Spirituality In Education
Spirituality in education is an important tool to develop a better society. Probably, it is on this account that many spiritual leaders have attempted to link schooling with the spiritual education, in the past. Efforts of Bhagini Nivedita, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekanand, Lokmanya Tilak, Maharshi Aurobindo and Shree Maa are classical examples of such efforts.
Many religious institutions also promote education institutions of various levels and types. However in majority of institutions of such type, there is a thrust for rituals and customs of that religious faith, in addition to the formal education. To me, it is not spirituality in education in its true sense.
When we talk of spirituality in education, we mean efforts to inculcate value system in the students, at all levels, irrespective of their faith of worship. This value system should have components belonging to personal life (hygiene, purity, good personal qualities and eating habits), family life (love and respect for family members, adjustability, sense of contribution, trust in common growth, helpfulness, service attitude), social life (celibacy, non-violence, compassion, truthfulness, non-attachment for material things, identifying self with others and environment) and professional life (team spirit, companionship, integrity, focussed efforts, professional excellence, quality consciousness, sense of belonging, customer-respect etc.). Developing such spiritual value system needs setting of matching objectives and appropriate examples/ role models, in every aspect of life. It means there should be clarity of matching objectives and role models in family, educational institutions, society and professional ventures, as well. Any value system can be effectively developed by setting right examples in every walk of life. Out of these four areas, need of right role model at home and at schools, is basic and most important. It may help in developing required role models for the society and workplaces, also.
For ages, all philosophers and social scientists, in all cultures have been in agreement that family is the first and most important non-formal education centre of human life and educational institutions are next important centres for developing such value-system. Without right education at these two centres we cannot expect a value based society and ethically driven professional ventures and socially as well as environmentally conscious and responsive industries. However, we find gross neglect of this attention, at these two vital centres of value-based evolution, in most of the societies, today.
Therefore, it appears essential to pay fresh attention for the spiritual education at these two places. In this era of aggressive lifestyle, family life has taken a beating. There is a need to draw attention on this aspect, with every strata of the society. More time for family life and setting right examples of above mentioned personal qualities, will help in restoring desired value system in the society and workplaces. At educational institutions, it is to be done by setting good examples by the teachers, who are appropriate role models for the students, with any type or stage of education system.
While putting fresh efforts for developing a vibrant and inspiring society for the growth of our nation, this approach of development should be central to the planning. Any effort, devoid of considering such approach, may not shape the growth curve and social model, on account of which India was known as the real world power in the past.
By Dr Dipak Shukla
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