Educational planning: Need based and Value based

 The two systems of education: Need-based and Value-based:

Educational planning: Need based and Value based

 Introduction to educational planning
-Educational planning in the developed world
-Educational planning in the developing world
 Defining education
-Need-based education
-Value-based education
 Education in religion

Education today can be thought of as a vital element with which an economy can develop its 
various sectors through long term investments. In the latter part of the 21st century, 
developing economies had acknowledged and accepted the significance of education in the 
overall growth of the economy. With a highly skilled labour force, countries could now boost 
national incomes and attain higher standards of living. Given this valuable aspect of 
education, should we only focus on the material relationship of our education system and 
the economy? Should we not pay heed also to the dynamic effects of our education system 
on the society also? 
Education is much beyond learning the alphabet, it is beyond acquisition of skills , receiving 
training, getting in a habit of going to school, it is not a mere tool with which one earns 
bread, it is beyond the mere polishing of the animal instincts of a being.
In the present dynamic and complex scenario, education has become a commodity, an 
abstract commodity which attaches a label of value to a student and helps in the 
subsequent acquisition of a job for him. If at all education must be thought of as a good 
then education must be regarded a welfare good since we only inherit it from the society 
and not necessarily contribute back to it. Should we not have a sense of trusteeship or 
responsibility towards our society? Is the economy more important than the society we 
dwell in? Should not the economy and the society complement each other?
Given the significance of education in a person’s life, the question which needs to be asked 
is are we at all getting educated? Or do we all receive a prolonged training from childhood 
to adolescence to be later used as an input in the larger sphere of an economy. Today all 
curriculum and systems of education are based on what the child would and might need in 
the future when he/she grows-up, hence the system has become strictly need based. It is 
the very reason why the educated lack that feeling of being empowered and lack that sense 
of being equal participators in the civil society especially in developing regions. The urge for 
being successful narrows down the inherent curiosity and spontaneity which had contributed cumulatively through discoveries, explorations and inventions to our 
generations and led to the very development of modern civilisations.
Education system moulded for the future needs of a child which inculcates imparting of 
skills, training and information deemed important for the child to be able to survive in the 
society which prepares us as a machine, an input in a production function. Certainly human 
beings are much more than mere inputs of a economy. It’s the very humans who constitute 
an economy, not the other way round. The utter need for a value base system of education 
is to bring back the ethics, morals and values that we find missing from daily civil life which 
makes the humans more humane.
There is no denying the sheer and desperate need of education as an instrument playing a 
pivotal part in the development of human capital of a country, a need based education 
system is indeed the need of the hour with intense competition among countries trying to 
outmatch and outpace each other. In such a scenario, a value based system of education 
seems too far-fetched an idea. Also, imparting of ethics, values and morals at an elementary 
level to some extent is pursued but inculcating religious, historical and political thought at a 
higher level shall also not be complimented with the demand of the market. At the end of 
the day, job-acquisition has become the sole purpose of education; a value based system of 
education shall not hence suffice, so acknowledging the above two facts a hybrid system of 
education can be pursued where a value based system prevails after which pupils can opt 
for specializations in their higher education, get trained accordingly and acquire jobs given 
their individual wants and the market demand.

Introduction to educational planning

In its broadest generic sense, educational planning is the application of rational, systematic analysis to the 
process of educational development with the aim of making education more effective and efficient in 
responding to the needs and goals of its students and society. Its methodologies are sufficiently flexible 
and adaptable to fit situations that differ widely in ideology, level of development, and governmental 
form. Its basic logic, concepts, and principles are universally applicable, but the practical methods for 
applying them may range from the crude and simple to the highly sophisticated, depending on the 
circumstances. It is therefore wrong to conceive of educational planning as offering a rigid, monolithic 
formula that must be imposed uniformly on all situations .It is equally wrong to conceive of educational 
planning as being exclusively concerned with the quantitative expansion of education, with making things 
bigger but not different. 
This misconception arises partly because that is how educational planning has so 
often been used, but it is not an inherent limitation. It arises also because planning makes extensive use of 
statistics. But it should be remembered that a statistic is merely the shadow of a fact, and the fact may just 
as well be qualitative as quantitative.

Today’s educational planning can claim an unbroken ancestry running back to ancient times. Xenophon 
tells how the Spartans, some 2,500 years ago, planned their education to fit their well-defined military, 
social and economic objectives. For them producing good soldiers meant good education which was truly 
need-based. Plato in his Republic offered an education plan to serve the leadership needs and political 
purposes of Athens. China during the Han Dynasties and Peru of the Incas planned their education to fit 
their particular public purposes. These early examples emphasize the important function of educational 
planning in linking a society’s educational system to its goals, whatever these goals may be. Some later 
examples show how educational planning has been resorted to in periods of great social and intellectual 
ferment to help change a society to fit new goals. The architects of such plans were usually creative social 
thinkers who saw in education a potent instrument for achieving reforms and attaining the ‘good life’

Educational planning in the developed world

Speaking roughly, the industrialized nations have passed through three educational phases from 1945 to 
1970 and now find themselves in a perplexing fourth phase: 
(1) the Reconstruction Phase; 
(2) the Manpower Shortage Phase; 
(3) the Rampant Expansion Phase; and
(4) the Innovation Phase, 
each yielding a new crop of planning problems. The battle-scarred nations of Europe emerged from the Second World 
War with their educational systems seriously disrupted and facing a heavy backlog of educational needs. 
Most nations quickly set about trying to return education to something like ‘normalcy’, by launching crash 
programmes of school construction, teacher recruitment, emergency training and the like. It was soon 
evident that conventional pre-war educational planning would not suffice for these reconstruction tasks. 
Massive programmes, that deeply affected many communities and imposed a heavy burden on severely 
damaged and strained economies, required broader and more complex programming and scheduling, a 
longer view ahead, and more careful checking of their economic feasibility and impacts. Though the 
planning methods that were improvised to meet this situation had many shortcomings, they did do some 
good and they also conditioned educational authorities for still greater planning problems yet to come. 

To cite one example: even before the war had ended, the United Kingdom-not withstanding its decentralized 
system of education and its traditional lack of enthusiasm for planning in general-enacted the Education 
Act of 1944, which required each of the 146 local education authorities in England and Wales to prepare a 
development plan for submission to the central Ministry of Education. Although the resulting local plans 
did not add up to a coherent national plan, balanced with available resources, many of them none the less 
reflected considerable ingenuity and technical competence in their orderly long-term projections of local population and enrolments, demographic shifts, school locations, teacher requirements, school financial 
needs and prospective local tax yields. France went about things differently, in keeping with its more 
centralized system of education and government. In 1946 it inaugurated comprehensive investment 
planning for the whole economy, and then in 1951 incorporated nationwide capital planning for 
education into the Second Five-Year plan. Other Western European countries tackled the planning of 
educational reconstruction in various ways befitting their particular traditions and preferences. 

