Value Oriented Education - The Need Of The Hour


Simeon S. Simon
Senior Faculty
Prathyusha Institute of Technology and Management

Is not   what we need today is value education? People seem to be preferring their education based on what they could derive from it later interms of monetary benefits. It is not how they could be useful to the society and to the people around them. Primarily the monetary considerations are the one that dictate the choosers of education today.  It is the profit that is in the mind of the management as well as the learners.  When such is the case, where is the value for value education?  Students do not evaluate their potential and capabilities and their strength and weakness before they take important decisions such as choosing of their career- courses which later becomes their entanglement of life.

Meaning of Value Education:

Value Education refers to planned educational actions aimed at the development of proper attitudes, values, emotions and behavior patterns of the learners.  Value Education is the education that is concerned with the transformation of an individual's personality.

Need For Value Education-Why

(i) Value Erosion:
We are going through a crisis of values in our social and political life. Disregard shown to basic values like honesty and integrity_, for example, in personal and public life, has become a matter of grave concern. Crime, violence, cruelty, greed and apathy to human suffering have spread to all aspects of our life-- political, economic and social.  Pursuit of material wealth and selfish ends at any cost has become ultimate aim of life. There is great crisis in politics and crisis in colleges.  Recent episode of law students fighting between them in Law College premises in Chennai is abominable. Is there any example needed to point out the value crisis of today.  How are they going to save our nation with this kind of attitude? How are they going to bring justice to our nation? Is it believable when reading about a colonel who served the army for many decades has had links with terrorists in India in the News paper? Doctor who was caught by police in North India for murdering her own child recently spread shock waves. Students of Information Technology and senior executives of software industries who have links with terrorists in our country baffle our mind.  This is the time when our government is in dilemma as to allow the Gaysex legally.  Don't we have mind set to say that this is sexual perverseness?

ii) Education equated with Transmission of Knowledge:  Education is a process of initiating the learner to good life. But today in education primary importance is given to transmission of knowledge and cultivation of occupational skills. That is alright in one sense. Is education aimed at character-building in the learners?  But in the present day system of education there seems to be a "moral vacuum".  As Gandhiji pointed out, education without character, leads to criminality; educated persons have wider opportunities to indulge in crimes and that too committing them most efficiently and technically

(ii) Spread of Degraded Culture:  The value of truth, selflessness and service to fellow human beings are vanishing from our life. People started believing that "might is right" and through physical force alone problems could be solved.

(iii) No Social Concern: 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. Sensitivity to sufferings of fellow human-being is lacking in most of us and it is very rare to see people with social concern. Our physical environment rivers, mountains, forests, plant and animal life-is getting increasingly polluted, and depleted of its resources.

(iv) Indifference to National Welfare: Narrow mindedness, communalist, linguistic and rationalistic outlooks have divided the people and come in the way of developing a unified national and international outlook.

All these problems cannot be effectively tackled through narrow piece meal efforts.  What we need under the present circumstances 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.

When Teacher themselves lack values:

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 a fast buck through indifference in classroom teaching and conducting mass private tuition classes. This has led to all sorts of malpractices in examinations.

Some of the teachers are addicted to smoking, drinking alcohol and even gambling.  How can such teachers be entrusted with teaching great values to the students who are future nation builders?

This objection or doubt is valid; but the remedy does not lie in giving up value education.  We are in a vicious circle unless we inculcate values in school life and college life we can not get value-oriented teachers in future.  On the other hand so long as teachers with bad habits are working in schools and colleges, value education cannot be effectively carried out.  Since because a number of teachers are unable to speak in English, have we stopped the teaching of English in schools and colleges?  Therefore the realistic solution lies in the development of appropriate curriculum in value education and the relevant training course for teachers to handle the same in a practical way.

Simeon S. Simon
Senior Faculty
Prathyusha Institute of Technology and Management

Source: E-mail November 17, 2008


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