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Values Education Program and Operational Mechanism for Strategic Educationists of the New Millennium

INTRODUCTION

 Man is a moral being, free to choose either good or evil, right or wrong. The basic questions are: “what is good? what is evil? why good is good? why evil is evil?”. These questions are the topic of ETHICS where “Laws according to which OUGHT to happen” are discussed. In this way ETHICS relates more to feelings than to the concrete world and incorporates instinctive behaviour; within the purview of Mechanistic Theory of Life it becomes hedonismic in nature, seeks pleasure and happiness and lurks onto selfishness paving way towards egoism, stoicism and mysticism and then from another aspectinvolves utility value in the theoretical garb of greatest good of the greatest number; when it corroborates to survival of the fittest under the Theory of Evolution, it emphasizes to adaptability to environment and includes evolutionary ethics; then moves onto naturalism or with slight change to humanism under the canopy of anthropology and sociology, projects mores and cores of society reflecting patterns of culture where success becomes the other name of ethics and then invariably involves the concept of expediency and then under the covering of intuitionism giving intrinsic potence it turns to conscience where one’s actions are accepted/approved on the basis of “a priori” having either subjective or objective school of thought in its focus, gives a  new concept framework of moral sense and leads towards conscience where conflicts pop up between reason v/s passions, emotions, instincts, drives, urges, feelings etc. and reason tends to be exhibited as a mere tool of desire engineered on emotion and then comes into play the terms like intellectual evil and moral good/evil and then finally through the concept of practical reason pops up the concept of values.

Values are those qualities that are regarded by a person or a group as important and desirable. The scale of values helps to determine which of the two goods is the higher and which the lower. Reason tells only about relative values. Ethics cannot even give a definite answer to the question as to whether there are absolute values and if so, how they can be known. It tends to define values in subjective terms, only in relation to the particular experiencing individual. It amounts to a tacit denial of an objective system of values, valid for all men at all times. Islam involves belief in objective, absolute values as moral standard. These values are given in the Holy Qur’an – the only source of our knowledge of the highest values on which the character development is based.

Armed with adequate knowledge of values, we can, if we want, give and act in full accord with the immutable moral order of the universe. The knowledge does not only consist in merely the recognition of a value as a value but involves a just estimate of the degree of worth possessed by it also, so that it may be compared with other values. Confronted with a situation where we are called upon to choose between two values, we can then promptly choose the higher and sacrifice the lower value for the sake of the higher. Character is strengthened by our voluntary sacrifice of a lower value to secure a higher one. When a man has to choose, for example, between life and money, he does not hesitate to throw away money and save his life. Here instinct backs his choice; but the same man may be forced to choose between life and honour. It is a cruel choice and the man may not reconcile himself to the loss of either of the two extremely precious things. Choosing the higher and sacrificing the lower value is the character development (Iqbal.1989).

National reconstruction and character development are intrinsically linked with Values Education whether these be through democratic values, through our system of education and curriculum at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary.

According to the Holy Qur’an, the five principles, are the five fundamental facts which one has to accept in order to become a Momin:

  1. Eiman in Allah
  2. Eiman in the law of Mukafat (law of Requital) and the life hereafter
  3. Eiman in Malaika, the heavenly forces
  4. Eiman in the revealed Books
  5. Eiman in the Ambia

 Where-as;

–        To have Eiman in Allah means to have conviction in His existence, to trust His every word, to depend/trust the laws given by Him and declare that one would obey those laws.

–        To have Eiman in the law of Mukafat means to have firm conviction in that law: the natural consequences of actions, and to have faith in the continuity of life after death.

–        To have Eiman in the existence of Mala’ika means to believe that all the heavenly forces are in operation in the universe to bring into reality the tasks/programs given to them by Allah and to have faith that all the heavenly forces have bowed before man or have been ordered to come within his reach, or man has been made capable of conquering them after doing research.

