Injecting values in education

Witoubou Newmai

What can we expect when the warp and woof of education system has been reduced to a mere ‘job’ premise rather than giving importance to the aspects of the values of humanity? The danger, however, is not really limited to that point itself—our society’s happy indifference to the trend is the real issue. Any attempt to broach the issue may not easily quicken the society, as we are all now resigned to the ‘what-is-the-point’ lethargy.

The society’s situation for this resignation is understandable, for taking any perilous route for a worthy cause is considered an ‘old fashion’ and redundant today. Coming to this point of discourse reminds us TS Eliot’s profound posers— “Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

Reflecting on the twentieth century poet’s thought, noted Indian columnist Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar argues that the “Indian school system focuses on information rather than knowledge, and certainly not wisdom.”

Another aspect pointed out by Aiyar is noteworthy. He says, “Rote learning is the rule in most Indian schools,” and that, “the aim is to learn answers by heart and not question teachers, experiment with new ideas or argue.” According to the columnist, the “government emphasis is on inputs like classrooms, toilets and midday meals, not learning outcomes.”

This editorial is not trying to rake up irrelevant details, as for many people an issue such as about values (of all aspects) in education is already considered a clichéd one. But for humanity sake, our society must consider for one more time that the elixir to bring back hope to the forlorn state of the ‘present’ is to promote values in the educational system.

For eminent educationist VR Taneja, skill and fact learning will get meaning and purpose when values inhere them. He further said that inculcation of values will create in the people rationalism and right responses, and “will not side-step the questions of morality, integrity, justice, equity and fair play.”

But, how do we inject all these values into the education system, reflecting in practical terms, has become a pertinent question. In other words, what and how do we initiate to make the society to experience an epiphany that we are only miniaturizing humanity as long as the ‘job’ premise precedes the values of education?

The whole point is all about making the ‘fundamental educational code’ more pronounced.