Education with human values

— Dr. Rameeza A. Rasheed

In today’s Indian economic scenario, the values of life are brushed aside as matters of the past. India, which was looked upon as a land of spirituality, ancient traditions and culture, has given way to the global trend of materialism. An individual is measured in terms of his wealth and not on the basis of his goodness. Such changes have occurred due to the deviation of our educational system from the golden path set by our ancestors. The present day education pattern of India has lost its sense of purpose and direction. Schools and colleges place undue emphasis on academic performance and technical skills. Maximum efforts are put in by teachers to develop the analytical power and logical reasoning. In other words, the collegiate education is for economic empowerment of the younger generation. Therefore, the subjects taught, the curriculum framed, the research activities designed, the teachers trained and the facilities provided are in accordance with the needs of the industrial sector. This has resulted in mindless commercialisation of education.

In a set up where , the students are the consumers, the teachers are the service providers, the industry is the master( dictating the higher education curriculum and research direction) and education is the commodity or end product, which has to be designed according to the dictates of the job market ,the need to instill in the minds of the students, the basic values of life have been set aside The goal of converting an ordinary individual into a person of good character through internal transformation has given way to the goal of mental and physical development alone. A good educational system should help in the development of good character. When the character building duty of education is ignored, it becomes incomplete education.

Therefore, if India has to emerge from the ongoing character crisis, it has to revive the value-based education which should include creating humanistic attitude among the younger generation. There is an urgent need to make the students aware and become sensitive about the under privileged section’s needs, sufferings and aspirations.The teachers should make the students understand that, any injustice done to the poor, women , elders and children is a violation of human rights especially the injustice done to the poor, in the name of development, Even after 66 years of independence India remains a rich country with poor people . That means, the nature has blessed India with rich natural resources and the mismanagement of it by respective governments has resulted in growing income inequality. The students community should be made aware of these matters and the teachers should train their minds to have a humanistic approach while thinking and discussing about the various incidents happen in the country.

In the philosophical context, `value' has ethical, moral and spiritual relevance. In general, the factors that shape an ordinary individual into a person of good character can be called values. Values should enable an individual to distinguish between good and bad, justice and injustice, cruelty and kindness and protect him from destructive activities. In other words, a person with values will have humanism in attitude and actions.

Therefore, it is important that teachers are trained in these principles. Teachers should have total involvement in the process of transformation of students from ordinary individuals into developed individuals with strong faith in values of life. By using innovative methods they can integrate values with general education. They can also share their ideas with other teachers and improve or modify the methods adopted. Teachers should never teach values as a separate subject.

They should be cleverly inter-woven with subjects like languages, social sciences and pure sciences. The teaching tools can be music, drama, story, discussion, charts, models and prayer. The students should have basic knowledge of the principles of all religions. Education, which teaches only science and technology with the aim of economic empowerment, is dangerous from the national point of view. All these efforts are to be focused mainly towards primary classes. Our aim should be to catch them young before they get corrupted by undesirable factors.

If value-based education becomes the universal pattern in India, the future generation will not only be intellectuals of a high order, but will also be persons with human mind and heart.

About the Author
DR. Prof. Rameeza Rasheed is a retired professor of economics with 30 years of teaching in JBAS college for women (formerly SIET college)-Chennai. She has specialised in teaching gender economics and Indian economic development.

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