A simple word ‘education’ has very vast meaning. Can getting a degree in engineering or medical or philosophy or humanities, etc. be termed as getting educated? Is a person who has done PhD more educated than an inter pass person? Difficult to tell. Learning something, becoming expert in some field makes us professional not educated. Until and unless ‘values’ is added in our field we can’t be termed as educated. A person with many degrees but who lacks in values can be termed as a ‘learned literate’ but not educated.
Values can be defined as Feelings, Emotions, a piece of heart towards those who are backward, illiterate, and poor or any person in need of any sort of help. In today’s society, we are getting learned but in the process we are losing our values. Recently, in an incident, an auto hits a person returning home from work, a lot of cars, bikes went past injured man but nobody helped him because that help may take their time and they might got late for work. In stations, one may find many people showing apathy towards beggars, poor sleeping on floor. These are common incidences where we see values getting murdered by those who are regarded as respectful persons. All such incidents show how we are losing our values.
‘Man is a social animal’. Social means one who cares about society, one who comes out of cocoon of oneself and one’s family and began regarding all human beings as part of an extended family. Education without values is something like a heater without coil, car without brakes, mobile without calling feature, television without audio, simply useless. Money can make a rich person but only values can make a great person. We have the example of our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, he was born in an affluent family, received high education, become a barrister, he could have earned a lot had he continued his profession, but in that case we won’t be knowing him today. He allowed values to sprout in his education, as a result of which he turns towards freedom struggle and ends up becoming a part of history. Gautam Buddha born in royal family could have enjoyed life to the fullest; instead his values told him to move in other direction which made him immortal.
Education cannot be measured by number of years a person has given to studies or how many degrees he/she holds but education means the thought process of an individual, how he/she views the world, society, environment, social and local issues. Heart must beat for the society, when one sees some wrong happening, he/she to the best of his/her powers must try to stop the wrong. It’s the responsibility of parents and teachers to inculcate values along with education in children. What a child learns in childhood, he /she cherishes it for the rest of life.
To mix values in education we need to undertake some reforms. There is a need to inculcate some ethics in each and every subject. The mix should be such that it is not realized but it gets mixed. For example, a chapter on medicines can be named as ‘Medicines for the betterment of human life’ or a topic on photosynthesis and plants can be renamed as ‘Plants and us’, i.e. we need to change the basic structure of our education so that values gets automatically added in it. Moreover, ethics can be introduced as a core subject in all graduation streams so that students can interconnect their educational field with their role as a citizen of and for a society. Nobody becomes something in a day, it requires years of moulding, so all that is required to make a good world is to teach values at all stages while imparting education. Combination of education and values is as critical as combination of sulphuric acid and nitric acid: just the opposite!
- Jayant Joshi