“Sa VidyaYaVimuktaye”. which means, “knowledge which liberates.”-the degree to which this aspect is met in the contemporary educational system marks the beginning of the theme.
While, philosophers quote the genesis of education at home, yet on discussing ‘education’, the first thought that flickers to mind is that of a room filled with children of the same age-group monitored by an adult or “classroom” as it is popularly recognized in the institution called ‘school’.
Here is when, the popular perception of education comes to play, which emphasises on institutional training and factual learning thereby disregarding insightful nourishing of self that begins from home.
Since ages the notion of knowledge versus wisdom has been an engaging topic, similarly, in terms of education, one draws a line of distinction while referring to morals and values instilled in a child, along with formal education during the early stages of life.
However, in the age of modernization, as people take leaps towards a lifestyle closer to perfection, it is important to have a clear idea about the nature of education that further shape young minds. In other words, it is important to understand the significance of values in education.
“Education begins at home. You can’t blame the school for not putting into your child what you don’t put into him”-Geoffrey Holder
As mentioned in the beginning, often the concept of values is perceived as something assigned to the territory of one’s parents as something, cultural and intrinsic to one’s familial upbringing, whereas education is often confined to schooling. Here is when, it becomes important to know about a value-based education, which in cooperates the curricular knowledge in an active social environment that facilitates engagement with the knowledge thus achieved, such that it is applicable in day to day life.
Consequently, such experiences carve out a qualitative outcome in one’s personal and professional spheres.
As Dr. Yojana Yatin Patel elucidates in her paper on ‘the role of value-based education in society’: “An educated person should have all kinds of qualities. Education should make every individual capable physically, mentally, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
Therefore, some universal ideals of “love, peace, respect, tolerance, forgiveness, co-existence and non-violence” should be accepted by all the educators worldwide. These values are truly indispensable, devoid of which, our society cannot sustain itself and people will forget humanity.”
In other words, education sans values can end up raising a mechanical being that boosts the materialistic benefits but ends up deprived in terms of the intangible treasures of mankind such as the socio-emotional growth, that truly completes the meaning of life.
To further decipher this notion, one needs to assess the weight of values and education at a broader platform and not simply in terms of professional and personal realms i.e. a holistic approach. To begin with, at a political level, while electing a leader or representative, what would be desirable in a candidate- her/his academic excellence or the vision held by her/him for the development of the nation and the welfare of its people, which in turn are facilitated by the values embraced by the individual during the course of life.
Thus, values are conducive to shaping one’s opinions which produce a denting-personality that defines individual identity and makes every individual intrinsically unique, despite the homogeneous education that one is conditioned to. Interestingly, Representation of the People’s Act, 1951 has not stipulated Minimum Educational Qualification for People’s Representatives, due to the very reason of avoiding a one-dimensional outlook, for dictating the calibre of a leader whose pluralistic governance shall require much more than theoretical knowledge.
While Anjan Kumar Bhanja described “education allied with the concomitant ethical burden on the conscience of a person” as important in efficient bureaucratic functioning. However, this aspect is equally applicable at a social level, to be vigilant about the tricks laid around in this manipulative world and to further outshine without hindrances.
Apart from the benefits of value education, one also needs to look at the consequences of a lifestyle in the absence of universal values such as love, generosity, and respect to name a few. In such a scenario, the priorities of the world will shift towards tangible luxuries and people will get detached from communal ties and sentiments, thereby resorting to self-centered acts, causing a rise in exploitation and further deterioration of nature.
Consequently, all the energy reserves of the planet will get drained, civil wars will get triggered. Alas, global harmony will seize to exist. As much dark and catastrophic, this future may appear, the current status quo although slower, is not much different from it.
Thus, this argument further reiterates the vital contribution of value-based education, which is not only centered around maintaining communal harmony but also in maintaining equilibrium in the functioning of the cosmos, for just as man claims to be the smartest of all the species that wields the topmost position among living beings, it is also capable to move towards the other end of the continuum, which happens at a point when man is blinded by the knowledge of perfection that can offer skills, a better living, and a competitive life , but fail to facilitate sincerity, a better life with deeper understanding that encourages a comprehensive growth in union with others, thereby ensuring holistic group-success instead of narrowed individualistic affluence.
In other words, value education is the knowledge that encourages hope- the impetus for a wholesome and humane life, without which mankind would be reduced as a ruthless machine.
On a larger note, the question about the need for values along with education marks the relevance of the so-called “knowledge” that man urges for. Thus, knowledge becomes beneficial if only, it is useful to man in his life, which in turn is defined by sentimental beings driven by emotions and values. Hence the idea of education generated by these humans, cannot possibly be devoid of values.
Thus, as we strive for development, let us not limit ourselves to superficial betterment for as Aristotle once said “Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all.”