The Soviet Union, faced with the most massive task of all, built upon her pre-war planning experience, while 
the newly ‘socialized’ countries of Eastern Europe turned to the Soviet Union for new planning models 
.Meanwhile even in the United States, where the idea of planning was still anathema, local and state 
education authorities resorted to more elaborate planning than ever before to handle the backlog of postponed school construction needs, to meet the educational demands of returning veterans, and to 
prepare for the educational consequences of the war-induced ‘baby boom’. The severely disrupted 
Western European economies recovered their pre-war production levels with surprising speed and 
proceeded to climb to new heights. This quick recovery, it is worth noting, was mainly due to large and 
well-planned infusions of fresh capital(through the Marshall Plan) into economic systems that were 
already endowed with sophisticated economic institutions and a ready supply of modern human skills 
and know-how. (This was not the case with developing nations when their turn came). But by the early 
1950s these rebuilt economies had fully absorbed the available supply of skilled human resources; hence 
manpower bottlenecks began to loom as the major obstacle to further growth.
This led Western economists to become more manpower-minded and to look at education through a 
refreshed perception. No longer was education seen merely as ‘non-productive sector of the economy 
‘which absorbed consumption expenditures’, it was now viewed as an essential ‘investment expenditure’ 
for economic growth. Wearing this impressive new investment label, education could make a more 
effective claim on national budgets. But, to justify the claim, educators themselves would have to become 
more manpower-minded. They would have to plan and try to govern their student intakes and outputs to 
fit the pattern of manpower requirements certified by the economists to be necessary for the economy’s 
good health. This was a distasteful price to pay, however, for educators nurtured on the liberal, 
humanistic tradition. They preferred to fight for bigger budgets on higher ground, arguing that education 
was the human right became necessary of every child. If education also helped the economy so much the 
better, but it should not be the economy’s slave. Education was a good thing, hence the more of it the 
better, of whatever kind or level. Above all, the educators insisted, every child was first and foremost an 
individual, not a manpower statistic. These eruptions forced the educational systems of industrialized 
nations into yet a fourth post-war phase, the Innovation Phase, where they now are. What will come of it-
whether there will in fact be major innovations and transformations to bring education into reasonable 
adjustment with its environment, or whether continuing inertia will invite bigger and more damaging 
explosions-remains to be seen. But this much at least is clear; in order to achieve other needed 
innovations there will have to be some major innovations in educational planning itself. Planning that 
merely serves a strategy of linear expansion will no longer do; planning must now serve a strategy of 
educational change and adaptation. This will require new types of planning concepts and tools which are 
only now taking shape.
Thus from the mid-1950s onward, in response to this impulse, there was a pell-mell expansion of 
enrolments throughout the developed world, hitting hardest at the secondary and university levels. Its 
main propellant was not demography or the needs of the economy (though both these were factors), but 
the increased popular demand which persistently outpaced the capacity of educational systems to satisfy 
it. It must be added that in most of the developed nations of the west-France being the chief exception--
new forms of educational planning played a minor role at best in this extraordinary expansion. And even 
in France, where nationwide educational planning for all levels was closely integrated with over-all 
investment planning for the economy in five-year cycles, it was limited to the planning of physical 
facilities; it did not include such critical factors as teacher supply, recurrent costs, manpower 
requirements, and needed educational reforms and innovations of various sorts. Virtually everywhere the
dominant thrust of strategy was to expand pre-war educational models as rapidly as possible-curriculum, 
methods, examinations and all-with a view to accommodating a larger number and proportion of the 
youth population and thereby ‘democratizing’ education. There were such exceptional amendments to 
the old system as the comprehensive high school in Sweden, and the addition of non-classical streams to 
the French. And yet, compared to the vast changes taking place in their student body, in the economy and 
society, and in the state of knowledge itself, most educational systems had changed remarkably little by 
the late 1960s. Lacking the means for critical self-scrutiny and self-renewal, they remained the captives of 
their own traditions and pedagogical habits at a time when they were moving rapidly toward becoming 
mass educational systems. This clinging to old forms created increasing maladjustments between 
educational systems and their economy, society and students.
Like a boiling pot over a high flame with its lid clamped tight, they were bound sooner or later to explode. 
And this they did. For most of the industrialized world, 1967 was the year of the Great Education 
Explosion-marked by violent student protests, sympathetically supported by many teachers, parents and 
other critics of traditional education. The events of 1967, however, were but the beginning of a succession 
of explosions that promised to persist in one form or another until educational institutions finally 
renewed selves and met the public test of relevance.

Educational planning in the developing world

Education has long been recognized as a central element in development.
Much of what was said above applies with even greater force to developing nations during the 1950s and 
1960s. Their educational needs were even larger and more urgent, and their educational systems-despite 
heroic efforts to enlarge them-even less relevant and less adequate to their needs. Starting in the 1950s 
the developing nations responded similarly to their new circumstances, with an educational strategy of 
linear expansion. At a series of UNESCO conferences early in the 1960s education ministers of Asia, Africa 
and Latin America set ambitious regional targets for educational expansion in their respective regions to 
be achieved by 1980 (1975 in the case of Latin America). These targets were widely adopted by 
individual nations. They called for 100 per cent participation in primary education by the end of the 
target period, and sharply increased participation rates in secondary and higher education. Rough 
estimates of costs and revenues were made, which, even though tending on the optimistic side, showed 
that the attainment of these targets would require a large increase in the proportion of the GNP devoted 
to education plus a large expansion of aid from the outside. The UNESCO regional conferences made 
certain qualitative recommendations as well, but it was clear to all that the prime measuring rod of future 
progress-and the main basis for comparing nations-would be increases in enrolment statistics to reach to 
the targets. With this as their frame of reference, the developing nations moved enthusiastically into 
campaigns of rapid educational expansion. It was clear even to the most ardent believers in laissez-faire 
that they would have to plan their way carefully to make the best use of their acutely scarce resources. 
The case for a ‘manpower approach’ was particularly strong in developing nations because their over-all 
development was conspicuously handicapped by shortages of all kinds of specialized manpower. Thus it 
made sense to give initial priority to educating the most needed types of manpower for economic growth, 
for without such growth the desired long-run expansion of education and other major social objectives 
would simply not be possible. The trouble was, however, that these nations were not equipped to do the 
kind of educational and manpower planning that the situation required. Nor was the rest of the world 
equipped to help them much, because the global supply of basic knowledge and experts for this kind of 
planning was acutely scarce. To their credit, UNESCO, the ILO and various bilateral aid agencies and 
foundations did their best to recruit the most qualified advisers they could find to fill the mounting 
requests of developing nations for help on planning. While most of these experts succeeded in making 
valuable contributions of one type or another, their assistance to educational planning was per force 
largely limited to what they could improvise on the job. There was no good textbook on the subject in 
neither any language in the early 1960s, or anyone who was well equipped to write one. They 
Wasteful imbalances within the educational system, demand far in excess of capacity, costs rising faster 
than revenues, non-financial bottlenecks, not enough jobs for the educated, the wrong kind of education.

The key planning questions

As useful as they were as a starting point, the above propositions did not really address the central 
planning questions which every nation faces, questions which often get answered by default without ever 
being explicitly asked. The questions (applied to a specified time period) are essentially these:
1. What should be the priority objectives and functions of the educational system and of each of its sub-
systems (including each level, each institution, each grade, each course, each class)?
2. What are the best of the alternative possible ways of pursuing these various objectives and functions ? 
(This involves a consideration of alternative educational technologies, their relative costs, time 
requirements, practical feasibility, educational effectiveness, etc.
3. How much of the nation’s (or community’s) resources should be devoted to education at the expense of 
other things? What appear to be the limits of feasibility, in terms not only of financial resources but real 
resources? What is the maximum of resources that education can effectively absorb in the given time 
4. Who should pay? How should the burden of educational costs and sacrifices be distributed as between 
the direct recipients of education and society at large, and among different groups in society? How well
adapted is the present public fiscal structure, and other sources of educational revenue, to attaining a 
socially desirable distribution of the burden and at the same time a sufficient flow of necessary income to 
education ?
5. How should the total resources available to education (whatever the amount may be) is allocated 
among different levels, types and components of the system (e.g. primary, secondary, higher education; 
technical, general education; teachers’ salaries building and equipment textbooks, free meals, 
scholarships, etc.) ?Educators and economists, as well as sociologists, politicians and philosophers, are 
likely to approach and answer these questions in quite different ways, reflecting differences in their 
background, outlook and styles of thinking. Since this fact bears heavily on how different groups did 
approach educational planning in the last decade, we should pause to note how educational 
administrators and economists were inclined to think about these matters. The good educational 
administrator is a hybrid of idealist, pragmatist and politician. He appreciates other important social 
needs, but to him education is clearly Number One; it commands his prime attention and loyalty. He 
believes devoutly that every young person should get all the education he can use, but he knows this is 
not feasible immediately. So at budget time he asks for all he thinks he can effectively use, plus something 
extra, for he knows he will get less than he asks for. He then fights hard to get all he can and finally ends 
up with a compromise budget which he proceeds to spend as fully and effectively as possible. His record 
of spending right up to the budget ceiling is seldom matched in other sectors.

