The meaning of ‘education’ as a dictionary puts it is, “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgement, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.” Well, then going by the definition I can say that learning anything adds up to our knowledge, regardless of it being constructive or destructive. So what makes ‘education’ a ‘good education’? In my opinion, when the education gained is put to a constructive use, it can be called ‘good education’. This is where human values play a significant role.
Value means primarily to prize, to esteem, to appraise. It means the act of cherishing something. A value stands for ideas mean live for. Therefore, they should be a part and parcel of the philosophy of a nation and that of its educational system. They are the guiding principles of education, rather, life itself.
For example, the technology that has advanced, is no doubt because of mere education but it is only a means to achieve what is ‘considered ‘valuable’ in an efficient and effective manner.It is not within the scope of technology to decide what is valuable. This decision depends upon a person’s discrimination between good and bad. It is important to find out what is that subject or thought that decides on ‘what is valuable’. Without this decision the technology is aimless, directionless and can be put to any use, constructive or destructive. That subject that decides on ‘what is valuable’, is called value education.
The basic human values that shape our character are Truth, Right-Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-Violence and other values like honesty,equality, discipline, humility, self-inquiry etc come under the five basic values.
Well, it sounds all spiritual and too goody-goody right? And the very common perception about being good these days is that it is not a smart way to run the mad race this life is all about these days, considering money, luxuries etc. But the fact is that because a person is good, doesn’t mean he may not be successful in earning a livelihood. The meanings of ‘value’ and ‘education’ put together proves that value education includes all dimensions of life – thought, behavior, work and realization. The aim of value education is to enable people to know the purpose of education. It is a combination of conscience, science and sense. Hence, end of education must be character.
To put it all in a nutshell, mere education is for living while value education is for life.