The subject that deals with what is of value, or what is valuable to a human being is called value education. This subject focuses on what a human being is, what is purposeful and meaningful for him/her - what is the aim of human being and one's life and how one can meet this aim, this purpose. This elaborates on what role he/she has to play as responsible human being at the level of individual, family, society and nature. With this clarity, one is able to see the meaning in life, purpose in life and is committed to fulfil that meaning, that purpose. This clarity and the satisfaction obtained out of the fulfilment of this purpose, gives one a feeling of self confidence. This instils confidence in their inner strengths. The students need to have this confidence in order to be able to proactively set their own goals. If the goal is set proactively (and not by default 'peer' pressure) the motivation comes from within and the rest follows- in terms of his commitment, untiring effort leading to success in achieving his aim, and his purpose of life.
Values thus provide the basis for all our actions and activities. Apart from skill development, education needs to focus on value-education. This needs to be introduced in our school education as well as higher education. Such value-based education can prepare students to live in harmony with other human beings and nature - this can provide a way out of the current morass that the world is in.
Dr. Abdul Kalam spoke about this topic in his address to the nation on the eve of the Independence Day (15th August) 2006:"... being practiced by Prof Ganesh Bagaria, Prof Rajeev Sanga and their teams. [it] is a 'teachable human value based skill.'. This process of imparting self-knowledge would promote a learning atmosphere, where this whole movement of inquiry into knowledge, into oneself, into the possibility of something beyond knowledge would bring about naturally a psychological revolution. From this comes inevitably a totally different order in human relationship and therefore society as a whole. The intelligent understanding of this process itself can bring about a profound change in the consciousness of mankind..."
Full text of Dr Kalam's speech is at here
At the root is holistic, and all encompassing detailed view of reality at every level of existence, from Individual to Family, Society and Nature/Existence - that the existence is innately co-existence (harmony, order) and not a chaos or disorder; and Man just needs to understand this co-existence and align with the innate order in the existence. With such a holistic viewpoint, one can rightly place existing assumptions and inputs. This knowledge is inherently self liberating, empowering and can lead to Human Conduct, Education, Constitution and Order (Manaviya Acharan, Shiksha, Samvidhan and Vyawastha) in the society.
- Effective and widely acceptable guidelines for value education have been drawn up to help decide what would qualify as a course on value education: Universal - Whatever is studied as value education needs to be universally applicable to all human beings and be true at all times and all places. In addition, it should not depend on sect, creed, nationality and gender etc. So it deals with universal human values
- Rational - It has to be amenable to reasoning and not based on dogmas or blind beliefs. It cannot be a set of sermons or Do's and Don'ts
- Natural and Verifiable - We want to study something that is natural to us. Being natural means, it has to be acceptable in a natural manner. When we live on the basis of such values that are natural to us, it leads to fulfilment i.e. it leads to our happiness, it is conducive to other people we interact with, and the interaction with nature is mutually enriching. We also want to verify these values ourselves, i.e. we don’t want to assume something just because something is stated, rather, each one of us will want to verify these to find out whether they are true for us. This can be done by both checking for validity within ourselves, as well as something which we can implement in our living and observe its outcome
- All encompassing - Value education is not merely an academic exercise. It is aimed at transforming our consciousness and living. Hence, it has to permeate into all dimensions of our living, namely, thought, behaviour, work and understanding/realization; as well as all levels namely individual, family, society and nature
- Leading to harmony - Finally, value education has to enable us to be in harmony within and in harmony with others. Hence, when we live on the basis of these values, we start understanding that it will lead to harmony in us and harmony in our interactions with other humans and the rest of nature. That is it leads to human conduct
The workshop is conducted as a dialog, free from any value prescriptions or do's and donts. Proposals about universal principles of life are placed for evaluation and discussion at one's own right. Individuals from 3 years onwards can attend.