I There are certain age old traditions such as preference for the male child, notional advantages of a large family, religion as the sole guiding principle in personal and social life, caste as identity, etc. There is another set of values relating to attitudes and behaviour such as caring and sharing in the family and society, obedience to and respect for elders, respect for argument and reasoning, non-violence and personal hygiene. In contemporary society some of these values may need to be reinterpreted or replaced while some others may require reinforcement. In the context of these concerns, what values will reflect a national ethos?
II Very often value education and moral education are considered synonymous. In many cases, it has been observed, moral education serves as a gateway to religious instruction and reinforcement of caste models. Will this contradict the social desirability of secularism and removal of social barriers?
III How should education and school practices be kept apart from myths and beliefs?
IV How should value education be done? Can it be done through preaching, sermonizing and pontificating or is it reasonable to assume that values education is best imparted through process itself?
V Should we consider a separate time slot for value education or integrate values in education through teaching learning methods, instructional materials, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities?
VI Very often there is a basic contradiction between what is school and family as value education and what children actually observe in society and through the media. This contradiction leads to confusion and vagueness and teaching of values is reduced to ritual. How should this question be answered to make value education meaningful and effective?
The National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 envisages a national system of education based on a National Curricular Framework containing a common core alongwith other components that are flexible. As per para 3.4 of the NPE, the common core includes the history of India's freedom movement, the constitutional obligations and other content essential to nurture national identity. These elements will cut across subject areas and will be designed to promote values such as India's common cultural
heritage, etiquette, egalitarianism, democracy and secularism, equality of the sexes, protection of the environment, removal of social barriers, observance of the small family norm and inculcation of the scientific temper.
On the basis of the guidelines given in the National Curricular Framework for Elementary and Secondary Education, brought out by NCERT in 1988 after adoption of NPE, 1986, the NCERT revised the entire school syllabi and brought out revised textbooks for classes I to XII. The main focus of the revised syllabi of the NCERT for different stages of school is on development of knowledge, values and attitudes conducive to actualising the student's potential, for enabling effective participation in the national development endeavour.
Keeping in view the NCERT textbooks and curricular guidelines, the State Governments are expected to undertake measures to revise their school syllabi/ textbooks for introduction in their school system in a phased manner.
As recommended by the Planning Commission's Core Group on Value Orientation of Education, a Standing Committee was set up for promotion and coordination of value orientation of education at the school and higher education stages. This standing committee further constituted sub-groups, one of them for schools and education, to formulate plans of action to implement various recommendations made in the core group report.
The plan of action of the school sub-group broadly covers the following areas i. e. integration of elements of value education into:
i) textbooks/textual material
ii) (a) non-textual educational materials such as audio- visual materials, posters, charts, stories, picture books, etc.
(b) extra-curricular activities.
iii) In-service and pre-service training of teachers.
A central sector scheme, 'Scheme of Assistance for Strengthening Culture and Values in Education' designed for providing assistance to government agencies, educational institutions, Panchayati Raj institutions and NGOs was launched in 1987. This scheme now extends to the non-formal sector also and provides for in-service training to art, craft, music and dance teachers.
Under this scheme, assistance is given to the organisations/agencies for:
a) Strengthening cultural input in the educational content and process, both formal and non-formal; and
b) Strengthening of value education in the school and non- formal education system.