Assistant Professor, St. Xavier’s College of Education (Autonomous), Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Knowledge Based Education can only be transferred to our younger generations but Value Based Education can transform them. India is the seventh biggest country in the world by area and India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world.Due to the revolution and explosion of science and technology, changes and development happens in everywhere and everything except morality. Education without value is not only useless but also very harmful. Values are the beliefs about what is right, what is wrong and what is important. But Attitude influences an individual’s choice of action and responses to challenges, incentives and rewards altogether called stimuli. This paper describes some of the important values that have to be vitalized along with the expected attitude change in the higher education institutions, which includes attitude towards students enrolment, attitude towards quality of education, attitude towards training of teachers, and attitude towards self-respect and a desire to respect others. By establishing these types of values and attitudes will create an open institutional climate in the higher education institutions. It will promote and sustain the value based attitude among students cluster and help them to lead their social life with harmony and peace, which is anticipated as happier and successful.
Keywords: higher education, attitude, generation, standards, values.
Preparing the younger generation for promising future with knowledge and wisdom and love for greater values are the prime responsibilities of higher education institutions. At the same time there is no compromise in the quality of education. So along with the quality education, higher education must impart ethical, moral and social values among the students cluster, since they are going to face and lead the social life in the forthcoming days with harmony and peace, which is anticipated as happier and successful life. Knowledge Based Education can only be transferred to our younger generations but Value Based Education can transform them (Sumana Paul, 2015). It is observed from the present social evils and the involvement of educated elites in the social offences revealed that the main failure of our education system is that it failed to inculcate values. The earlier societies even without education had possessed values and they had preserved and transmitted them (Gandhi, 2014). But somewhere in the journey of development the society missed that or sometime may ignored it. This paper made a conscience attempt to describe the ways to inculcate values among the human resources of higher education systems by vitalizing the desired change in the attitude among them.
India is the seventh biggest country in the world by area, accommodating more than a billion people. India’s higher education system has undergone rapid expansion over the past few decades and now it is the third largest in the world, next to the United States and China according to the World Bank. (Study-in-India, n.d.). According to the University Grants Commission (https://www.ugc…), the total number of universities in India was 874, which includes 47 central universities, 391 state universities, 125 deemed universities and 311 private universities. Other institutions include 39,071 colleges as Government Degree Colleges and Private Degree Colleges, including 1800 exclusive women’s colleges, functioning under these universities and institutions (UGC Report, 2016, Higher Education in India, 2016). But still India couldn’t find a place in the first 300 top higher education institution of the world.
The present society facing plenty of vibrant changes due to the technological and scientific revolution as the process of modernization. As a result of this materialistic era of science and technology, changes and development be falls in everything except morality. The humanitarian values such as honesty, sincerity, morality and non-violence are under challenge due various social stratifications and unequal treatment in the social systems (Shrivastava, 2017). Education without value is not only useless but also very harmful. In order to address these complications, moral or value education must made as an integral part of educational system, may be the core of educational system, especially in the higher education system.
Values are the beliefs about what is right, what is wrong and what is important in life (Vijaya Lakshmi, 2018). But it is the attitude that decides what to choose, what to execute and what to follow in life. Because attitude is a settled way of thinking or feeling about something, or someone, or a particular feeling or opinion. It is a predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person or situation. Attitude influences an individual’s choice of action and responses to challenges, incentives and rewards altogether called stimuli (BusinessDictionary online, 2019). Here it designates the positive responses only. This shows the importance of attitude and so it must be considered as the rudimentary factor to be inculcated in the minds of the students of higher education institutions. Some of the significant values that have to be flourished along with the expected attitude change for the betterment of human fraternity are described as follows.
Out of the total population of our country about 8.15% of Indians are graduates through higher education institutions. One of the aim of the Department of Higher Education, MHRD is to expand the Higher Education sector in all its modes of delivery to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education to 15% by 2011-12 to 21% by 2016-17 and 30% by the year 2020 (https://mhrd.gov…). This compares to around 60% in countries like France and Britain, and 36% in Brazil – another BRICS country (Mukhtar Ahmad, 2019). There is a gap between the demand and supply of education at higher level. Even though we have the problem of unemployment in its height. If we solve the problems of enrolment will it solve the problem of unemployment? But here it is not the question. The question is, whether the enrollment is based on the aptitude of the students? The recent NEET scam and many more issues related with education showed that it is to fulfill the eligibility or satisfy someone and not for satisfying the real passion or aptitude of the student those who are pursuing their education. Only a minimal number of students are occupying in the field in which they have real aptitude and passion. So it is not the eligibility test but the aptitude tests will help to choose the apt aspirants for various courses and thus professions. It is suggested to develop an attitude towards the anticipated course and the value points is not for the sake of marks or degree but for the sake of real knowledge and to satisfy the curiosity and aspirations of the self and develop a passion for any desired profession.
