NEED FOR VALUE EDUCATION - Human Values

Value education is rooted in Indian philosophy and culture and ingrained in every tradition of Indian culture. Educational institutions play a significant role in the promotion of value. The Vedas and Upanishads form the source of inspiration for value education. In the Vedic period, in Ashram education, the Guru insists on his sishya to follow certain values throughout his life. 

Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Justice, Liberty Equality, Fraternity, Dignity of the individuals and integrity of the nation are the ideal conditions in the Constitution. Our values in life must draw their inspiration from these ideals. University education commission 1948-49 mentioned the various aspects of morality as loyalty, courage, discipline, self - sacrifice and spirituality.

The Secondary Education Commission 1952-53 laid special emphasis on the following values in the formation of the character of the students :
  • Efficiency 
  • Good Temper 
  • Cooperation 
  • Integrity 
  • Discipline

The subject that enables us to understand what is valuable for human happiness is called value education Need for value education is

Correct identification of our aspirations: The subject which enables us to understand what is valuable for human happiness is called ' value education ' ( VE ). Thus, VE enables us to understand our needs and visualize our goals correctly and also indicate the direction for their fulfilment It also helps to remove our confusion and contradictions and bring harmony at all levels.

Understanding universal human values to fulfil our aspirations in continuity: Values form the basis for all our thoughts, behaviours and actions. Once we know what is valuable to us, these values become the basis, the anchor for our actions. We also need to understand the universality of various human values, because only then we can have a definite and common program for value education. Then only we can be assured of a happy and harmonious human society.

Complementarity of values and skills: To fulfil our aspirations both values and skills are necessary. When we identify and set the right goals which are produced in the right direction, this is known as the value domain, the domain of wisdom, and when we learn and practice to actualize this goal to develop the techniques to make this happen in real life, in various dimensions of human endeavour ( struggle ). This is known as the domain of skills. Hence, there is an essential complementarity between values and skills for the success of any human endeavour. For example, I want to lead a healthy life. Only wishing for good health will not help me keep my body fit and healthy and without having understood the meaning of health, I will not be able to choose things correctly to keep my body fit and healthy.

Evaluation of our beliefs: Each one of us believes in certain things and we base our values on these beliefs, be they false or true which may or may not be true in reality. These beliefs come to us from what we read, see, and hear, what our parents tell us, what our friends talk about, what the magazines talk about, what we see on TV etc. Value Education helps us to evaluate our beliefs and assumed values.

Technology and human values: The present education system has become largely skill-based. The prime emphasis is on science and technology. However, science and technology can only help to provide the means to achieve what is considered valuable. It is not within the scope of science and technology to provide the competence of deciding what really is valuable. Value Education is a crucial missing link in the present education system. Because of this deficiency, most of our efforts may prove to be counterproductive and serious crises at the individual, societal and environmental levels. 

Difference Between the Belief and Understanding

A key point that underpins the distinction between understanding and belief is that; it is easy to think of instances in which one understands or at least partly understands an idea while believing a completely different idea. For example, a student understands the concept of the solar system while still believing his / her religious doctrine. So beliefs are the ad - hoc values while correct understanding is the universal human value. 

The distinction between beliefs and understanding can be underpinned by evaluating the following points : 

BeliefsUnderstanding
Beliefs are the ad-hoc valuesCorrect Understanding is the universal human value
They usually not the same for everybodyThey are the same for everyone
Beliefs are assumed valuesUnderstanding is evaluated value
Beliefs usually change with time
For e.g. At one point in time, you might have thought of going into a good college is the most important now it may change to getting a good job in a company or getting a job in a good company.
Understanding does not change with time.

Value of an Entity

The value of any unit in this existence is its participation in the larger order of which it is part e.g. value of a pen is that it can write. Here writing is the participation of the pen in the bigger order in which pen, paper, and human beings, all are present. The value of an eye is that it can be used for seeing. The value of a vegetable plant is that it gives nutrition to animals and humans. 

The value of human beings is the participation of human beings at different levels in this order. The participation of the human being is seen in two forms: behaviour and work. The participation of human being pertaining to behaviour is the nine values in a relationship, viz. trust, respect, affection, care, guidance, reverence, glory, gratitude and love. Likewise, working with material things, we have two values: utility value and artistic value. All these values are nothing but the participation of the human being in different dimensions of living. 

Basic Guidelines

The subject that enables us to understand what is valuable ' for human happiness is called value education. In order to qualify for any course on value education, the following guidelines for the content of the course are important
  • Universal: It needs to be applicable to all human beings irrespective of caste, creed, nationalities, religion, etc., for all times and regions. · 
  • Rationale: It has to appeal to human reasoning. It has to be amenable to reasoning and not based on dogmas or blind beliefs.
  • Natural and verifiable: It has to be naturally acceptable to the human being who goes through the course and when we live on the basis of such values it leads to our happiness. It needs to be experientially verifiable, and not based on dogmas, beliefs or assumptions.
  • All-encompassing: Value education is aimed at transforming our consciousness and living Hence, it needs to cover all the dimensions ( thought, behaviour, work and realization ) and levels ( individual, family, society, nature and existence ) of human life and profession. 
  • Leading to harmony: The value of education ultimately is targeted to promote harmony within the individual, among human beings and with nature. 

Content of Value Education 

The subject that enables us to understand what is valuable for human happiness is called value education. The scope of value education includes all dimensions ( thoughts, behaviour, work and realization ) and all levels ( individual, family, society and nature - existence ). Accordingly, the content of value education will be to understand me, my aspirations, and my happiness; understand the goal of human life comprehensively, understand the other entities in nature, the innate interconnectedness, the coexistence in the nature - existence and finally the role of hun being in this nature/existence entirely. Hence, it has to encompass an understanding of harmony at various levels and finally, learning to live in accordance with this understanding by being vigilant to one's thoughts, behaviour and work. 

Difference Between Values and Skills

Values mean importance or participation and skills mean qualities, training, and capabilities. To fulfil our aspirations both values and skills are necessary. When we identify and set the right goals and produced them in the right direction, this is known as the value domain, the domain of wisdom. Basically, we must know what really is useful to achieve human happiness, happiness for all and for all the time. 

And when we learn and practices to actualize this goal to develop the techniques to make this happen in real life, in various dimensions of human endeavour ( struggle ), this is known as the domain of skills. Hence, there is an essential complementarity between values and skills for the success of any human endeavour. 

For example, I want to lead a healthy life. Only wishing for good health will not help me keep my body fit and healthy and without having understood the meaning of health, I will not be able to choose things correctly to keep my body fit and healthy. So I have to learn the skills to achieve the goal of good health i.e. food to be consumed, the physical workout to be designed. So without knowing the meaning of good health, health cannot be achieved and also it is necessary to make use of the goal to achieve the goal. 

Process for Value Education

The process for value education has to be that of self-exploration, which includes two things: verification at the level of natural acceptance and experiential validation in living. Self-exploration is the process to find out what is valuable to me by investigating within myself, what is right for me, true for me, has to be judged within myself. Through self-exploration, we get the value of ourselves.

Various aspects of reality facilitating the understanding of human values will be presented as proposals. We need to verify these proposals for ourselves and examine our lives in this light.

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