Value-based education is teaching with values. This system creates a strong learning environment which facilitates the ballooning of students’ social and relationship skills. It develops a strong and optimistic character powered by discipline and knowledge. the Swami Vivekananda rightly said, “Education is for Character”. This statement was given by him 100 years ago but is applicable to this day. The parliamentarians applauded him in the Chicago parliament speech as he began “dear brothers & sisters..”. The way he began his speech by addressing the audience as brothers and sisters portrayed his gentleness and character. Today we see so many problems occurring in society due to caste, religion, race, and other issues. These problems are taking place due to divide and rule philosophy. The entire nation is struggling with such problems. The younger generations are going to face the consequences of such problems in the future. Respecting the standards set by Swami Vivekananda, who always believed in Unity, his statements have to be adopted in the most efficacious way today. No division based on language, caste, religion, or race. American psychologist, Lawrence Kohlberg, specialized in the research and education of morals and is famous for the theory of stages of moral development. He believed that children have to be provided with an environment that allowed for public and open discussions for overcoming the daily conflicts through their moral reasoning ability.
It’s the time, where educational institutions and educators have to play a significant role to curb such problems and direct younger generations on the right path. The real purpose of education is to build character and mankind. The education must educate values to students across levels i.e. primary, secondary and higher education. As value-based education is the need of the hour. Education is not a commodity and cannot be sold like a product. But educational institutions are various marketing strategies and packaging courses and selling them to the students. Such packages are available from kindergarten to post-graduation. These packages include everything, except a value-based education. Education till the 20th century seemed to be good and served the purpose. But in the 21st century, the real world issues commenced. Today education is a recession free business.
Even after commercializing the education, the schools and educational institutions have to adopt imparting values to students. Offer them courses to build standing physical and mental abilities. Create an atmosphere to do experiments, and encourage the students’ creativity. Teach them how to lead their lives in this complex society overcoming all the challenges that life will throw at them. Encourage the students to work and learn with peers i.e. working in groups. Make them accept their failures in the classroom. Allow them to make mistakes in the classroom, since failures are stepping stones to the success. Don’t persuade them to be ranking machines, desperate to be on the top in the “rat race”, a term popularised by Viru Sahastrabuddhe a.k.a Virus. ‘Virus’ was a character played by Boman Irani in the Bollywood movie ‘3 Idiots’ that carefully portrayed the peer pressure and the irrelevant education system in our country that doesn’t allow flexibility of creativity and imparts restrictions on the growth of students by trapping them in the vicious circle of ‘ranks’, ‘marks’, and ‘grades’. Educational institutions, educators and students are behind the ranking race also accreditations race. How it serves the purpose? Do these accreditations certify that students carry values and ethos? For instance, a leading cab company in India ran into trouble in 2017 due to the escalated number of 215 complaints of which 47 related directly to sexual harassment in the organization ever since 2012. Of course, the company went into a loss of $703 million but, the people in the corporate who were responsible for such behaviour could be termed as lacking ethics, especially business ethics. What’s the importance of the degrees in education when it lacks inculcating ethics right from the beginning? In addition to ethics among people, it is also important for companies to incorporate and comply with Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act. Hardly does anyone know that there exists courses for understanding and learning Sexual Harassment laws. But many people disregard it as the least important part of our daily lives and business. Why? Why do we disregard things that are more important than making money? A healthy environment will make a business grow. A healthy person from mind will make him grow and the only thing that would support his growth is a value-based education.
The value-based education teaches us to be positive therefore, we cannot always look negatively at any situation we are surviving in today. Hence, we have to inscribe the positive role played by the Indian Government that currently promotes value-based education and not neglect their offerings to the citizens. The Ministry of Human Development has taken precautionary steps to help to add the values in the education system in teaching and training centres. Under the leadership of B.Shaji Kumar, New Golden Education Trust, the value-based system of education has been acquiring a steady progress throughout the country, it’s slow but its progressing.
Education is not limited to the classroom only. It is something that the child will carry lifelong. The value-based education can transform a diseased mind into a healthy, sincere, mindful, knowledgeable, natural, and attentive mind. Quoting Einstein here, he once said, “Try not to be a man of success but try to be a man of values.” Thus, to be successful in life, in addition to intellectuality, human qualities development should be the aim of education.
This collaborative article was written by Harsha Sheelam and Prof. M Chandra Shekar and has been published by an English daily newspaper, Hans India.