Defining Education

Before moving any further, we must attempt to define education and how it is differentiated from 
learning. Indeed education is a resource today which sanctions an average person to understand daily 
manoeuvres of life, polish his animal instincts, earn bread and ultimately survive in a civilised society but 
is it any different from learning, since learning also involves simple observations, realizations and day to 
day absorbing of human life. A child learns to walk at an early age, which certainly does not mean getting 
educated if go by the definition given by John Dewey-
“in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on 
from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on 
the way one thinks, feels, or acts. In its narrow, technical sense, education is the formal process by which 
society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, customs and values from one generation to 
While, Albert Einstein describes it as,
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. The only thing that
interferes with my learning is my education.”
On similar lines, education for Mark Twain was 
“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
While education today in a formal sense is described as the process of training and developing people in 
knowledge, skills, mind, and character in a structured and certified program.
Here pops up quite an important question –does acquiring education while being job-oriented implicate 
the social structure we live in? Has education become simply a mere tool which enables us to acquire 
jobs? Or Education is something which determines the very course and matter of our lives?
During the twenty-five years from 1945 to 1970 educational systems and their environments the world 
over were subjected to a barrage of scientific and technical, economic and demographic, political and 
cultural changes that shook everything in sight. The consequence for education was a new and formidable 
set of tasks, pressures, and problems that far exceeded in size and complexity anything they had ever 
experienced. They did their heroic best to cope with these, but their tools of planning and management
proved grossly inadequate in the new situation. In retrospect one has to marvel that they accomplished 
all they did in the circumstances and somehow managed to avoid collapsing under the strain.
Although since the Second World War, there has been no two ways about the significance of education in 
the prosperous growth of a nation as a whole.
It has been argued that high rates of education are essential for countries to be able to achieve high levels 
of economic growth. Empirical analyses tend to support the theoretical prediction that poor countries 
should grow faster than rich countries because they can adopt cutting edge technologies already tried and 
tested by rich countries. However, technology transfer requires knowledgeable managers and engineers 
who are able to operate new machines or production practices borrowed from the leader in order to close 
the gap through imitation. Therefore, a country's ability to learn from the leader is a function of its stock 
of human capital. Recent study of the determinants of aggregate economic growth has stressed the 
importance of fundamental economic institutions and the role of cognitive skills.
At the individual level, there is a large literature, generally related back to the work of Jacob Mincer, on 
how earnings are related to the schooling and other human capital of the individual. This work has 
motivated a large number of studies, but is also controversial. The chief controversies revolve around 
how to interpret the impact of schooling.
Economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis famously argued in 1976 that there was a fundamental 
conflict in American schooling between the egalitarian goal of democratic participation and the 
inequalities implied by the continued profitability of capitalist production on the other.

Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas said:

“Supposing I am asked: What is education?, and I answer: Education is a process of instilling something into 
human beings. In this answer ‘a process of instilling’ refers to the method and the system by which what 
is called ‘education’ is gradually imparted; ‘something’ refers to the content of what is instilled; and ‘human 
beings’ refers to the recipient of both the process and the content. The second important element inherent in 
education is its content, which is here indicated as ‘something’. This is done deliberately because even though 
we all know that it must refer to knowledge; we have still to determine what we mean by it. The teaching 
and learning of skills alone, however scientific, and no matter if what is taught and learned is encompassed 
in the general concept ‘knowledge’, doctrines not necessarily constitute education. The teaching and learning 
of the human, natural and applied sciences alone does not constitute education in the sense we are clarifying. 
There is a ‘something’ in knowledge which if it is not inculcated will not make its teaching and learning and 
assimilation an education. In fact the ‘something’ that we allude to here is itself knowledge; indeed, it is 
knowledge of the purpose of seeking it. At this point we are compelled to ask: What, then, is knowledge? Or: 
What does knowledge consist of? In the beginning, I referred to the fact that in accordance with Islamic 
tradition we understand definition as of two kinds: definition by Ìadd and definition by rasm. By the former is 
meant a precise or concise specification of the distinctive characteristic of a thing; and by the latter is meant 
a description of the nature of a thing. This distinction reveals that there are things which we can define 
specifically to its precise, distinctive characteristic—such as in the case of the definition of man—and there 
are things which we cannot so define, but can define only by describing its nature. Knowledge comes under 
this latter category.”
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of 
people lives on from one generation to the next.
Rabindra Nath Tagore says:
"The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with 
all existence." 
He enlightened that the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collection of facts. 
Also, unless curiosity is recognized and given its due place, creativity will find a back seat in the 
educational process. Thus the ultimate aim of any teaching method should be to develop concentration of 
mind and awaken curiosity for independent and logical thinking which ultimately will reach the higher 
level of research which is also a part of education. Menon(2002).

Need-based education

As discussed earlier, it is no longer the point of contention whether education plays a pivotal role in an 
economy or not, in fact it has shifted on to the quality of education that been imparted. Although, it has 
been observed that countries achieving higher literacy and enrolment rates along with lower drop-out 
rates tend to perform better financially and statistically. Development of infrastructure through large 
investments related to education have always perpetuated into higher incomes and better standards of 
living. But can this investment be conceived synonymous with investments made by the government in 
other sectors, say the petroleum industry, i.e. should education be considered an industry at all? Should 
humans be regarded as mere inputs (and human values as plain characteristics of that input), to the 
economy which are manufactured and finished/polished in a school/factory for the sole purpose of 
capital returns to the individual and the nation? The upsurge in the economic and social activities across 
the globe, and the sheer increase in population have resulted in the increase of number of educational 
institutions, number of students getting enrolled and devising of more and more professional courses all 
allude to the fact that education today has become need-based. It has become insurance for the poor and 
an assurance for the rich. Parents today start planning their child’s education even before he is born, 
given the number of schemes provided by banks in the market today. Even population related to 
agriculture today sees education as a safety net which shall hold them, help them acquire jobs, in the time 
of misfortune. Hence, a growing need is felt, a demand for educational institutions. It is in response to this 
demand that the curriculum has been developed from the elementary school up through to college and 
university. Education is perceived as a means not only of raising political and social consciousness, but 
also of increasing the number of skilled workers and raising the level of trained man power (Rena, 
2002). These benefits, together with the visible gains for individuals from education, are reason enough
to make the education today, need-based. The question here is: what type of education is needed to 
empower citizens to become agents of change for better world societies? This was an issue before 
delegates at the eighth UNESCO-Asia Pacific Programme of Education Innovation for Development 
(APEID) held at Bangkok, Thailand in 2004. In a world struggling with the challenges posted by 
intolerance and fundamentalism, the perceptions about social cohesion forever, the meaning of the term 
“citizenship education” assumes particular importance While there is general dissatisfaction with the fall 
in moral standards, there has been no concerted attempt on the part of society to address itself directly 
to the problem of value education. Unfortunately, education is becoming more or less materialistic and 
the value traditions are being slowly given up (Erwin, 1991). He stressed the on need for an all-new 
orientation towards the system of education in the country, giving greater focus to entrepreneurial skills 
that could generate immense employment potential. While the 300 universities in the country were 
churning out a staggering three million professionals every year, the employment generation system, was 
not in a position to absorb them resulting in a rapid increase of the educated unemployed. He asserts:

"There is a great mismatch between skills required for modern economy and education imparted to students. 
Besides, economic growth and investments have not kept pace with availability of human resources,"

Government and private enterprises should become facilitators for fuelling the great entrepreneurial 
The education system should invariably prepare students right from college days for a career in 
entrepreneurship, which would give them the necessary creativity, freedom and the ability to generate 
returns for self and the country. 