–        To have Eiman in Ambia means that man’s intellect alone cannot safely reach the destination – this guidance has been provided in “Wahi”, revelation, through the chosen people called Ambia and whatever the Creator and Sustainer of this universe wished to be given for the enrichment and growth of human personality were communicated in their most perfect form through Rasool-Allah Muhammad (peace be upon him).

At present man-made values are indirectly taught across the curriculum and directly as a subject of Islamiyat in the Muslim World. The uses of value-oriented contexts commonly occur in the teaching and learning of Languages. Social Studies and Science have components that either deal directly with such values or have components, which imbibe these values to be introduced spontaneously. Extra-curricular activities like clubs, societies, sports, games etc. too play roles in the inculcation of desirable behaviours in terms of interaction with one another. The school culture, referring to the total environment, physical and non-physical both, has an influence for embedding values in the moral fibre of the student cartel. But the studies during 90s bring this point to the view that the reason of moral degeneration in national life is: actions are motivated by material gains, while other values of life have been thrown overboard (Khattak, 1991). In one Study (1991) the parents and the teachers projected the view: the character development issue is choked with the fray fabric of the system of education in vogue . . . , (and) the type of religious education the pupils get, do not enable to harness the heavenly forces for the development of their personality (Bureau of Curriculum & Extension Wing Sindh, Pakistan, 1991). The result is that the educated youth does neither conform through their character to the expected norms nor to the humanitarian aspects of the prevalent educational enterprise. The major process of educational renovation for ideological orientations has remained secular in character all over the world and the concept of permanent values as embedded by our Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in the teaching learning process has not been imbibed in the curriculum process in Pakistan (Manzoor, 1993). This is only possible through a system of education based on the permanent values. Such a system has been symbolized as Values Education and demands a program to be chalked out and launched for the new generation.

This paper deals with the description of such a Values Education program in the Muslim World and puts forth the guidelines for the development of operational mechanism for strategic educationists of the year 2000 and beyond as a brave enterprise.

VALUES EDUCATION PROGRAM

Values act as a powerful leaven in the life of people – the life which today is fraught with conflict-and-dissension-ridden situation in which the hearts are stricken by the canker of greed, corruption and incompetence; and its remedy, under the existing conditions, is in noose; the more it tugs, the more it chokes. It is because no system of human organization that is false in its very principle, in its very foundations, can save itself by any amount of cleverness and efficiency in the means by which that falsehood is carried out and maintained by any amount of superficial adjustment and tinkering. Only and only the education based on permanent values can withstand the test of time. The broad objectives of this Values Education for the primary and secondary schools, to begin with, is the development of an individual who recognizes, accepts and internalizes his/her role as a responsible decision maker in accordance with these permanent values in a democratic society to the extent that his/her actions are governed within the boundary walls of these values.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS OF VALUES EDUCATION PROGRAM: MODUS VIVENDI

The Curriculum for Values Education would consist of values drawn from the Holy Quran like the ones reflected through the Holy Prophet’s Quranic teaching process. The values would be essential to ensure the healthy interaction between the individual and his/her family, peers and society.

The reflection of these values through the student’s behaviour would be the end product of teaching-learning process and would be seen in the widening relationship being projected between his/her family, peers and school/university and this would ultimately be expanded to national and inter-national levels in the days of their lives to come.

For reinforcement, consolidation and inculcation, these values would be repeatedly taught at every level of teaching. Though the values taught would be the same, the scope and emphasis would differ according to the depth and complexity of the issues treated. The scope of discussion for every value would also widen to keep at par with the maturity level of the students.

These values would not be listed in any particular hierarchy of importance, but would be instilled in the personality of students suited to their genius during any lesson of the subject being studied. This would be necessary because the focus of Values Education would be based on the vicissitudes of their life during the teaching and learning process.

