With consumerism usurping the uppermost space in our lives and the satisfaction of the senses taking priority over the old age values of self-denial, frugality and sacrifice a new world order that seeks pleasure and more pleasure has taken birth. Tremendous material and technological progress have made our life more complex and strife-torn. Myriad materialistic ambitions are creating anguish and anxiety in our minds. Never ending demands on physical comfort, material consumption and sensual craving have taken us away from the elemental quality of our being. The glitter of material prosperity is putting all consideration of the multiple dimensions of human being into the background. Inspite of being at height of material glory, we are inwardly torn asunder by conflicting forces. Almost total breakdown of human relations has been the most tragic result of our modern times. The humanitarian value are gradually eroding.
The lust for wealth, fame, power and glory is as old as the hills, but the self-centered impulse had to be dressed in more humanitarian apparel to be acceptable. Have things changed now? Have the much touted trends of ‘liberatisation’ and ‘globalisation initiated changes in our social outlook of which we are still unaware? Does the pursuit of pleasure no longer need to be clothed in principle? Has the spirit of self-denial been ousted by the spirit of Dionysus? Has personal profit won over the common good?
Value-oriented education is the panacea for all these ills. Values are outcome of human choices among competing human interests. Men require wisdom and not mere knowledge to decide preference and priorities. Education, if correctly understood encompasses a ‘value system’ as one of its inescapable contents without which it forfeits the right to be termed as education. The real meaning of education is the inculcation of moral and ethical values in human beings. Proper education should enable mean to act according to the values. It is, therefore, imperative to emphasis value education in our schools to acquaint pupils with highest possible values and embody them in their thoughts, feelings and actions. Generally our behavior depends upon our attitudes. Attitudes are latent value reactions. This simple equation proves that behavior depends upon attitudes and attitudes on values. So we can easily conclude that if we want desirable, decent and dignified behavior we must have reverence for values.
Values are imbibed not taught. Education as a sub-system of society only reflects the existing social order, but in periods of crisis it has to assume a more creative role and work towards setting things right. After all, School is not merely creation of society but creator of society too. Hence value based education school will better the value climate of the school.
Values grow with a child as the grows. A child has to be baptized in the value system at home by his parents. Parents should know that values cannot be bought off the shelf nor they can be etched by hammer and chisel. They have to be dinned consciously in the mind of the child. This is to be done by the parents through mythological stories and fables. If the resurrection of spiritual inclination in the child is to be achieved then parents will have to devote quality time for him.
In value education the task of teacher is more challenging as he is expected to wage a longer struggle with himself to keep his poise, clarity to vision and sobriety of judgment. Moreover, the secret of teaching values is to inspire and kindle the quest among students by means of his own example. His influence lies in what he is and what he makes of himself. He teaches all the time through his conduct and example. If a teacher has to play his role in a right manner in the promotion of values, he himself should be value oriented. It is by embodying values within himself that he can really radiate value to his pupils. Emerson rightly remarks about teachers:
“What you are, speaks so loudly, that I cannot hear what you say’.