In the present era of education assisted by ultramodern technology, we are inclined more towards knowledge and ranks in the examination than application of learning in our day-to-day life. Theodore Roosevelt warns, “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” It is a lamentable fact that in the prevalent scenario of education, the majority of the teachers as well as the taught have turned into grades-oriented and marks-oriented individuals overlooking and undermining the superlative purpose of education i.e. refinement of ethics, purification of soul ad enlightenment of human intellect. More sadly, in the pursuit of degree-oriented education, we have, wittingly or unwittingly, failed to incorporate the learning of moral and ethical values to our studies for the positive nourishment of our character. “The degeneration in the present day life, the demoralization of public and private life and the utter disregard for values, are all traceable to the fact that moral, religious and spiritual education has not been given due place in the educational system.” (Rena, Ravinder 2006)
In a broader view, as the outcome of education, we are producing successful professionals obsessed with material pursuits, who fail as considerate, altruistic and humane people. Totally remiss of philanthropic and humanitarian element of their work, these professionals are content with the achievement of absolute luxury as well as authority as being the radical purpose of their studies. This kind of attitude is the result of the myopic and inadequate execution of the abilities of teachers and teacher-educators. Thereby, most of the existing students indulge themselves into anti-social and unethical dealings in their futures endeavours. “Unfortunately, education is becoming more or less materialistic and the value traditions are being slowly given up.” (Erwin, 1991) We, nonetheless, have time to redress our wrongs and set right our shortcomings. In this regard, the curriculum and teachers play a pivotal role. Curriculum must contain distinctive instructions for the values associated with each lesson.
The teachers, on the other hand, must explain those values to the students and encourage them to put the same into practice in their daily life. In this way, we can surely bring about a positive change in the overall attitude of our students towards learning as well as society. Moreover, the students in the academic phase of their school life need to learn to be kind, compassionate and considerate towards their fellow beings. This could be communicated to them while teaching Islamiyat, Ethics, Pakistan Studies, Science, English or any other subject of their interest. In addition to teaching students the periodical and chronological record of life and achievements of the successful and influential people in the world, the teachers must highlight the brighter aspects of their character which dominated their practice and performance.
The students should be inspired to identify the positive implications of their study in their everyday life. In this connection, value-based education can not only improve a person’s life but it can also advance society in the right direction. “So, value education is not simply the heart of education, but also the education of the heart. It is a necessary component of holistic citizenship education.” (Rena, Ravinder 2006) This practice can be carried out while teaching students the formation of water in Chemistry, the teacher must talk about the worth and use of water. The students can also be informed about the importance of growing plants and trees in our daily life in Botany. With reference to their lessons, the students could be enlightened to show reverence to their teachers and elders and love their younger ones.
Value-based education can also be a source of appreciation and promotion of one’s own culture and history. More importantly, the students can probe into and find the eternal solace in Nature. In addition to that, they must praise the creations of Allah and love both the creatures and the Creator. Besides integrating values in the provided curricula, the value-based education can also be featured in the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The special assemblies and functions could be arranged to instill the vital importance of fair and descent values. This could also be combined with the regular activities in the sports ground and academic contests. Sir Frances Bacon in his essay ‘Of Studies’ says, “Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; morals, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.”
Hence, if we want to achieve the purpose of education in life, fortify humane feelings, alleviate poverty, bring peace and prosperity to our country as an educated and civilized nation, we must develop the constructive thoughts and attributes in our children vis-à-vis their academic and professional uplift to positively mould their character as an example for others to follow. The teachers must also inculcate the idea of ‘peaceful coexistence with people from other cultures and countries.’ (P.L Joshi 2007) Therefore, we should integrate information, knowledge, skills with values in education and help students come together to bind this world in a peaceful harmony.