LIST OF PERMANENT VALUES

The following values would form the underpinning of the curricula of Values Education at various levels:

1.      Human Personality, the Divine Energy

–           Its development is the ultimate goal of life on this earth

  1. Respect for the Human Beings

–           All human beings are equal by birth and are worthy of respect

  1. Status according to the Actions

–           Criterion of respect is according to the man’s personal qualities

  1. Justice

–           Equality to each human beings by virtue of his/her birth

–           Uniform opportunities for development of his/her potential

–           Status with respect to her/his actions

–           Reward corresponding to his/her efforts

–           Not suppressing what is due to him/her

–           Deciding all matters on all human beings, even to the enemy

  1. Punishment

–           To the nature of crime committed

  1. Personal Responsibility

–           Shoulder it first to claim for right (shouldering of responsibility accrues right alone)

  1. Zulm

–           Wrong not and not be wronged 

  1. Ehsan

–           Maintain proportion among the disproportioned as a matter of right 

  1. Freedom

–           Maintain freedom for every individual and pay respect to freedom 

10.  Subservience

–           To Allah’s revealed laws alone 

11.  Law of Requital (Law of Mukafat)

–           Establishment of Natural Consequences of Actions, overt or covert 

12.  Social Justice

–           Not confounding truth with falsehood

–           Nor knowingly conceal the truth what-so-ever be the reason: favouritism, greed, envy, enmity, victimization, self-interest.

–           Not hiding testimony

–           Not pleading the cause of the perfidious, the dishonest, the distrust or the treacherous. 

13.  Obey and Ordain to Obey the Recognized Laws for the Establishment of Society

–           Enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency for the establishment of a society 

14.  Avoid Anarchy, Rebelliousness and Lawlessness as Defined in the Holy Qur’an 

15.  Permanent Values as a Boundary line for Human Actions

–           Be within the boundaries of the permanent values and consult others for deciding partial matters 

16.  Render back the Trusts

–           Trust to those alone who deserve and never to the undeserved 

17.  Subsistence

–           Keep the sources of production open to the benefit of the humanity as a whole 

18.  Intellectual and Physiological Nourishment of Others Strengths One’s Own Personality

–           Reflect this value in behavioural activities: overt and covert 

19.  Chastity

–           Put safe-guards for the preservation of chastity 

20.  Universal Brotherhood

–           Develop brotherhood-panism 

21.   The Survival of the Constructive

–           Be beneficial to the humanity in terms of those affairs which are constructive and are based on permanent values and not in those affairs which are destructive and unlawful 

22.  Co-operation, Corroboration

–           Co-operate one another unto righteousness alone 

23.  Reflect the Attributes of Allah in Behaviour

–           Project facets of Allah in behavioural activities, overt and covert both, so far tenable within the human parameters 

24.  Security

–           Provide security so that every one is dealt within the permanent values 

25.  Slavery

–           No human being shall be a slave or a subject to his/her fellow beings

26.  Limitations to Human Actions

–           Follow that which is sent down to you from your Nourisher and follow not any other protector beside Him 

LIST OF RELATIVE VALUES

If there is no clash or tie between the values given below and some of the permanent values listed above, these values will be incorporated in behaviour. In case of tie, only the permanent values will be strengthened even at the cost of one’s own life: 

  1. Life-partner’s and Offspring’s Love
  2. Lust for Wealth
  3. Security of Life
  4. Safety of the Haven, the Hearth and the Crops
  5. Contract 

CURRICULA AND TEXTBOOKS 

Personality is the kernel, the core, the hub or the nucleus of the proposed Values Education which either integrates or disintegrates it. The whole model of this Values Education metaphorically draws upon it “that hard kernel of gaiety that never breaks” (Manzoor.1993). The ideological and socio-economical foundations of this model on the basis of which the curricula of all the disciplines, social or physical sciences or the professional pursuits like the Medical, Engineering, Computer or Teacher Education, would be worked out at the State level. 

