Value Education - Need of the Hour

L. Devakumar Singh *

Okram Ibobi, Chief Minister, Manipur at DMC Multipurpose Hall, for observation of Teachers Day 2013 on Sep 5 2013
Okram Ibobi, Chief Minister, Manipur at DMC Multipurpose Hall, for observation of Teachers Day 2013 on Sep 5 2013 :: Pix - Arunkumar Thongam (DIPR)

Today, the education imparted to the schools and colleges is almost limited to the finding of ways and means of earning of "Bread and Butter". It is indeed obvious that people in general wish education to be base on what they could garner monetary benefit. It won't be wrong to say that monetary considerations are the one which dictates the choosers of education today. Students are made to believe that by developing the ability to gather, store and retrieve vast information, they become educated. Education is not the amount of information that is stored into one's brain and remained hazy throughout life.

Swami Vevekanand, one of the renowned socio-religious reformers of 19th century India rightly pointed out "Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested all your life. We must have life building, man-making and character making assimilation of ideas"

Education without moral value will only fashion lop-sided personalities who may become rich in material possession but will remain poor in self-understanding, peace and social concern. It is indeed true that excess of knowledge and power, without moral makes man devils. In recent past we have seen man in uniform caught red-handed for involving in drug smuggling, raping of vegetable seller by those who are supposed to protect her, doctor killing his own daughter, sex scandal involving high profiled priest of Ashram etc. All these are the sign of moral degeneration.

The main causes of moral degeneration seems to be the lack of respect for the sanctity of human life, breakdown of parental control of children in families, breaking of the law and total disregard for rules and regulations. Crime and corruption, abuse of alcohol and drugs, abuse of women and children and other vulnerable members of society and lack of respect for other people and property are also very cause of moral degeneration. Why very often do the boarders in residential schools fight amongst themselves? Why students are not showing respect to the teachers?

Let us take this an example. There is something wrong on the parts of the officials because such incidents are taking place quite very often. That means officials are not delivering their duty instead they are involving some other activities for their own interest and enjoyment. Perhaps this has come to the knowledge of the students who identifies the weakness of the authority and their officials. Those so called Principals and teachers, wearing the veil of honest Principals/Headmasters and teachers are actually spoiling the teaching community.

There are incidents students boozing at night in the residential schools at the very nose of the Principal but the respected Principal remains silent because he himself is so corrupt morally and always remains busy thinking how to earn easy money.

One of the best remedies to all these problems is value education. One must not forget that education provides us the platform to success. It is a continuous learning experience, learning from people, learning from success and failures, learning from leaders and followers and then growing up to be the person we are meant to be. Education is a process of grooming the learner to good life.

But in the present day system of education there seems to be a "moral vacuum". Truly speaking, education devoid of moral character leads to criminality and educated persons have wider opportunity to indulge in crimes and that too committing them most efficiently and sophisticatedly. The value of truth, selflessness, impartiality, justice and service to mankind are drifting away from our life. People started believing in muscles and money power as a means to final solution to all problems.

Today one sees everywhere grossness and general insensitivity to finer feelings with the sole object of life being to make oneself as comfortable materially as one can. Today there is no respect for humanity-killing, murdering, raping, looting, drug trafficking, kidnapping for ransom etc., become common phenomena. In other word, crime, violence, cruelty, greed and apathy to human suffering have permeated to all aspects of our life-political, economic and social pursuit of material wealth and selfish end at any cost has become ultimate goal of life. There is great crisis in our society.

Narrow mindedness, communalist, linguistic and regionalist outlooks have divided the people and come in the way of developing a unified national outlook. All the problems cannot be tackled through piece meal efforts. What we need under the current situation is a drastic change in our very outlook on life, which could be brought about by value education imparted systematically right from the primary level.

In today's schools and colleges we see a large number of teachers who are more after making money by fair or foul means. Such unscrupulous teachers make fast money through indifference in classroom teaching and conducting mass private tuition classes. This has led to all sorts of malpractices in examinations. Teachers are less bothered about imparting the true spirit of education instead taking more interest in how to mint money. How can one expect good products from such educational establishment? How such teachers can be entrusted with teaching great values to the students who are considered to be the backbone of future nation.

We are in vicious circle-unless we inculcate values in school life and college life we cannot get value-oriented teachers in future. On the other hand so long as school administrators and teachers with bad habits are working in schools and colleges, value education cannot be effectively carried out.

The moral values present a true perspective of the development of any society or nation. They tell us to what extent a society or nation has developed itself. Values are virtues, ideals and qualities on which actions and beliefs are based. Values are guiding principles that shape our world outlook, attitudes and conduct. Values however are either innate or acquired. Innate values are our inborn divine virtues such as love, peace, happiness, mercy and compassion as well as the positive moral qualities such as respect, humanity, tolerance, responsibility, cooperation, honesty and simplicity.

To solve all these type problems it is necessary to know the main causes of the above problems. We know today children are tomorrow's citizens. If we give good education to the present day children, the future of the next generations will be well. In my view education is the means through which all types of problems can be solved to a great extent. As we are passing through the 21st century, the use of the application of science and technology in proper way to solve all issues of non-moral and value things is essential. The main objective of the study is to inculcate moral and value based education in schools and colleges and to know the attitude of students towards moral values.

Students should be taught to cater life goals and good personal character. Students should be taught that our world is at peace if not involved the human interference. It is mankind who can make this world of ours free from war and conflict. People should be taught to understand meaning and value of life, happiness, equality, self-respect, family security, harmony, national security etc. Yes, indeed the role of the parents should also not to be forgotten. Every parent must teach their children value of life, mannerism, etiquette, self-respect and empathy.

The present social scenario is so pathetic and barbaric that we came across barbaric incidents every now and day. Due to the absence of moral education youths of today are unable to control their mind and begin to unleash a web disorder and lawlessness in the society which hard hit those sections of the society who are poor and innocent.

Hogan (1973) believes that moral behaviour is determined by five factors:-
1. Socialization- becoming aware as a child of society's and parents' rules of conduct for being good.
2. Moral judgment-learning to think reasonably about our own ethics and deliberately deciding on our own moral standards.
3. Moral feelings-the internalization of our moral beliefs to the degree that we feel shame and guilt when we fail to do what we "should".
4. Empathy-the awareness of other people's situation, feelings, and needs so that one is compelled to help those in need.
5. Confidence and knowledge-knowing the steps involved in helping others and believing that one is responsible for and capable of helping.

M.K,Gandhi remarked that "if wealth is lost nothing is lost", "if health is lost something is lost", "if character is lost everything is lost", "best of all things is character".

Today we are facing so many problems such as population problem, poverty, terrorism, proxy war, corruption crime against women, climate change and so on and so forth. Therefore, teaching of value education by untainted and uncorrupted teachers with high moral ethics is the call of the hour. Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it and at whom it is aimed.

Why do we need value education? For instance if a highly qualified, well-employed person does not know how to behave properly, all that he or she does has little meaning and will not serve him or her well. Fruitful education is the kind used for our welfare as well as that of others. This can only happen when you have both academic and value education.

* L. Devakumar Singh wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
This article was posted on September 21 , 2013.

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