Dr. Kalam also said:
"Entrepreneurial skills should be taught to all students. The college syllabi should include entrepreneurship 
as a subject even for arts, science and commerce courses. When graduates leave college, they should carry 
the subject degree and entrepreneurship” 

Citing the example of the Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas Programme (PURA) successfully 
being implemented by the Periyar Maniammai College of Technology for Women in Thanjavur district of 
Tamil Nadu, he said the movement could become the harbinger of employment generation in the country. 
But also keeping in mind that humans must not be prepared as machines, he added:

"They will anyhow opt for specialisations from Intermediate stage. Let them be their creative selves at least 
till then."

In the case of developing countries though the literacy rates have been increasing but they are not 
matched with the completion of education, even if it has matched in some cases, the employability of these countries are significantly low, resulting in the increase in the number of educated unemployed, 
education has become only a monotonous theme to be enjoyed and it is not employment oriented as such 
it has to be. An education system which does not allow a pupil to acquire a job, at least today, and renders 
him unemployed is as harmful as being illiterate. The demand for education should also be equalled by 
the supply of employment in a country, otherwise it would lead to greater financial inequality.
Governments should consider introducing a national vocational education curriculum to make education 
system more practical and job-oriented. The curriculum should also incorporate for providing job-
oriented vocational education to school drop-outs. Industries and skilled sectors should be involved to 
design such courses starting after middle standard. Thereafter, children would take a decision to select 
the vocational course so that they would ensure employment for them. At this point we shall define what 
we mean by professional education: Professional education is the process by which men and women 
prepare for exacting, responsible service in the professional spirit. The term may be restricted to 
preparation for fields requiring well- informed and disciplined insight and skill of a high order. Less 
exacting preparation may be designated as vocational or technical education. While, Vocational 
education or vocational education and training (VET) is the education that prepare trainees for jobs that 
are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific 
trade, occupation, or vocation. It is sometimes referred to as technical education as the trainee directly 
develops expertise in a particular group of techniques. Vocational education can be at 
the secondary or post-secondary level and can interact with the apprenticeship system. Up until the end 
of the twentieth century, vocational education focused on specific trades such as, for example, those of 
automobile mechanic or welder, and it was therefore associated with the activities of lower social classes. 
As a consequence, it carries some social stigma. Vocational education is related to the age-
old apprenticeship system of learning. Vocational education has diversified over the 20th century and 
now exists in industries such as retail, tourism, information technology, funeral services and cosmetics, as 
well as in the traditional crafts and cottage industries. Keeping in mind the professional attributes related 
with education, it should be directed at the totality of life and need of the community. In a society that is 
changing, the pace of movement is such that, some are left at the back while others who are galloping 
move upfront. However, it is the realm of thought and planning, that helps in bringing about a cohesion 
between the slow and the fast. The thinking process must focus on the intelligentsia of communities and 
the universities have a role to play in this. However, as the labour market becomes more specialized and 
economies demand higher levels of skill, governments and businesses are increasingly investing in the 
future of vocational education through publicly funded training organizations and subsidized 
apprenticeship or traineeship initiatives for businesses. The education which takes place at vocational 
universities combines teaching of both practical skills and theoretical expertise. Higher vocational 
education might be contrasted with education in a usually broader scientific field, which might 
concentrate on theory and abstract conceptual knowledge. This has to do with the fact that, in the Middle 
Ages, an educational institution was called a university only if a certain classical canon of subjects was 
taught (including philosophy, medicine and theology). In modern times, other subjects, 
namely natural and engineering sciences, became more important — but still, institutions of tertiary 
education focusing on these and not offering the classical canon were denied the prestigious 
denomination "university", so they had to use the general word (High School in 
English) Hochschule in German, HauteEcole in French (Belgium and Switzerland), Hogeschool in Dutch, Hø
yskole in Norwegian, etc.There exist vocational universities of applied sciences (also 
named polytechnics or institutes of technology), vocational universities of liberal arts, etc. In recent years, 
many vocational universities have received full university status, such as the University of Music and 
Performing Arts, Vienna, Austria (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien, formerly 
Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien), or the Örebro University, Sweden (formerly Örebro 
Högskola). There are also some establishments which now have full university status, but continue to use 
their former names, such as the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Value-based education

The values are those factors which can give psychological and physiological benefits. The values are those 
factors which can improve the relations among family members and strengthen social bonds. And the 
values also contribute for patriotic vision and mission. The more practical aspects of 'education' involved 
alongside intellectual training, the laying of a moral foundation which helped to make the individual a 
good citizen who was conscious of his innate strength. Swami Vivekananda points out "Education is the 
manifestation of perfection already existing in man". Dr. S. Radhakrishnan emphasizes the role the heart 
needs to play in aiding the intellect. He says 
"Education to be complete, must be humane. It must include not only the training of the intellect, but the 
refinement of the heart and the discipline of the spirit".
Education thus brings out all that is unique in the individual helping him to establish the right 
relationship with not only the life, mind and soul of the nation to which he belongs but with the larger life, 
mind and soul of humanity of which he is a unit. Consequently a true education though nurturing the 
intellectual, aesthetic, ethical and vital aspects is essentially engaged in the task of awakening of the soul. 
This soul awakening education harmonizing the mind and body is to be valued as it reveals the truth of 
existence. Education is a threefold process. It imparts general and specific information, teaches skills and 
inculcates values. The present system of education is almost wholly geared to the first, a little to the 
second and only marginally to the third. The first education commission of India headed by Dr. S. 
Radhakrishnan emphasized that no amount of factual information would make ordinary men into 
educated or virtuous men unless something is awakened in them - an innate ability to live the life of the 
soul". Despite this recognition, education in the modern age is able to train only a fraction of the students 
mind and not the whole. The neglect of ethical values, which should form the substratum of any good 
education, has led to ineffectual, decadent, empty learning. It is the duty of every society to pass on the 
values enshrined in its scriptures and philosophical texts to each generation, in order, that the spirit of its 
culture lives on. This can be achieved only when education is value oriented.

What the world needs today is not a new order, a new education, a new system, a new society nor a new 
religion. The remedy lies in a mind, in a heart filled with holiness. Holiness must take root and grow in the 
minds and hearts of youth everywhere. The Good and Godly must endeavour to promote this task. The 
sublime significance of Vidya or higher learning can be grasped only when the pure mind throws its 
revealing light. By means of such Vidya man is transformed into a purified soul. Education should be a 
process of acquiring true knowledge. It should be treated as a penance. When there is a pure mind and 
will power nothing is impossible to achieve. In planning for good values and objectives, the teacher and 
student or the guru and disciple will have to cooperate and work together. 
Societal values, tolerance, non-violence and respect for one another also have been diminishing over the 
past few decades. There is a popular misconception — which perhaps led to the postponement of value 
education instruction “better caught than taught”. In reality however, values are both caught and taught. 
So, value education is not simply the heart of education, but also the education of the heart. It is a 
necessary component of holistic citizenship education. The degeneration in the present day life, the 
demoralization of public and private life and the utter disregard for values, are all traceable to the fact 
that moral, religious and spiritual education has not been given due place in the educational system.
Therefore, it is necessary develop the holistic citizenship education. The end of education lies in 
transforming the individual and elevating him to an egoless state. The purpose of education is to 
strengthen character in the younger generation which is an answer to many of the problems that people 
face today. It can bring about a widespread renewal of individual commitment to an active life of principle 
and this renewal is imperative. Degrees alone do not signify education. Education that is confined to the 
physical sciences is a travesty of true education. The student of today is concerned with acquiring wealth, 
strength and position, but not good qualities. Along with professional education, one has to acquire 
humility, discipline and a good character. 

