Value- Based Education:
Education opens up our mind, but Value-Based Education (VBE) gives us purity of heart too; education provides us with skills, but VBE provides us sincerity too; education extends our relationship with the world, but VBE links us with our own family members too. Education makes our living better, but VBE makes our life better too; education teaches us to compete with others, but VBE encourages us to be complete too; education makes us a good professional, but VBE makes us a whole human too; education takes us to the top, but VBE takes the whole society to the top. Education gives us capacity of better learning, but VBE gives us the tool for a deeper understanding too; education gives us Anna but VBE provides us Ananda too; education may bring limitations but VBE is for liberation. After all right education means- "Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye”. It means that knowledge is what helps us to attain liberation.
VBE is highly needed in our modern society because our lives have become more miserable. The quantity of education has considerably increased, but the quality has decreased. Why? The number of educated people has reached at a high level, but murder, hatred, and selfishness have spread out like wildfire everywhere. Why? Many institutions are opened, but only few civilized people are produced. Why? Degrees are available for all, but the dignity has gone down. Why? Trained people are produced from many institutions, but sincere people are very few. Why? Many books are written; much research is done; many professional achievements are attained, but humanity is threatened. Why? Therefore, we need VBE. The rate of suicide is going up in our society. One of the very common factors responsible for this is over pressure on students to get the high marks in their exams. It is for sure a very unhealthy and unethical
competition. It is not only limited to a school level education, several suicide cases happen even at top level academic institutions worldwide. The highest purpose of education is now either disregarded or may be forgotten. The Vedas say - "Etat Desh Prasutasya Sakasat Agrajanman, Swam Swam Charitram Shiksheran Prithivyam Sarva Manava." It means that people who are born in this part of the earth should enlighten the entire world by presenting the example of their own character.
History of Value-Based Education in Nepal:
The history of Nepal's education is not so old; it may go back around 100 years only. In addition, it was mainly influenced by the Indian education system. In the past, most of the educators were formed in India, mainly Varanasi. And, only a few wealthy people had access to this opportunity, in fact, mainly the people from the upper class community. According to the past history of Nepal's education system, it was basically based on the Gurukul system. Balaguru Shadananda, Swargadwari Mahaprabhu, Galeshwar Baba, Saint Gyandildas etc. offered several contributions to the Gurukul system in Nepal. Beside this, there was not any formal education in Nepal. Similarly many other Pandits and Gurus provided Gurukul knowledge in their own local communities as per
their capacity. During the Rana regime it was quite strict for ordinary citizens to attain education. Even at the time of such a fearful regime, Gurukul knowledge was available formally or informally at the local level. In deed this system had contributed to preserving our culture and tradition supporting the flame of Vidya to keep it alive.
Education is not only for news but also for views; it is not only for information but also for inspiration; it is not only educating but also enlightening. It is quite an integrated process. An educated person should have all kind of qualities. Education should make every individual capable physically, mentally, intellectually,
emotionally and spiritually. Therefore, some universal ideals of “love, peace, respect, tolerance, forgiveness, co-existence and non-violence” should be accepted by all the educators worldwide. Theses values are truly indispensable, devoid of which, our society cannot sustain itself and people will forget humanity. And, we can easily imagine the future ahead and foresee what our future will be like. No matter what our religious beliefs are, what our practices are, but there are ultimate goals which one has to achieve in life. Everyone always aspires to love, peace and happiness, and that includes a spiritually balanced life. Even a person who may not be spiritual should also believe and practice the ideals of love, peace, tolerance and service.
National and Cultural Values:
One should recognize his or her nation and culture. Knowing about the world is quite good, but knowing about our own culture, history and traditions is more important. How can education cut off us from our own roots? How can education impart only information but give no positive feelings for our own country? Education which cannot develop any respect and love for our own family, society, country and humanity will produce selfish individuals, and selfish people can be violent and dangerous for humankind. September 11 is the worst history of humankind and maybe we will have to see more like this on a global level. Therefore, we need VBE which can impart a true, scientific, holistic and positive knowledge of culture, tradition, society and spirituality. In Nepal's perspective VBE can include festivals, Sanskaras, family systems, art, language, music, life style, diversity in unity, local archeology, temples, Gumbs and Bihars. Through value-based education we can flourish the eternal truth like “Sarba Dharma Sambhab”. Equal respect towards all the great world religions and faiths is the dire need of the today’s world. This will help eliminate all forms of discriminations prevailing in our society. Value-based education provides a strong foundation for getting rid of century-old discriminations based on language, caste, gender, class, region and religion. The society will then be harmonious.
International Practices of VBE:
The realization of VBE has become quite strong in last few decades on a global level. The negative forces like selfishness, hatred, terrorism, individualism, violence, intolerance, etc. have now become day-to-day problems in the world. The phenomena such as family breakdown, increasing of negative attitude and spread of health hazards like drugs and HIV/AIDS seem to be escalating worldwide, which have now terrified humanity. These are, of course, very threatening challenges to the peaceful existence of humankind. It seems that our future is dismayed and horrified now not because of anything else other than our own deeds, achievements and productions. However, some good activities and practices for the promotion of VBE are going on all around the world. Some of the famous institutions working for VBE are - The Acorn School–UK, Alger Learning Center /Independence High School-USA, Ananda Schools– USA, Brisbane Independent School- Australia, Brockwood Park Educational Centre-UK, Democratic School of Hedera -Israel, Hope Flowers Secondary School- Palestine, Osho Ko Hsuan School-UK, Shanti Niketan- India, School of Thinking, School of Total Education, Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education-India, Rishi Valley School–India, Robert Muller Centre for Living Ethics-UN, School of Philosophy-UK, Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO), International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) etc.