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The ideological basis would provide the foundations for the cognitive inputs as well as all kinds of outputs of the entire social and physical sciences. The economic foundations would promote economic development as well as stability in the personality and the social foundations would provide underpinnings to be embedded in the curriculum fabric so that the students may bring these values forth through their overt and / or covert behaviour. However, the textbooks upto intermediate level classes, to begin with, would be prepared and published by the State as it may determine. 

TEXTBOOKS, TEACHERS’ GUIDE BOOKS AND TEACHING KITS 

The Bureaux of Curriculum and Extension Wing and Curriculum Research and Development Centres, (CRDCs), under the guiding principles of the Federal Ministry of Education would prepare textbooks and teachers’ guide books according to each grade. Each guide book would contain: (i) objectives of Values Education; (ii) detailed analysis of the inbuilt values; (iii) learning objectives; (iv) teaching and learning strategies; and (v) suggested activities. 

The teaching kits, in addition to charts, flash cards, scientific and mathematical equipments, would also provide serial pictures and booklets on short stories at the primary level. For the secondary school teachers, the curriculum development agencies would provide (i) objectives; (ii) each value to be imbedded in personality fibre; (iii) teaching and learning objectives; and (iv) suggested issues and situations that could be used to relate/reflect the values. 

The training kit would also be developed for the purpose of conducting in-house training programs for the teachers. This training kit material would be related to (i) roles of school administrators, and the conducive school culture, (ii) values across the curriculum, and (iii) video & audio-video cassettes and CDs on the teaching and learning of each subject taught in the school curriculum. These kits may also pertain to Virtual Real Technology in Cyberspace. 

TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMS: APPROACHES AND STRATEGIES 

The present teaching model does not include the development of the personality area of the students. Pedagogy would be designed to incorporate: (i) objectives of Values Education; (ii) detailed analysis of the values to be imbibed in the students behaviours; (iii) learning objectives; (iv) teaching and learning strategies; (v) suggested activities; and (vi) personality development. This would provide means of helping students to develop positive attitudes that are important in the enrichment of a society. Therefore, the approaches devised and strategies employed would provide students with the opportunities to see and relate issues and problems from a moral perspective. 

TEACHING APPROACHES

Pre-service and in-service courses would be conducted for trainees and trained teachers. The several approaches, they would be exposed to, would include: (a) values analysis; (b) values clarification; (c) values inculcation; (d) social action; and (e) cognitive development. The rationale, application, and output(s) of each are outlined below: 

The values analysis approach would facilitate students to:

–           use logical thinking and cause-effect relationship for solving character conflicts related to personal, social and political issues

–           use analytical processes in inter-relating and conceptualizing the values 

The values clarification approach would help the students to:

–           become aware of and identify their own values and those of others

–           communicate openly and honestly

–           use both national needs and emotional awareness to evaluate personal feelings, values and behaviour patterns 

The values inculcation approach would enable the students to:

–           imbibe values in the behavior in a balanced way

–           justify why these values have to be internalized and practiced 

The social action approach focuses on training students to:

–           act as living models of these values

–           make judgements in accordance with the values when faced with conflicting situations or moral dilemma related to self or other’s vested interests 

The cognitive development approach would facilitate students to:

–           develop more complex reasoning patterns based on combined set of values

–           act according to the permanent and the relative values

–           make wise choices of values for reflection in their behaviour, overt or/and covert 

TEACHING STRATEGIES

 Teachers would be encouraged to use a combinatorial sets of strategies to make every lesson more meaningful, effective and motivating to students. For this purpose the suggested strategies would include: (i) problem solving; (ii) discussion; (iii) project work; (iv) story telling; (v) acting; (vi) singing; (vii) tele-conferencing; (viii) VRT approach, and (ix) simulation games. At primary level, for imparting knowledge, imbibing values for shaping their behaviours, the most effective teaching strategies would be (i) story telling, (ii) acting, (iii) singing and (iv) CDs; whereas at the secondary and tertiary level, for strengthening the practice and internalization of values, for teaching and training the students to think creatively and rationally in making decisions, the most appropriate teaching strategies would be (i) group discussion, (ii) problem solving, (iii) project work; (iv) tele-conferencing; and (v) Virtual Real Technology (VRT) approach in cyberspace. 