Education is not intended merely to satiate the brain with 
information. Every student must cultivate humility and reverence. It has to transform the heart and make 
it pure, due to which students today lack the capacity to be righteous. Concerned authorities claim that 
education is progressing, the number of schools and universities has increased, that there are more 
educational institutions and more students seem to be receiving education, but are we concerned about 
the quality that is being imparted. We must look at the quality of education. Standards have to be raised.
Only when education is treated as an autonomous and independent undertaking can the problem of 
standards be properly dealt with. Educational policies are changed with every change in the Education, Ministry at the Centre or in the State. Frequent changes in educational policy are also responsible for the 
fall in educational standards. There is a general decline in character and respect for teachers; gratitude is 
at a discount. It is important to catch, channelize and cultivate the imagination and the personality of a 
child to allow him to learn values by example and to earn bread through the very channelization of his 
John Dewey writes:
“Unless culture be a superficial polish, a veneering of mahogany over common wood, which it surely is, the 
growth of the imagination in flexibility, in scope, and in sympathy, till the life which the individual lives is 
informed with the life of nature and of society. When nature and society can live in the schoolroom, when the 
forms and tools of learning are subordinated to the substance of experience, then shall there be an 
opportunity for this identification, and culture shall be the democratic password.”

A good deal might be said about the studying of the child, but the school is not the place where the child 
lives. It is a change, a revolution, not unlike that introduced by Copernicus when the astronomical centre 
shifted from the earth to the sun. In this case the child becomes the sun about which the appliances of 
education revolve; he is the centre about which they are organized. It can be stated that the centre of 
gravity is outside the child. It is in the teacher, the test-book anywhere and everywhere you please except 
in the immediate instincts and activities of the child himself. But at this point, we must also assert that 
instilling values and morals in education and learning is not only the responsibility of the school or a 
college, but equally the responsibility of the household the student resides in i.e. learning does not solely 
come from the teacher, again quoting John Dewey:
“If we take an example from an ideal home, where the parent is intelligent enough to recognize what is best 
for the child, and is able to supply what is needed, we find the child learning through the social converse and 
constitution of the family. There are certain points of interest and value to him in the conversation carried 
on: statements are made, inquiries arise, topics are discussed, and the child continually learns. He states his 
experiences, his misconceptions are corrected. Again the child participates in the household occupations, and 
thereby gets habits of industry, order, and regard for the rights and ideas of others, and the fundamental 
habit of subordinating his activities to the general interest of the household. Participation in these household 
tasks becomes an opportunity for gaining knowledge. The ideal home would naturally have a workshop 
where the child could work out his constructive instincts. It would have a miniature laboratory in which his 
inquiries could be directed. The life of the child would extend out of doors to the garden, surrounding fields, 
and forests. He would have his excursions, his walks and talks, in which the larger world out of doors would 
open to him.”
Now, if we organize and generalize all of this, we have the ideal environment of learning. There is no 
mystery about it, no wonderful discovery of pedagogy or educational theory. It is simply a question of 
doing systematically and in a large, intelligent, and competent way what for various reasons can be done 
in most households and schools only in a comparatively meagre and haphazard manner. In the first place, 
the ideal school/home has to be enlarged. A value-based school seeks to promote an educational 
philosophy based on valuing self and others, through the consideration of a values vocabulary (principles 
that guide behaviour) as the basis of good educational practice. The most effective teachers of values are 
those who work to be more self-aware and take time to reflect on the deeper meaning of the values being 
emphasised in the school. Self-reflective work by teachers is seen to have a powerful impact on pupils, 
who appear to make a connection between what the teacher says and what she does. Such teachers are 
authentic, meaning that they seek to achieve congruence between their thoughts, feelings and actions. 
They are aware that they have the potential (as we all do) to be consumed by negative emotion (e.g. 
anger) and for this to be inappropriately translated into action. Developing personality reflection as a tool 
to aid self-control enables both pupil and adult to behave in ways that reflect positive human values, such 
as compassion and respect. Teachers describe their own positive behaviour as walking their talk: living 
their values. Such reflective work leads to teachers’ developing a deepening understanding of the values 
words. They also have a clearer perception of their own Teachers in value-based schools report that 
teaching about values has a positive effect on what they term, the inner world of pupils. They think that 
by talking about their feelings, pupils learn to express themselves more clearly, control their behaviour, 
and empathise with others (all aspects concerned with the development of emotional maturity). The 
teachers believe that the pupils learn about values by talking about them in the context of good teacher-
child relationships. They believe that repetition and reinforcement of the values words, across the 
curriculum, is important for reinforcing their meaning. At the same time it needs the teacher's sensitivity 
to opportunities for teaching which result from the meaningful interaction between the educator and the 
learner and also among the learners themselves (Bequist, 1992; Bloom 1981).The evidence to show that the pupils understand the values is demonstrated by their use of them in everyday conversations. Pupils 
appear more aware of their behaviour in the playground and out of school. This contributes to the 
establishment of a positive climate for teaching and learning. According to Dr. Neil Hawkes, Oxford, 
United Kingdom, a key aspect of value-based education appears to be a greater emphasis on the 
development of good quality relationships between staff and parents. The teachers recognise the vital 
importance of the role of families in educating children. They emphasise the importance of developing 
open, sensitive, active, positive teacher-parent relationships. The development of value-based Education 
is shared with parents through newsletters and parents’ evenings. This ensures a positive partnership 
between home and school. This process is called Value-based Education which can be further described 
as a way of conceptualising education that places the search for meaning and purpose at the heart of the 
educational process. It recognises that the recognition, worth and integrity of all involved in the life and 
work of the school, are central to the creation of a values-based learning community that fosters positive 
relationships and quality in education. (Alive, 2007).

The major challenges faced by such schools are-
1. Data benchmarking and tracking across universities: Knowledge management initiatives are critically 
required to avoid duplication and overlapping of sustainable initiatives and to build upon everyone’s 
2. Communication, awareness and education: To achieve synergy of efforts, communication through 
public forums, seminars, conferences and other events is a must. Not only do we need specialists learning 
from each other but also, the general public and students have to be educated and mobilized as well.
3. Buy-in across the university: The administrative machinery of the institution has to support and drive 
the sustainability effort. Hence a complete belief and commitment is required at all levels.
4. Competing values and objectives: In an era where foreign universities are soon to be allowed access to
Indian education market and where education is turning into a lucrative business model, the competing 
values of profit maximization at all costs have to be challenged and replaced.
5. Third Party relationships: The institutions have to initiate (if not present already) relations with 
various governmental, social sector and corporate sector agencies for a comprehensive long term 
sustainability program. 

Some universities in the United States have initiated programs which can be 
emulated by other universities all over the world. These are-
1- Harvard University – Harvard is organizing arts, sports, lectures, and religious services on campus. It is 
also engaging in community partnership programs and planning.
2- Cambridge University: Students and staff devote about 4 lakh hours every year in voluntary and 
outreach work, benefitting more than 1 million people annually.
3- Oxford University: Community activities related to education, museums, organizing events and 
voluntary work on part of students.
4- Yale University: The University encourages staff and student volunteers in interventions like American 
Red Cross, community programs for children etc.
5- Imperial College, London: The University has set up a volunteer centre open for all people, for persons 
with special needs and environment.
6- Princeton University: The University promotes a sense of ethic and community awareness among 
students, believes in building a relationship with surrounding communities, and initiating and 
encouraging dialogues between academia and other participants.
7- California Institute of Technology: Promotes volunteer programs in clearing trails of hiking, supporting 
HIV AIDS affected population, and preparing and serving meals for the homeless people.
8- University of Chicago: Believes in having a strong relationship with surrounding communities and 
contributing to the same through providing healthcare, safety and other amenities, affordable housing 
and support education initiatives.
9- University College, London: It has set up a Volunteering Services Unit to encourage student volunteers. 
It also organizes volunteer fairs, provides training and grants and has a global citizenship agenda.
10- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): Volunteering programs for students for contributing to 
the community in areas like technology, health, psychology, science and others.
Unfortunately information on sustainability interventions done by Indian universities and institutes of 
higher education are not available as easily on their websites, raising the question that there is perhaps a 
long way for them to travel in this direction.

