Value-Oriented Education - On Value Education and Value Oriented Education - 28 September 2000

On Value Education and Value Oriented Education - 28 September 2000

On Value Education and Value Oriented Education 28 September 2000

How value oriented education would be defined?

I thought that when we write aims and objects the very first thing would be, or one of the first thing would be the project statement would itself come upon with the full section on definition of value oriented education. So if I write down in the beginning it would be dogmatic definition, because I would like to give a full exposition. So one of the aims of project statement itself would be to define value oriented education or at last to suggest that this is a subject which philosophers should discuss and put before the country.

What I was suggesting was that in this introduction I am only suggesting the relevance of taking up this project at all. There are so many ambiguities, so many difficulties, some of which I have mentioned.

Now, the first relevance that I have shown is that we are passing through a difficult period of human history in which there is a need of value oriented education whatever it may mean — there is a dimension of values and I have deliberately brought in Bertrand Russell because he is supposed to be one of the greatest authorities today both of science and philosophy, and although he is a materialist, he himself pursued the necessity of values. So it is one of the arguments in itself for if man like Bertrand Russell feels for civilization purposes if war and tyranny are to be avoided there is no other way excepting developing of love, compassion. This whole dimension is brought out.

Now this is only a kind of a preliminary statement, and this in the terms in the relevance to science because the modern civilization is science based and many of the problems of mankind today are the result of the development of science.

So that was my first concern to present the case in that context. My second point was that in India without going into the question of what are values, what is the definition of values and so on, one very important fact is that constitution of India, and this is relevant to India particularly. Constitution of India has declared the concepts of Equality, Liberty, Fraternity and Justice in the very preamble. And it is binding upon every citizen. So unless you have education which tells you what is Equality, what is Fraternity, what is Liberty, what is Justice, the constitution cannot be operated upon. And that would mean people of India must be educated for understanding these four concepts

On Value Education and Value Oriented Education - 28 September 2000

On Value Education and Value Oriented Education - 28 September 2000

Then, in the Constitution of India a further thing has been done, which has not been done in any constitution of the world. It has proposed fundamental duties. Not only rights, but fundamental duties which are obligatory for every citizen of India to fulfil. So there is an imperative need in education, the need to tell the people or children
what are the fundamental duties, what they mean, and how they can be cultivated. This is the second relevance.

The third relevance is that even at the international level there is an international committee which has now come up with a statement of declaration of responsibilities and it is proposed that the whole world should be given this declaration for implementation. Now why is it that mankind today has turned to this ideas of responsibilities? Responsibilities is necessarily value oriented, this is the third relevance of value oriented education. If responsibilities are to be fulfilled, children and people have to be told and educated in regard to responsibilities.

Now the fourth point that I made is that duties and responsibilities imposed by the constitution or by any kind of code of conduct it will be limited to the idea of duties. Value oriented education can only be education in duties, basically responsibilities. But there are deeper dimensions in the value oriented education. Like I said there are ends in themselves, duties, but ends in themselves like love, beauty. Now what about this aspect which has also to be emphasized? So this is the fourth dimension for the whole proposal for value oriented education.

Now these questions can be debated perfectly well only through philosophy. There is only one science in the world which can deal with these questions in a dispassionate and critical manner. And that is philosophy. It is best that the whole task be given to philosophers.

I am only building up a case as to why this project report which we are writing has some kind of a necessity. So I have suggested that there has to be a philosophy of value oriented education. And this necessity arises out of the fact that although for decades we have spoken of value oriented education, for decades in fact, hardly anything has happened on the ground. And why? And there are three reasons I am giving.

One is that there has been a debate what are values? And this debate is endless. People have not come to answer this question.

On Value Education and Value Oriented Education - 28 September 2000

On Value Education and Value Oriented Education - 28 September 2000

Secondly, there has been a question whether value oriented education does not imply education in things which are relative in character, because values, it is argued, are relative. What is valuable to me may not be valuable to you. So where there is no certainty, no absoluteness, how can you prescribe? This is the second reason why this education has not come into practice. People feel very hesitant to say that well you educate yourself in this fashion.

The third reason is that there is a debate of whether value oriented education should have a separate syllabus or should be interwoven into various subjects. Now this question has been debated in our country for the last twenty-five years. And although there is a consensus that it should be interwoven, people don't know how to interweave. So there is a need also to consider other way round. Develop another education relationships with other subjects. Otherwise interweaving would be difficult. On account of these difficulties this education has remained neglected and it is very important.

Relevance is there, idea is there, pious wish is there. But implementation has become difficult because of this reason. So now that we need to take up this task seriously, it is good that philosophers meet, discuss this question and arrive at some conclusions and recommendations. And then on that basis teaching-learning material is prepared and which can then be given to the country for implementation. This is my basic idea. I have not defined value education, because I take it whatever you mean by it, whatever reader means by value education, is for the moment value education. But these are the problems which all need to be considered; and in doing so, what is value oriented education will come to be defined. Instead of starting with a definition dogmatically, it should result from a debate and discussion and exploration. This is my approach.

I am only presenting this argument so that you may now react to me saying that in spite of all my saying you feel dissatisfied.

On Value Education and Value Oriented Education - 28 September 2000

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