STUDENTS EVALUATION IN VALUES EDUCATION 

The Values Education emphasizes on the cognitive and affective domains. In order to have an objective evaluation, fair and just of each student two things would be required: (a) school-based assessment and (b) public examinations. School-based assessment would be for primary level and would be done through observation, written work and oral tests. Observation would focus continuously on the learning and behaviour aspects of a student for a long period of time. Assessment on written work would include, marking and evaluating work done and would include daily exercises such as essays and reports and written tests. The written tests may be set in the objective and/or subjective forms. Oral tests would be carried out through interaction between the teacher and the taught and among the taught. This would be only to validate students’ behaviours evaluated through observation and feedback from the society. The same too for the higher education. 

Public examinations would be for secondary and tertiary level students and would be done through tests on their knowledge of values and their projection through reasoning skills in answering questions. These questions would be set to (a) evaluate knowledge of the values; (b) evaluate understanding of the considerations leading to the values; where the students would be required to respond to the stimuli given by written answer in the spaces provided; these stimuli would be set in the form of moral situations of dilemma; short questions would be designed and answers would have to be given in the form of views and opinions and marks would be awarded on knowledge and maturity of thought; the questions would be structurally set and (c) evaluate the students’ ability to apply the gained knowledge; where students would be required to use their ability to analyze moral problems and issues posed in the questions and make appropriate decisions; where the students would not only have to give their views and opinions but also would need to reason out their responses. 

COMMUNITY PROGRAM AND THE MEDIA 

Community programs related to education, culture and recreation would be useful because these programs would enable the youth and adults to interact with each other while experiencing and practicing these values. These programs would be organized by government agencies such as the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Information and Broad Casting, Voluntary Organizations etc. The mass-media would also participate in the promotion of Value Education activities. The electronic media such as television, radio and Internet would telecast educational programs which would embed values as desired through the curriculum. The print media such as newspapers and magazines would also publicize articles based on the Values Education. 

IMPLEMENTATION PROBLEMS OF VALUES EDUCATION 

The major problems would fall in the areas of (a) teaching learning phase because the teachers would have to teach the same values from year to year where means and ways would have to be found to create an interesting environment and effective teaching strategy; (b) evaluation of students’ moral behaviour because it would be difficulty to know precisely what are the true thoughts and values which the students uphold internally; the consistency of the values observed over time and across situations would still not be certain; in the contradictory-and-dissension-ridden society the values taught in institutes would be contradictory to what is happening at home; and (c) controlling the types of materials produced by mass-media. The implementation of this program would depend on all groups of the population from the institutes and the community. 

OPERATIONAL MECHANISM FOR STRATEGIC EDUCATIONISTS 

The operational mechanism for revamping the system of Values Education would be four-pronged: (a) incorporation of the Law of Requital; (b) resurrection of the present system of education conforming to the recognition of Allah as the Rabb, the Nourisher; (c) organization for the course of self development; and (d) strategic pedagogy for content base on the empirical theory of knowledge. Strategic measures for each of the four prongs would have to be worked out to keep balance between the changing socio-economic conditions of the time and permanence of human personality. 