Education in religion

Education in religion has always been concerned with the realization of morals, values, and ethics based 
on tenets, ideals, and in some cases commandments. All religions have upheld the idea that man, more 
than being an economic, social, political or reasoning animal, in actuality is a spiritual soul limited by the 
various attributes of a human existence for the time span of his life on earth. The common themes and 
concerns underlying the great religious cultures, both Eastern and Western, amount to a consensus 
regarding basic human values. Values like truth, right action, love, peace and nonviolence include in a 
balanced way the profound moral insights of the great civilizations. They are derived from the universal 
order which upholds societal harmony. From the very determination of the early civilisations which were 
firmly based on religious principles and beliefs to the purification of the soul, education in any religion 
stresses upon the salvation of humans through the virtuous worldly deeds translated by the procurement 
of religious knowledge. However, it should not be deduced that education based on values did not 
translate into occupations. In the following pages, we shall see how education and learning is perceived in 
the major religions of the world. 


The Hindu Synthesis of the Transcendental and Education:
Author Benoy Kumar Sarkar writes: 

"The ideal of realizing the infinite in the finite, the transcendental in the positive, manifested itself also in the 
educational system of Hindu India. The graduates trained under the 'domestic system' of the Gurukulas or 
preceptors' homes were competent enough to found and administer states, undertake industrial and 
commercial enterprises; they were builders of empires and organizers of business concerns. It was because of 
this all-round and manly culture that the people of India could organize vast schemes of colonization and 
conquest, and not content with being simply confined within the limits of mother India, could build up a 
Greater India beyond the seas, and spread culture, religion and humanity among the subject and hospitable 
races. It is not for education, how else can we account for the remarkable progress of the nation in 
architecture, sculpture, medicine, dyeing, weaving, mathematics, ship building, chess, navigation, military 
tactics, and implements and all such aspects of socio-economic and economico-political life as have to 
depend on the help of physical and natural sciences?"
The individual is the chief concern and centre of this Education. It is an intimate relationship between the 
teacher and the pupil which was inaugurated by a religious ceremony called Upanayana. It is not like the 
admission of a pupil to the register of a school on his payment of the prescribed fee. By Upanayana, the 
teacher, "holding the pupil within him as in a womb, impregnates him with his spirit, and delivers him in 
a new birth." The pupil is then known as Dvija, "born afresh" in a new existence, "twice born" 
(Satapatha Brahmana). The education that is thus begun is called by the significant term Brahmacharya, 
indicating that it is a mode of life, a system of practice. This conception of education moulds its external 
form. The pupil must find the teacher. He must live with him as in member of his family and is treated by 
him in every way as his son. The school is a natural formation, not artificial constituted. It is the home of 
the teacher. It is a hermitage, amid sylvan surrounding, beyond the distractions of urban life, 
functioning in solitude and silence. The constant and intimate association between the teacher and the 
taught is vital to education as conceived in this system. The pupil is imbibed in the inward method of the 
teacher, the secrets of his efficiency, the spirit of his life and work, and these things are too subtle to be 
taught. It seems in the early Vedic or Upanishadic times education was esoteric. The word Upanishad 
itself suggests that it is learning got by sitting at the feet of the master. The knowledge was to be got, as 
the Bhagavad Gita says, by obeisance, by questioning and serving the teacher. This system of education 
was in the form of a ‘Gurukula’ (the home of the teacher) in which students had to stay with the teacher 
under the same roof for the entire period of their secondary school life. This tradition was named as 
'Gurukulavasa' (staying and learning at the abode of the master). In Gurukula, the teacher not only taught 
his pupil mandatory subjects but shaped his character and personality by instilling in him an awareness 
of the world around him, to lead a life useful to the society and face various challenges which comes 
across in life and turn these into opportunities. Further, the student was also introduced to different 
subjects of study connected with the four principal divisions of knowledge namely: (I) Anyikshaki (i.e. 
sciences derived from subjective or metaphysical speculation involving keen introspection) (2) Trayi (the 
three vedas) (3) Varta (subjects relating to agriculture cattle rearing and trade) and (4) Dandaniti 
(science and art of government) under a competent teacher. During ancient times, education was totally 
free where besides imparting education, the teachers used to provide food and clothes to their students 
unlike the modern system. In this tradition, the teacher is put on the highest pedestal along with one's 

Kabir enunciated:
"Guru Govind Dou Khare Kake Laagu Paun, Balihari Guru Aaapne jin Govind Dio Milay” 
(If teacher and God both stands together then student should bow to teacher because it is the teacher who 
leads the student to meet the ultimate power i.e. God)
According to a legend, Dronacharya was the teacher of Eklavya, he worshipped an idol of his teacher, 
learnt lessons in archery in the teacher’s absence and mastered the art. He smilingly sacrificed the thumb 
of his right hand (thumb is the core part to be used for the art of archery) on his teacher’s instructions. 
The essential features of this system were moral education and character building in addition to 
intellectual learning. Such was the importance of a teacher and the trainer in the fabled period of India.
Under this system of education, the academic year had several terms. Each term was inaugurated by a 
ceremony called Upakarnmana and concluded by the Utsarga ceremony. Holidays (Anadhyayas) were 
regularly observed on two Astamis (eight day of the moon) two Chaturdasis (fourteenth day of the moon), 
Amavasya, Purnima and on the last day of each of the four seasons, called Chaturmasi. 
In ancient India, during the Vedic period (from about 1500 BC to 600 BC), most education was based on 
the Veda (hymns, formulas, and incantations, recited or chanted by priests) and later Hindu texts and 
scriptures. Vedic texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of 
Hinduism, aggregated around four canonical Samhitas or Vedas proper, the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, 
the Samveda, the Atharwaveda composed in Vedic Sanskrit, of which the first three Traya are related to 
the performance of Yajna (sacrifice) in Vedic religion .
Vedic education included: proper pronunciation and recitation of the Veda, the rules of sacrifice, grammar 
and derivation, composition, versification and meter, understanding the secrets of nature, reasoning 
including logic, the sciences, and the skills necessary for an occupation. Some medical knowledge existed 
and was taught. There is mention in the Veda of herbal medicines for various conditions or diseases, 
including fever, cough, baldness, snake bite and others. Education, at first freely available in Vedic society, 
became over time more discriminatory as the caste system, originally based on occupation, evolved, with 
the Brahman (priests) being the most privileged of the castes. Eventually education was imparted 
according to the caste and the respective occupation, which makes this system of education more need 
based than value based.

Hindu philosophy is divided into six astika schools of thought, or darśanas (views), which accept the 
Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures The āstika schools are: Samkhya, a strongly dualist theoretical 
exposition of mind and matter, that denies the existence of god, Samkhya philosophy regards the universe 
as consisting of two realities: Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (phenomenal realm of 
matter).Prakriti further bifurcates into animate and inanimate realms. Yoga, a school emphasizing 
meditation closely based on Samkhya. Nyaya, specifically the school of logic. The Nyaya school of 
philosophical speculation is based on texts known as the Nyaya Sutras which is comparable to how 
Western science and philosophy can be said to be largely based on Aristotelian logic. Vaisheshika, an 
empiricist school of atomism, realistic, analytic, and objective philosophy of the world which tries to 
distinguish between the various kinds of ultimate things and to classify all the objects under five 
elements--- Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Ether-existing in the form of time ,space, minds and self. Mimamsa, 
an anti-ascetic and anti-mysticist school of orthopraxy. Vedanta, meaning investigation the logical 
conclusion to Vedic ritualism, focusing on mysticism.
The Nāstika schools are: Buddhism, Jainism and Carvaka, a sceptical materialist school, which died out in 
the 15th century and whose primary texts have been lost. The Rig veda, in the form in which we have it 
now, is a compilation out of old material, a collection and selection of 1,017 hymns out of the vast 
literature of hymns which have been accumulating for a long period. When the Rigvedic texts was thus 
fixed and appropriated for purposes of the Samhita, its editors had to think out the principles on which 
the hymns could be best arranged. These show considerable literary skill, originality of design, and 
insight into religious needs which represents Rishis were chosen and their works were utilized to 
constitute six different Mandalas.

