“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius
The youth of today are the future of the country. But when the current system of education and its implications are considered, the youths are found to blot their own copybook by indulging in the activities of ignorance. Simply by burning the candle at both ends, one does not achieve success. The youth of today lack values and morals. Even though the level of education in every school is high, the solid foundation which is established by moral principles and strong character is missing.
It is a well-known fact that today’s generation has to face more challenges and obstacles than the past generation. And with the increase in problems, the mindset of students is changing speedily. A number of students indulge in illegal activities like cheating, bribing or even attempting suicide. And all this is done with the goal of achieving a good result. But is this really worth? Literature has shown that the main connection of corruption is with the existence of monopoly and the discretionary power, lack of supervision at all levels and ignorance of values and ethics in the educational system. It is rightly said that true morals are priceless. They possess the greatest value ever and cannot be bought or sold. Nobody is born with values and morals, but they imbibe these principles from the surroundings. Just like “Namaste” and “Joining of palms” as a token of respect is taught to a child by his/ her parents, the values are also taught by the parents, teachers and the near and dear ones.
The term “value” can be used in different aspects. The dictionary has defined this term as “to prize, to estimate, to value something. It means that something is cherished or is dear to the heart”. A value signifies ideas that men love for. And they form the part and parcel of the philosophy that governs any nation and the educational system as well. The Indian Constitution provides many different ideas like democratic, secular, equality, fraternity, dignity, liberty, justice, socialist and dignity of every individual. This makes it obvious that the values should be adopted or inspired by these ideals. According to the Secondary Education Commission (1952-53), special emphasis should be laid on the values of efficiency, good temper, co-operation, integrity and discipline. But do these values still exist in the current education system? Probably not. There is one in hundred chance that the educated youth of today possess the characteristics of a nobleman. People are so busy in competing in the rat race of life that the essence of living a meaningful life, is lost. The existence of moral values and ethics has ceased. Nobody cares about anything. And consequently, the quality of life has deteriorated as well.
Values are essential because they define the standards of levels of goodness or desirability. Value education is implanted in every tradition of the Indian culture. Yet it is very sad to witness that gradually hypocrisy is taking over the values. It is the need of the hour to control this and call for change in the education system. Perhaps the major responsibility of bringing about this change lies in the hands of the teachers, the education policies and the syllabus. Since the purpose of education is to convert mirrors into the windows, it is important to inculcate the basics of values in every child. The treasure of values lies in the Vedas and the Upanishads of past. Vedas say, “Speak truth; never lax in self-study and fulfill your duties”. The central idea of value based education is to develop individuals with goodwill, individuals who do not cheat, or do not lie, or steal or kill. The aim is to develop individuals who consider mankind as one, who value every other human being and treat them with respect, dignity and equality.
The incorporation of value based education will help the individuals to thrive for peace and justice and acknowledge freedom of self, in which no individual will live with fear. They will learn the power of self-reliance and lead a dignified life. The work of every individual will be safeguarded and recognized. Everyone will be given equal rights to work and will be provided with the best opportunities in life. Although the cutthroat competition to achieve materialistic success has made man mechanical, there is still a ray of hope left. Lack of values has resulted in insecurities, distrust, lack of honour, loss of companionship, etc. All this has eventually resulted in unstable social and personal lives, indulgence in substance abuse and the development of self-killing ideologies. In such a scenario, it is very important that value-based education is introduced, once again, in the system. This will help in developing the purity of the heart and will help in extending the relationship with the world. Right education, as quoted in the literature, means,” Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktye”, which means that knowledge helps in attainment of liberation.
But all said and done, the most daunting part is the implementation of a value-based education system. For starters, very strong determination and willpower is required to aim for being the change and bringing about the change. The fact that without values in the education system we cannot aim for a safe society or develop a harmonious country or even family environment, is no more a bone of contention. Therefore, some practical approaches and ways are required to implement values in the current system, example: beginning with the junior classes, producing more trained and dedicated teachers, establishing more supportive and administrative teams, putting up a well-organized library and developing student’s interest in knowing the history.
The current trend in the privatization, liberalization and globalization of lives has created a global society where ancient heritage has been thrown into the winds. However, the degradation of values and disrespect for the culture and tradition has only brought personal discontent and a large number of socio-economic problems for everyone. Therefore, it is high time to introduce a system that aims at infusing values and moral principles into the minds of students so that the world becomes a better place to live in and peace, serenity and prosperity prevail.