Seminar For Children To Learn About The Future
Education is necessarily a process of inculcating values to equip the learner to lead a life that is satisfying to the individual in accordance with the cherished values and ideals of the society. Philosophers, spiritual leaders and educationists of our country, all in various ways, have emphasised the role of education for ‘character development’, ‘bringing out the latent potentialities and inherent qualities’ and developing an ‘integrated personality’ for the well-being of the individual and the society at large. Whatever term we may use, the importance of developing values has long been embedded in the age old traditions of India’s civilisational and cultural heritage, spanning over the centuries. The diverse and rich cultural heritage that we are so fortunate to inherit in our country is in many ways symbolic of the foundation and wellspring of values from which we draw our value nourishment. Life of individuals and communities and that of our saints, sages and philosophers are examples of values like self-discipline, survival in the absence of material resources, simplicity, handling conflicts without violence, exploring simple but revolutionary ideas as a mark of superior conduct and living.One of the most important reasons for reorienting education for values is the fact that the current practices in school education by any large contribute to the lopsided development of students. These put exclusive focus on cognitive to the total neglect of the affective domain and present an alienation between head and heart. Students are nurtured in a spirit of excessive competition and are trained right from the beginning to relate to aggressive competition, and facts detached from contexts. The individualistic idea of excellence is promoted at the cost of emotional and relational skills. Young learners hardly understand why they are in school, why they are studying different subjects and how their schooling will be helpful to them. Their understanding is limited to learning the subjects. They hardly know how they should live their lives, commit themselves to the welfare of the country, care about the environment and other social and moral issues. They are not clear as to what sort of persons they hope to become when they complete their school education. This kind of education turns children into machines. Such a perspective defeats the very purpose of education – the wholesome development of personality including ethical development which is fundamental for responsible decision making in case of moral conflicts. “The mark of an educated person”, wrote Plato in The Republic, “is the willingness to use one’s knowledge and skills to solve the problems of society.” Education must imbue children with a proactive social conscience. Society is the empowering context for individuals. No one can become fully human or attain dignity and fulfillment outside the web of relationships and responsibilities presupposed in society. True education equips individuals to live creatively, responsibly and peaceably in a society, and become agents of change for a better society.
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