1. Vasishtha 
The Rigvedic society comprised four varnas, namely Brahmana, kshtrya, Vaisya and Sudra. This 
classification was based on the occupation of individuals. Teachers and priests were called Brahmanas ; 
rulers and administrators Kshatriyas; farmers ,workers and merchants (bankers too) Vaisyas ans 
Artisans an laborers as Sudras. These vocations were followed by persons according to their ability and 
liking, also these occupations were not heridatary as they later became. Members of the same family took 
to different professions and belonged to different Varna is well illustrated by a hymn of the Rig Veda (ix 
112) which says:
“I am a singer;
my father is a physician,
my mother is a grinder of Corn;
having various occupations,
desiring riches we remain (in the world) like cattle (in the stalls).”


In India, the Buddhists developed universities several centuries before their appearance in Europe. 
Starting with the Viharas (residences for monks) which later developed into large accommodations for 
Buddhist communities where the Bikhshus could peacefully meditate and engage in canonical studies. 
Every senior monk or Bikkhu was required to take a student and instruct him in the art of recitation, 
explain the Dharma, make exhortations and test the progress and performance of the student 
periodically. With the growing need for the spread of the religion, later secular subjects like grammar, 
philosophy, medicine, astronomy and various other arts and sciences were included in the subjects of 
Moreover, the monasteries itself with their complex structures and managerial paraphernalia 
were veritable workshops .Buddhist education can be rightly regarded as a phase of the ancient Hindu 
system of education. Buddhism, itself, especially in its original and ancient form, is, as has been admitted 
on all hands, rooted deeply in the pre-existing Hindu systems of thought and life. Buddhist monastic 
institutions like Nalanda, Valabhi, Vikramshila, Odantapuri, and Jagaddala later became renowned places 
of learning.

Max Muller in writes:
"To my mind, having approached Buddhism after a study of the ancient religion of India, the religion of the 
Veda, Buddhism has always seemed to be, to a new religion, but a natural development of the Indian mind in 
its various manifestations, religious, philosophical, social, and political."

Auguste Barth: 
"a Hindu phenomenon, a natural product, so to speak, of the age and social circle that witnessed its birth", 
and "when we attempt to reconstruct its primitive doctrine and early history we come upon something so 
akin to what we meet in the most ancient Upanishads and in the legends of Hinduism that it is not always 
easy to determine what features belong peculiarly to it."
Edward Washburn Hopkins (1857-1932) (The Religions of India ) goes so far as to assert that: 

"the founder of Buddhism did not strike out a new system of morals; he was not a democrat; he did not 
originate a plot to overthrow the Brahmanic priesthood; he did not invent the order of monks."
Hermann Oldenberg (1854-1920): 

"For hundreds of years before Buddha's time, movements were in progress in Indian thought which prepared 
the way for Buddhism."


Jewish education is the transmission of the tenets, principles and religious laws of Judaism. Due to its 
emphasis on the study of their holy book Torah, many have commented that Judaism is characterised by 
"lifelong learning" that extends to adults as much as it does to children. The tradition of Jewish education 
goes back to biblical times. One of the basic duties of Jewish parents is to provide for the instruction of 
their children. The obligation to teach one's children is set forth in the first paragraph of the Shema 
Yisrael prayer: 

“Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children. Recite 
them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as 
sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead; inscribe them on the doorposts of your 
house and your gates.” (Deut 6:6-9)
Deuteronomy contains several references to the duty to provide education:

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of ages past; ask your father, he will inform you, your elders, 
they will tell you.” (Deut 32:7). 
The Book of Proverbs also contains many verses related to education:

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your mind retain my commandments; For they will bestow on 
you length of days, years of life and well-being.”
Elementary school learning was regarded as compulsory by Simeon ben Shetah as early as 75 BC 
and Joshua ben Gamla in 64 AD. The education of older boys and men in a beit midrash goes back to 
the Second Temple period. The importance of education is stressed in the Talmud, which states that 
children should begin school at six. The rabbis stated that they should not be beaten with a stick or a cane, 
older students should help those who were younger, and that children should not be kept from their 
lessons by other duties. According to Judah ben Tema, 
“At five years the age is reached for studying the Bible, at ten for studying the Mishnah, at thirteen for 
fulfilling the mitzvoth, at fifteen for studying the Talmud.” (Avot 5:21). 

In keeping with this tradition, Jews established their own schools or hired private tutors for their children 
until the end of the 18th century. Schools were housed in annexes or separate buildings close to the 
Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk (in his Meshech Chochma) observes that God's statement:
"[Abraham is blessed because] he will instruct his children and his house after him to follow in God's 
ways to perform righteousness and justice" (Genesis 18:19)
is an implicit mitzvah to teach Judaism.

The Talmud (tractate Bava Bathra 21a) attributes the institution of formal Jewish education to the first 
century sage Joshua ben Gamla. He instituted schools in every town and made education compulsory 
from the age of 6 or 7. The Talmud attaches great importance to the "Tinokot shel beth Rabban" (the 
children [who study] at the Rabbi's house), stating that the world continues to exist for their learning and 
that even for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem classes are not to be interrupted (tractate 
Shabbat 119b).Even the Ten commandments stress upon the social obligations that a Jew or a Christian 
are bound to.
In Mishnaic and Talmudic times young men were attached to a beth din (court of Jewish law), where they 
sat in three rows and progressed as their fellow students were elevated to sit on the court.After the 
formal court system was abolished, yeshivot became the main places for Torah study. The Talmud itself 
was composed largely in the yeshivot of Sura and Pumbedita in Babylonia, and the leading sages of the 
generation taught there. Yeshivot have remained of central importance in the Orthodox community to 
this day. Until the 19th century, young men generally studied under the local rabbi, who was allocated 
funds by the Jewish community to maintain a number of students. The Hasidic masters and the 
Lithuanian rabbi Chaim Volozhin both founded centralised yeshivot.
The phenomenon of the "Jewish Day School" is of relatively common origin. Until the 19th and 20th 
century, boys attended the Cheder (literally "room," since it was in the synagogue, which historically was a building with a Bet Midrash being the only room) or Talmud Torah where they were taught by 
a Melamed tinokos' (children's teacher).
The first Jewish day schools developed in Germany, largely in response to the higher emphasis in general 
on secular studies. In the past, an apprenticeship was sufficient to learn a profession, or alternatively 
several years in a gymnasium could prepare one adequately for university. Rabbis who pioneered Jewish 
day schools included Rabbi Shimson Raphael Hirsch, whose Realschule in Frankfurt am Main served as a 
model for numerous similar institutions.Today, there are over 750 day schools in the United States and 
205,000 students in those schools and hundreds of thousands of Jewish children attend religious, 
Hebrew and congregational schools.


The very first word revealed of the Quran was "Iqra" (Read! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be 
educated.) The first and the most crucial obligation on Muslims is to acquire knowledge and secondly to 
practice and preach this knowledge. It is asserted in the Islamic scriptures that no man can become a 
Muslim without knowing the meaning and essence of Islamic scriptures, because he is considered a 
Muslim only through the acquired knowledge and its practice. The term aql itself basically signifies a kind 
of ‘binding’ or ‘withholding’, so that in this respect aql signifies an innate property that binds and 
withholds objects of knowledge by means of words. According to the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed 
(SAW) ,

"He who acquires knowledge acquires vast portion." 
"If anyone going on his way in search of knowledge, God will, thereby make easy for him the way to 

According to the Holy Qur’an, knowledge is a prerequisite for the creation of a just world in which 
authentic peace can prevail. In the case of country’s disorder or war the Quran emphasizes the 
importance of the pursuit of learning, Allah says:

