Value Based Teaching of English

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Value based teaching of English
Education is not the filling of a pail,
But the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats
Education, which is the vehicle of knowledge, self preservation, and success not only gives us a platform to succeed but also imparts the knowledge of conduct, strength, character and self-respect. It is not an accessory to life but it is a necessity. Will Durant says ‘Education is the transmission of civilization’. It gives us the knowledge of the difference between right and wrong, a belief in God, the importance of hard work and self respect. Education is a continuous learning experience form people, learning from success and failures, learning from leaders and followers.

Mahathma Gandhi once said that education not only moulds the new generation but also reflects a society’s fundamental assumptions about itself and the individuals that compose it. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, ‘Intelligence plus character… that is the goal of true education’. Education tries to develop in three aspects physique, mentality and character. Plutarch asserts that ‘A mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled’. Education is the source which kindles the mind to live a goal oriented life. The purpose of education is to mould the students in all the three domains and makes them aware of honesty, humility, morality and other moral values. It provides profession as well as a purpose of life. The actual aim of life is to know oneself and be oneself. Education gives us the unique knowledge of knowing oneself which makes life better and purposeful. Education is a light to ignorance, a way to success. The world classical text Tirukkural describes the value of education,

Learning is excellence
Of worth that none destroy;
To man nought else affords
Reality of joy” – (Learning XL-6)
Thiruvalluvar opines that education makes a person free from fear, he can go anywhere and the place or country became his own. He further adds that an uneducated person is like an animal, and he is like a barren field. Education gives tolerance, patient; it nurtures and empowers the people. The teaching of moral and ethical values to the student is called value based education. C.R.Lewis says, ‘Education without values as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man; a perfect human being with optimistic ideas. The contemporary society does not care for the culture, value of life, humanity, moral and ethical values. Education tries to generate the student to become a good student.

The Parliamentary Committee in India, in its 81st report on value-based education in 1999 strongly suggested that value based education should be introduced at the school level and extended to college and university level. According to the committee, ‘Education should aim at multifaceted development, of a human being-his intellectual, physical, spiritual and ethical development.’ The lives of great poets and great personalities itself teaches our students the correct way of living. A teacher of English can take the simple example of the contemporary writers work to teach values. The main purpose of education is to make them understand not only in the classroom but outside the classroom also. Prof. Anil Sarwal’s survey says ‘At present over 6.5 billion human beings use over 6,800 languages to carry our their affairs, but English has emerged as the de facto global language for universal communication in the closing years of the 20th century though there are still challenges to its functionality as global language given the linguistic prejudices that still have strong roots in many parts of the world’. Education now days are result-oriented. Schools and colleges concentrated mainly on the curriculum and the result percentage. Of course results do matter, but then again there is more to our life than the performance in the bit of paper. Our educational system is far more advances and progressive in terms of academic...
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