Value based education in schools

Rev Fr Paul Lelen Haokip *

Introduction :

Values are firmed ingrained in the Indian Philosophy and culture (way of life). The Vedas and Upanishads speak widely on values. Value Based Education (VBE) imparts social, moral, integrity, character, spirituality and many more. It builds the qualities of humility, strength and honesty in a person. These gems make better citizens of a country. People with high ethical values will never cheat others.

These gems make their life happier and they work hard to make others happy too. Now the important question is "Should Value Based Education be made compulsory in all the schools?" Without a second wasted I can say "YES".

Narrow education today :

Unfortunately, education at schools today is reduced just for the sake of B & B (bread & butter) formula. Mark-oriented and profit-minded educational institutions are harmfully shaking the very breadth of VBE. This orientation makes people selfish and bookish.

Values are slipping off the life of the young and old. This is a sign of moral decay. If not taken care on time, we will have intellectual heads and highly qualified people sans ethics and values of respect, love, forgiveness, integrity. Then the fruit of education may become a doom to us.

The progress of science and technology without simultaneous development of moral values could have serious catastrophic results. Our country needs value-oriented education system so that we are able to exist in harmony at each other's company.

So, VBE should be taught from home to town, religious houses to schools, from morning to night. In every point of time, VBE should be the salt of spice of our intellectual diet. VBE makes the person formed intellectually, emotional, psychologically and spiritually.

VBE amongst children :

There is need for imparting proper values among the children. A child learns a lot from the people around him/her. If the social environment is not good, then it becomes very difficult for him/her to imbibe ethics and values in his/her behaviour. Values inculcated among young generation would remain with them permanently.

Mother is the first teacher for her child. It is the mother who tends to lend the first lessons and it is on her that rests the foundation-laying responsibility. What is right, what is wrong, what is true, what is false, what is respectable and noble and what is not it is the mother who imparts these lessons. She encourages her child to always speak up the truth. This is how slowly and gradually, step by step the lessons in morality can be taught.

This means that values education can take place at home, as well as in schools, colleges, universities, offender institutions and voluntary youth organizations. There are two main approaches to values education. Some see it as inculcating or transmitting a set of values which often come from societal or religious rules or cultural ethics. Others see it as a type of Socratic dialogue where people are gradually brought to their own realization of what is good behaviour for themselves and their community. Value education also leads to success.

VBE in schools :

The role of schools and teachers are very important. When the child enters the school at the age of four or five, the schools and the teachers there have to give him/her lessons in universal brotherhood, respect for all religions, feeling of honour for our great men, a sense of pride in our national flag. It does no good to just condemn the already bad situation; we need to do some pro-active work to bring about value education.

In a vast nation like India with so many sections in the society, so many sects, so many religions, so many regions, and so many languages the child has to be taught the lesson in 'unity in diversity' for the sake of peace and co-existence.

Proper training of teachers should be arranged so that teachers acknowledge their responsibilities. It is necessary that in the Teachers Training Programme, Value Oriented Education Programme be highlighted so that the teachers are trained up to know their mission and method.

VBE leads to social goodness :

The ideals contained in the constitution are: socialist, secular, democratic, justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, dignity of the individual and integrity of the nation. Naturally, therefore, our values in life must be drawn from these ideals and religious adherences we prefer. The ultimate good of human society is the good of all. This idea has been beautifully expressed in one of our ancient prayers "Let all be happy, free from diseases, let men see well of one-another, let there be no sorrow or unhappiness in this world".

Value education is important at every point of life. In the Vedic period when a Shishya completed his education in Aashram at the feet of his Guru, he was exhorted by his Guru to follow certain values throughout his life, like "Speak truth, fulfil your duties, never lax in self-study". The central task of value based education is to develop men of goodwill who do not cheat, or steal, or kill; universal individuals who value as one both self and mankind.

Conclusion :

Value Based Education, therefore, is a part of the Educational programme which cannot be shelved or done away with. It has to be a part of life and life is a constant education and the process of living is a process of learning.

Value education should be included up to higher education levels. NCC, Scouts and Guides programmes are also a helpful means of creating a consciousness in discipline and co-working. The Indian Education System should adopt value based education at all levels. Let us opt not for mere education but Value Based Education.

* Rev Fr Paul Lelen Haokip wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on June 25, 2017.

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