Values in Education

Values in education

A value is a virtue which can be acquired and developed through the concentration of positive personality traits within a person.
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Today, our schools are focused more on delivering academic excellence while the subject of Value Education is almost excluded from their curriculum. However, in my opinion, there is an urgent need to incorporate value and moral education in the school curriculum. Right from the pre-school years, the child should be trained in developing values through story-telling, dramas and plays, aimed at character building and strengthening the child’s personality development. The main objective of the curriculum designed by the school should be the development of positive sanskars in children so that they can successfully face the challenges later in life, and generate creative and positive responses in any situation. The word ‘value’ is often confused with the attitude of giving respect to elders or following social rules and regulations. But to me, a value is a virtue that can be acquired and developed through the concentration of positive personality traits within a person.

Love

The first in the order is the virtue of love. Love is our true and original nature. Children are born to spread love around them. Their true nature is to love. But because of their upbringing or peer pressure and old and conventional teaching methods, this virtue is seldom found in the today’s classroom. Children are more interested in getting the number of stars in their exercise books or scoring high marks in exams, and additionally more interested in fame, glory and attention seeking behaviour, and are, therefore, prone to vices such as jealousy, backbiting or gossiping. If children are made aware that their true nature is to love and to be loved, there will be no need of counsellors and child psychologists. For this virtue to be inculcated in children, self-awareness, introspection and meditation should be made a regular practice and a daily routine in the school. When they realise their true self, they will gradually make an effort to mould their personality and transform their negative behaviour into positive one.

Happiness

The second virtue is the virtue of happiness. Children should be so much engulfed with happiness that it becomes a part of their personality. Because of lack of happiness in their lives, children become prone to mental and physical disorders at a tender age. Right at the pre-school stage, training should be given to open up their wings of expression, so that they can emerge as shining stars and happy beings. Apart from laying emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic skills, focus also need to be given in allowing their natural self to develop, through activities like dance, drama and story-telling. Let the soul dance, let the soul be allowed true self-expression, let the soul spread its wings and fly high, and let the chains of formal education be cut to allow freedom to the children. As they grow up and face adversity and challenges, it will be these values and virtues, which will mould and transform them into becoming victors and winners, by turning challenges into opportunities.

The teacher’s personality also plays a pivotal role in the development of children. It should be such that there is an automatic flow of love and happiness when he/she enters the classroom, bringing light and brilliance of happiness onto the children’s faces. The teacher should perform his/her duties in soul-consciousness, that is, while teaching he/she should remember that he/she is a soul and so are the children whom he is teaching. Teachers should serve as dedicated and ideal mentors. Since children learn more by observation, absorption and experience, it is important that the teachers present themselves as such role models, whom the children can look up to for guidance and inspiration. If the teacher acts with this consciousness, the development and progress of children would be much faster and easier as compared to what has been hitherto achieved.

Peace

The third virtue is the virtue of peace. In today’s classroom, cases of children with hyper activity and aggressive behaviour problems are on the increase. It suggests that the state of mind of the children is not peaceful but disturbed. A more ‘soulful’ education can calm the mind, warm the heart and awaken peaceful nature of young students. The schools and teachers together should provide a positive environment where young people are encouraged to maintain inner state of calm and learn more about self-awareness, self-control and personal responsibility. This will help the child to learn to be at peace with his own self and with the outside world, thus enabling him to imbibe and grasp things better. In addition to this, every hour for one minute, the teacher should conduct meditation exercises and guide the children to be in silence helping them to maintain inner peace and tranquillity.

Purity

The last, but the most important virtue is that of purity. The more self-aware the children are, the more uplifted and enlightened their personality will become. If right from their pre-school age, the foundation of pure and positive thoughts is laid stronger in children, the faster and easier it will be to mould their personality. With proper development of these virtues, rest of the virtues will automatically follow and flow within a child’s personality.

By Kruti Suchak

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) is an international non-governmental organisation, which intends to help individuals re-discover and strengthen their inherent worth by encouraging and facilitating a process of spiritual awakening.

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