Professor K Mohammed writing in the Companion.in in Dec has written very favorably for Value Education across the world. He quotes that the very purpose of : “Education is the creation of a sound mind in a sound body. It develops man’s faculty, especially his mind so that he may be able to enjoy the contemplation of supreme truth, goodness and beauty of which perfect happiness essentially consists”. – Aristotle.
The Prof goes on to say and I quote:
“It is very important to keep in mind that a balanced development of harmonious and integrated personality is impossible if the educational system does not inculcate proper values and morals. Not only in India but also world – wide arouse a cry for back to basic values and for nourishing human values and morality among the youth. Each and every one who is in the field of education should bear in the mind that human being is not a mere matter or material, but they are the only creature in this world having discriminative power to select their own life style. Thus they can be superior with upright morals and characters by doing great and merciful deeds. Otherwise they will be inferior to the cattle and more harmful than the wild animals by doing mischievous deeds. The Holy Quran says “They have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle, – nay more misguided (than the cattle) : for they are heedless (7:179). If we are looking into the Holy books of various religions we can see that all the religions are arguing for development of values. India is the country where 99% of people are believers and having a heritage of high values. All the education commissions and educationists in India and all over the world are arguing for value education. Thus the system of higher education must be changed into value based education. We can work together for that and buildup a more strong nation.”
There is no question that the teaching of moral and good social and historical cultural values, which show our diversity, while building our common bonds into a human destiny; is sadly lacking, in our modern education system. There is more emphasis on basic math and science and not enough on moral education, or history and the arts. We need to teach our succeeding generations; on how to become better social animals, who take care of our environment and ourselves with a higher purpose. A common core of meditation and study of holy passages should be introduced; as designed by Prof Eknath Easwaran at the University of CA, would be one of the many options. A mandatory course on cultural study of the common values of humanity; and what makes us more loving, compassionate and ready to work with each other as equals, is essential for the development of our young ones.
The Value Education curriculum could be cloned into all divisional locations, in all States of India. The High Schools and Colleges and Universities already exist, and it is only a matter of introducing the Subject, on the Core curriculum of the student skills. This can easily be done through digital and electronic means, minimizing the costs of instruction and need for instructors to travel extensively. After doing introductory sessions for a week; they can work remotely with the students, through smart phones or computers. It will be possible to educate millions in this way as digitization and mass reproduction of high quality sound and video are now easily available; and can be as easily distributed via the internet, or even physically as recorded course materials.
Passages will be chosen from across all religions, and from some of the most saintly and compassionate personalities; who have come before us. They have experienced what it is to have a higher calling, and have said it best. A secular education that praises all higher human endeavors, is needed.
Any secular modern education system that is not based on creating the right values; is a waste, as it will take us further away from nature, and our basic good instincts. As evolving creatures we need to strive for the highest goals, and study is the first step to practice. As we spread awareness and show the next generations the advantages of meditation and high moral values; we can hope finally for a better tomorrow, with less human strife and more human compassion.
Our journey is just a blip on the evolutionary scale of this universe; and we have to teach our children not to destroy the earth and each other, but instead find the way to live in harmony with Mother Nature and to prosper together. We have the whole universe out there to welcome us; if we can only get our minds to rise to the occasion, through the adoption of a better Value Education. Our evolutionary legacy must be to teach our children to lead a life of purpose, in support of humanity’s highest vales.