Attitude of quality education is a general term and specifically it denotes the quality of teaching and research. The quality of teaching depends on the quality of teachers. As per the QS World University Rankings 2019, only seven Indian universities were ranked in the top 400 universities (Mukhtar Ahmad, 2018). To impart knowledge to the students’ community teachers must have a broad knowledge of their subject matter, the curriculum and educational standards as well as enthusiasm and a desire for learning throughout the course of their career. As estimation showed that around 40% of college teachers work on a non-permanent, ad hoc basis and are designated variously as temporary, contractual, ad hoc and guest faculty. This is a serious problem as people with a good academic record do not want to take such positions as these are less attractive than a permanent one. Due to understaffing, teachers are over-burdened with non-academic activities. Instead, there should be a stronger effort to insulate them from non-academic activities, and free up more of their time to teach students and undertake research. This is true from central universities to local state universities and other institutions (India’s Higher Education Needs a Paradigm Shift, 2019). The selection procedures of teachers at majority higher education institutions are also facing challenges, as it follows some shortcut methods or favoritism, which acts as a hindrance for the quality of education. Even faculty who have been working for many years are also under pressure to produce certain number of papers or publications as mandatory to gain promotion and another benefits (Ahmad, Mukhtar, 2018). Here the emphasis is changing to publishing papers than on teaching. Thus, it is suggested to develop an attitude towards the teaching profession with the value of professionalism or professional codes and also follow the codes of procedure and conduct in the selection procedure. The selection procedure is also need a revision as teaching is a skillful profession, which cannot be measured through paper made tests. Teaching faculty can be given more liberty and time to teach, at the same time a separate wing for research can be established in every higher education institutions, where the teachers can incorporate themselves as co-investigators. Here the point of attitude is, don’t make any compromise in the quality of teaching.
Teachers are not born, but they are created with training and practices (Rawat, 2005). In a culturally heterogeneous society like India, teachers have to impart multiple values to the students. Along with this, dealing with the latest technology and modern pedagogy is also recognized as the integral part of present teachers’ roles. Is it possible to manage and apply all these only with the help of pre-service training? If not what’s the remedy? The answer is, it is possible only with the help of in-service trainings, orientation programmes, refresher programmes, capacity building programmes and workshops. Here it is suggested to provide all these trainings directly or face to face contact, not through online. In the face to face programmes technology can be incorporated as supplementary instructional tools. But anywhere, technology should not overtake or overplay the human resources or experts. Here the emphasized attitude change and value is not to replace human with technology. The interpersonal relationships, emotional bondage, social interactions, cooperative and collaborative learning must be given preferences.
The perceptions of faculty members about themselves, their commitment, dedication, job satisfaction, work life balance, motivation, employers academic freedom and employees engagements (Senthil Kumar, 2018) acts as the factors for their self-reliance, which promote self-confidence and in turn promote self-respect in terms of the profession. Along with this respecting all humans irrespective of their profession also have to be established. Lack of respect for the holiness is even visible in our society, where God is considered as the supreme power to be worshipped. Abuse of women, children, and other vulnerable members of the society are also increasing in a large number. Nirbhaya, Asifa, Pollachi gangs and many more such shocking news are the examples. Multicultural, multi-linguistic and secularism are the identities of our Indian society, but it is under challenge in the existing days due to various reasons. Mere criticizing the causes or blaming one other won’t solve these issues. So it is suggested to promote the open-mindedness and tolerance by respecting all irrespective of the social, cultural, religious, linguistic, economic and political stratification. Here the emphasized attitude and value is humans and humanism are more important than anything.
According to Swami Vivekananda, ‘What we are today is the result of what we valued yesterday…..What we will be tomorrow will be the result of what we value today…’ (Sumana Paul, 2017). So it is the prime duty and responsibility of education system to inculcate the exact values by altering the attitudes at the right time by the right people. It is possible, only if the educational system is fully occupied with an elatedly educated and trained team of members who stands for honesty and unity, with self-respect and a desire to respect all. By establishing these types of values and attitudes, will create an open institutional climate in the higher education institutions, in which the spirit of the members of the organization is high, they are not unnecessarily burdened with workload and they are satisfied with their work and always inspires them (Verma, 2013). It will promote and sustain the value based attitude among students cluster and it is suggested and recommended to promote this type of institutional climate and culture in the higher education institutions.
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