India is badly in need of Value Based Education and Teaching System which inculcates among the young students values that they need to imbibe and embalm within them.
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. They become better citizens of a country. People with high ethical values will never cheat others. People are taught to co-operate with each other. They make their life happier and works hard to make others happy.
Our history and mythology taught us of excellent values education. We, the Indians, talk loud of our cultural heritage, we talk a lot of the characters of Ram, Krishna, Raja Harishchandra, Sita, Savitri and for that matter many more, Buddha, Mahavir, Kabir, Raidas, Chaitanya, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Ramanujan. Good that India have these great men—god heads and godly as a part of our heritage. We have not to go out anywhere to seek for ideals. We have them all in our mythology and history. But what is needed is that they be not decorations on our walls but should be a source of enlightenment within. And how would that enlightenment come—from where and in what form?
Value Based Education is the only means which can give to our young the right direction. There is need for Value based Education System in India.
We all discuss about high values and integrity, but it is the time for value based action. Anyone who stands on a pulpit to speak to the audience is found to talk of high principles, or moral conduct, of spiritual and cultural heritage of our country. Good that they do it but in actuality we are coming across so many scams which smear the face of the nation black. And it is our leaders—those who were given or were invested with the charge of governing the nation have been found to be involved in these scams, are in and out of jail, released on bail and again sent back behind the bars. What ideal are they—the leaders— presenting to countries—corning-up generation the young minds—a very distressing a spectacle. What right has such people to govern us, what right has they to be leaders, when their own steps are going astray? In such a grim and graceless situation we are obliged to give a deep thought how and in what manner the nascent are and growing generation of the nation to be guided and oriented.
There is need for imparting proper values among the children. A child learns a lot from the people around him. If the social environment is not good, then it becomes very difficult for him to display ethics and values in his behaviour. We hear it all around, that children in India are going astray. Newspapers report how a fifteen year old boy has been the leader of a gang of auto-thieves. And all these auto-thieves belong to the so- called high families. To get rich quick has been their ambition—not hard work, not sustained pursuits of high order but just anything that can get them quick returns in the form of good money—that has led them to these nefarious ways. Ethics and values need to be imbibed among students.
Our country very much needs a value-oriented educational system. It is only at the level of the primary education that such lessons need to begin. If the impressionable mind once gets set to noble goals difficult would it is to lead him astray. It is not merely talking about great men that the child would get oriented to values; the teacher has to play a major and a decisive role in giving this lesson by precept as well as by example. It is the intellectual, the physical, the emotional, the psychological parts of the child’s personality which would need to be moulded and modeled.
There have been efforts to define the role of education in national life. The Radha Krishnan Commission; the Kothari Commission; National Policy on Education; Ramamurthi Committee; Central Advisory Board of Education Committee on Policy; Planning Commission Core Group on Value Orientation of Education, all have gone deep into the role that education plays and can play in designing and developing the national characters.
The programmes and policies have remained just on paper, just due to lack of coordination between the different implementing agencies.
The values inculcated among young generation would remain with them permanently. It may just be that the young boy or girl of today is better informed than what their parents had been at their age. He or she may sound smarter with new knowledge but this is due to the modern techniques to which he/she stands exposed and of which he or she has the advantage. T.V., internet, computer, etc. These were not available to the parents. Computers and the information received from them or the data fed by them may become outdated but values once inculcated would remain a permanent acquisition for all life. Swami Vivekananda once said, “If education is identical with information, libraries are the greatest sages of the world and encyclopedias are `Rishis’.” There is something very much more than mere information that has to be imparted to the young mind.
Mother is the first teacher for her child. Value based teachings and education are the fields, the first teacher in which is the mother. 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. It is the mother who taught her child remain honest. She encourages her child to always speak up the truth. She should ensure that her children never tell a lie. The mother should make the child learn that she would never scold him if her child tells the truth even if the child had done some wrong. ‘Admit the wrong done and you would be a nice child’ – let the child develop this faith and he would never fall a victim to falsehood. This is how slowly and gradually, step by step the lessons in morality can be taught.
The role of schools and teachers are very important. Then, when the child enters the school at the age now of four or five, the schools and the teachers there have to give him lessons in universal brotherhood, respect for all religions, feeling of honour for our great man, a sense of pride in our national flag. Students learn moral values at school. Along with these the child shall be given lessons in dignity of labour. No work is mean or low. Self-dependence, respect for the elders, concern for those who are handicapped or under-privileged.
The feeling of unity and communal harmony helps build values in a student. 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’. The daily morning prayer of the school should contain this lesson of national oneness. This should not only be repeated every morning but its import and meaning to be explained by the Principal or a teacher. Students be asked to come prepared with a short-speech on this oneness of the nation. They should be allowed to speak on any of its aspects and speak out to the whole congregation after the prayer. Similar speeches everyday on different moral values should be the first lesson given, not by any teacher but by students themselves, one each day. Community lunch, when all would sit together and eat even sharing one another’s lunch packet would give to them a sense of oneness, irrespective of class, caste or religion.
Values Education need to be taught through mutual interaction and inter-communion. There need not be any special classroom lectures on Moral Values Based Education. It is never needed to identify any particular religion or faith. God is one and we are all children of the same God. That is the basic lesson that needs to be given.
Discipline is still a great lesson that has to be imparted. It is the teacher who himself or herself should be an example of discipline and children would be the automatic learners. These are values which do not need to be the part of any curriculum—they have to be the part of the behaviour. Being any part of the curriculum can give rise to controversies; but general behaviors showing respect to all religions, celebrating all festivals together, would by itself be a lesson in national integrity.
Proper training of teachers should be arranged, so that the teachers acknowledged of their responsibilities. It is necessary that in the Teacher’s Training Programme, Value Oriented Education Programme, need to be highlighted so that the teachers are trained up to know their mission and method.
Attempts should be made to eliminate Language issues. Language controversies are also a great point of conflict.
Television can become an important medium for values based education. Television, which is a craze for the young of today, should also be used to present value-based programmes through skits, cartoon scripts and such other means.
Value education should be included in higher education levels. NCC, boy 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. The value-oriented educational programme should not be led only during the school level, but should be carried on further up to the level of higher education too, as it is from there that the nation’s political leaders, bureaucrats and army personnel would emerge.
The young should learn what is moral and what is immoral.It has yet not been finally thought off how and in what manner sex-education is imparted to the young. But at least let them be made aware about AIDs/HIV etc, and why and how people catch these fatal diseases would automatically be explained. That is also a part of morality in society. That is a necessary part of value based education. It need not be any part of the curriculum but it is a lesson that they must learn through discussions and discourses.
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.