The main points of the strategic measures for judging the end-product of this Values Education would be:

  1. Students engaged in understanding and controlling the forces of nature and shaping their lives according to these permanent values. They would be judged whether they are becoming the real MOMINS and MUTTAQIS in the days to come and are becoming worthy of enjoying happiness in this world and the same in the next stage of life;
  2. Those students who really achieve the conquest of nature but use their power so acquired for purposes opposed to the permanent values. They would be judged whether they are being worthy to be rewarded with success in this world for the time being but would have nothing to hope for in the future;

It is, therefore, desired to base this operational strategy: (a) on the pristine ideological pursuits rooted in the permanent values; (b) execute these pursuits with the constructive potential in accordance with the Divine Law given in the Holy Qur’an:

“Only the Tyyab Ideology sublimes to Him and the Saleh acts take to Its culmination (prescribed by) Him alone”(The Holy Qur’an 35:10). 

To judge the success of the Values Education, the end product would be to help the student (a) understand and control the forces of nature, (b) shape their lives according to the permanent values, and (c) enjoy happiness in this world and the world hereafter as MOMINS and MUTTAQEES. The following example would make this process clear: 

TYPE OF VALUES AND OBJECTIVES: AN EXAMPLE 

Some of the values and objectives for inculcation in behaviour are given as
under:

VALUES                                                             OBJECTIVES
Human Personality                                            –     Is aware of own potentialities

–           Makes efforts for developing own personality with a balance among its potentials, talents and traits having a choice of adequate selection

–           Accepts it as a ledger of total records making it integrative or disintegrative

–           Is self-supporting

–           Is aware to make decisions and solve problems 

Justice                                                                        –    Accords  equality  to  all  the human beings

                                                                                         by virtue of its birth

–           Provides uniform opportunities for the development of human being’s potential

–           Determines the status corresponding to his/her actions

–           Works with dedication 

Justice In Court of Law                                    –     Not pleading the cause of perfidious

–           Conceals not the truth what-so-ever be the reason

–           Confounds not the truth with falsehood

–           Makes efficient time management 

The Survival of the Constructive                     –     Is beneficial to the humanity in those affairs

                                                                                 which   are  constructive   and   based   on

                                                                                 permanent values

–           Assists others who are in need

–           Takes initiatives for willingness to forgive 

Limitations to Human Actions                                   –    Follows   that  which  is sent down from the

                                                                                    Rabb, the Nourisher

–           Manifests feeling of tolerance towards others

–           Executes co-operation

–           Develops operational skills 

Render Back the Trusts                                   –     Returns the deposits and the reigns of power

                                                                                 to those who deserve

–           Is disciplined, honest and industrious

–           Accomplishes fulfillment of work goals

–           Accelerates organizational effectiveness

Respect for Humanity                                     –   Knows   that  all  human  beings are equal by

      birth   and  are   worthy    of  respect   without

     discrimination of colour, creed, cast and sex

–           Develops work habits that are healthy

–           Initiates respect for all 

Deserve for What you Strive for                  –     Gets the fruit of own struggle alone

–           Works hard to deserve

–           Puts interest towards work

–           Applies honesty and positive attitudes towards work and responsibilities 

These permanent values inbuilt compassion (i.e. the feeling of tolerance towards others), self-reliance, self-supporting, diligence (i.e. self-development), co-operation (i. e. team work) etc. 

Researches prove that affective skills are needed to ensure success and development of positive attitudes. Therefore, the teachers would have to be (i) equipped with necessary skills and knowledge to perform their roles effectively in inculcating values in their students; (ii) skillful in the various teaching approaches and strategies to be able to apply properly and effectively; (iii) able to resolve the students problems through their participation; (iv) competent in the knowledge of humanistic and cultural dimensions; and (v) role models to their students all the time. 

CONCLUSION 

The Values Education regulates as a motive-valence for living peacefully on this biosphere on the doctrine of mutual respect; for the development of human self; for disciplining life within the boundary walls of the permanent values embodied in the Holy Qur’an, the only code of life on this earth. This would make as if the Nourisher, on the return of the human beings to Him, welcomes:

But ah; thou soul at peace!

Return unto thy Nourisher,

Content in His good pleasure.

Enter thou among My bondmen;

Enter thou My Heaven;

(The Holy Qur’an 89: 27-30)

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