. By mixing up with different people, we strive at national integration or emotional unity which is the crying need of the hour in our country.
Last but not least advantage of an educational tour is that we learn the lesson of give and take. It creates in us a sense of follow-feeling and cooperation. We learn how to help others in their difficulty and pain. We become self-reliant and cooperative with others.