"Nor should the believers all go forth together: if a contingent from every expedition remained behind, they 
could devote themselves to studies in religion, and admonish the people when they return to them - that thus 
they (may learn) to guard themselves (against evil)."
“Supremely exalted is therefore Allah, the King, the Truth, and do not make haste with the Quran before its 
revelation is made complete to you and say: O my Lord ! increase me in knowledge.”
The holy Qur’an repeatedly exerts the significance of the learning of the pious life of Prophet Mohammed 
(SAW) and practicing the greater good. It not only persuades a person to be personally and socially 
disciplined and responsible but also mandates the same through the five pillars of Islam-Shahada (creed), 
Salat (daily prayers), Sawm (fasting during Ramazan), Zakat (almsgiving) and Hajj (the pilgrimage to te 
Holy city of Mecca). The Glorious Quran repeatedly speaks about the importance of maintaining social 
values, be it with the neighbour or the countrymen. It stresses upon morals related to as basic concepts as 
backbiting to as complex as Fair trade.
The last prophet of Islam, Mohammed (S.A.W.) in one of his hadiths has said:
"Atta libul ilm faridhatol kuli muslim."
Which means- Attainment of knowledge is a must for every Muslim. Himself a great orator and a teacher, 
Prophet Mohammed (SAW) explained the teachings and the tenets of Islam in such a comprehensive 
manner that only on seventeen occasions in his entire life of prophet-hood, was he asked a question about 
the teachings of Islam.
In Islam, even the quest for knowledge must be unblemished and virtuous as the Prophet Mohammed 
(SAW) is quoted to have said: "He who learns for the sake of haughtiness, dies ignorant. He who learns only to talk, rather than to act, dies 
a hypocrite. He who learns for the mere sake of debating, dies irreligious. He who learns only to accumulate 
wealth, dies an atheist. And he who learns for the sake of action, dies a mystic."
A prominent figure in Islamic history, Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq (AS) has said:
"Acquire knowledge of religious jurisprudence. Any one among you who does not become efficient in 
religious jurisprudence is a rustic."
Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq (A.S.) has said in this same subject:
"I would rather like my companions to be flogged on their heads so that they may (be compelled to) acquire 
religious knowledge."
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an in Sura 107, Verse 1-7:
"Didn’t you see the one who denies religion (din)? Such is the one who repulses the orphan and does not 
encourage the feeding of the poor. So woe to the worshippers, who are neglectful to their prayers; those who 
(want but) to be seen (of men) but refuse (to supply even) the neighborly needs."
Hence the significance of the greater good in Islam is related wholly with the learning and following of its 
tenets. Surah Al-Zumr, ayah 9 reveals: "Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?"
Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 269 reveals: "Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases and to whom wisdom is 
granted indeed he receives an overflowing benefit."
On the importance of the teacher, Imam Ja’far Sadiq, says: 
“Your teacher enjoys the right over you that you should honour him and pay him respect in different 
assemblies. You should be very attentive to his words. You should not raise your voice above his. If anybody 
asks him a question you should not give a reply thereto. You should not converse with others in his presence 
and you should allow the people to benefit from his knowledge. You should not speak ill of anyone before 
him. If anybody speaks ill of him in your presence you should defend him. You should conceal his 
shortcomings and bring his virtues to light. You should not associate with his enemies and should not dispute 
with his friends. If you act on these lines the angels of Allah will testify that you have paid attention to him 
and have acquired knowledge for the sake of Allah and not to attract the attention of the people. And the 
right of your pupils on you is that you should realise that in granting you knowledge and opening its path for 
you, Allah has appointed you to be their guardian. In case, therefore you teach them properly and do not 
frighten them and are not furious with them Allah will, through His kindness, increase your knowledge. But if 
you drive the people away from knowledge and as and when they approach you for it you frighten them and 
get annoyed with them it will be only appropriate that Almighty Allah may take away the light of knowledge 
from you and may degrade you in the eyes of the people”.
In recent times, theories have been postulated inculcating the usage of Islam in the modern world. One 
such example is Islamization of knowledge (term coined by Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas), a term 
which describes a variety of attempts and approaches to synthesize the ethics of Islam with various fields 
of modern thought. Its greatest implication lies in its effect upon our vision of reality and truth and our 
methodology of research; our intellectual scope and practical application in planning for what is called 
‘development’, which all bear upon our understanding of education. Muslims are in concerted agreement 
that all knowledge comes from God, and we also know that the manner of its arrival, and the faculties and 
senses that receive and interpret it are distinctly not the same. Since all knowledge comes from God and is 
interpreted by the soul through its spiritual and physical faculties, it follows that the most suitable 
definition would be that knowledge, with reference to God as being its origin, is the arrival in the soul of 
the meaning of a thing or an object of knowledge; and that with reference to the soul as being its 
interpreter, knowledge is the arrival of the soul at the meaning of a thing or an object of knowledge. As 
stated earlier that the world of nature, as depicted in the Glorious Qur’an, is like a Great Open Book; and 
every detail therein, encompassing the farthest horizons and our very selves, is like a word in that Great 
Book that speaks to man about its Author.


Christian education is a Christ centred or God centred education carried out in homes, churches, or 
schools. Christian education, as Sara Little Turnbull asserts, 
“is a servant and not a master of revelation.”
Biblical revelation determines the educational tasks and guides the educational process since the Bible 
functions as the primary source and the only inerrant criterion for the truth, all presumed facts and 
opinions must be tested by the word of God. An understanding of the nature of Biblical revelation has 
tremendous implication for Christian education. 

According to John Wade, in his book ‘Introduction to 
Christian Education’, Biblical revelation sets standards and provides basis for all Christian education, 
including both the contents that are taught and the method by which they are taught. All educational 
factors must be in keeping with the reality of the Bible. Since Christian education has to do with what we 
teach and how we teach it. This essay will like to quote the Bible essential to learning sited from Kent 
Hodge’s book: An Exegetical understanding of scriptures, exposure to the teaching ministry, personal 
study, application to daily life, mentoring and the Holy Spirit. The biggest challenge to Christian education 
is secularism. The recent trend is you must own a circular degree before you can be qualified to be a 
pastor, namely by reading psychology to become a Christian counsellor. Only the word of God can prepare 
a minister. Christian education that is supposed to be a channel of transmitting divine truth that was once 
handed down experienced a drastic shift with the advent of science on the idea of discovering new truths
Professor Van Der Kooy noted that 
“the purpose of Christian education is the whole of man’s life. education is concerned with more than mere 
knowledge; the heart, too has its rights… the heart above all must be won for God and His service; the 
ultimate purpose in all education must be true worship (piety).”
Harvard, Princeton, and other renowned colleges in America were originally founded by Christians who 
wanted to educate people in biblical principles. Princeton was founded as a seminary, for example. But 
history teaches us that educational institutions tend to drift away from what they were originally 
The shifts in Christian education, which began in the fifth century, lasted until the beginning of the 
sixteenth century, Christian education in the 16th century started to languish because the clergy began to 
dominate more and more, while the responsibility and influence of individual laity diminished. Also, the 
union of states and the church tended to eliminate high moral stands, since it erased any important 
differences between believers and non-believers. The “institutional” church continued to exist and even 
to “christianize” the barbaric tribes, but Christian education suffered enormously. It was during this 
period in Europe that men like Charles the great, Frank Law, and later, Alfred of England attempted 
educational reforms. Due to a religious diversion from Biblical theology, a sort of popular theology 
developed that combined Christian doctrines and superstition.
In the 11th Century, scholasticism, developed. The basic scholastic thought in the use of reason to 
determine the truth of the scriptures, and ultimately to give a rational content of faith, it formal 
beginnings are identified with St. Anselm, who tried to prove the existence of God by purely rational 
means. Abelard stressed the rational approach in considering the topical question of the 12thcentury, the 
question of universals. The early church fathers notably; Augustine, incorporated Plato’s doctrines and 
Neo-platonic thought into Christian theology. The 13th century was marked out with the works of 
Aristotle. Thomas Aquinas is regarded as the greatest achievement of the scholastic age and the ultimate 
triumph of the effort to “christianize Aristotle.” Too much emphasis in reason brought a shipwreck in 
Christian education. The Renaissance, beginning in the latter part of 13thcentury developed the concept 
of natural science which brought on the decline of scholastic metaphysics; although it approach continued 
to be followed in politics and laws yet in 1879 when Pope Leo XIII proclaimed the system of Aquinas to be 
the official catholic philosophy. Renaissance laid the foundation for humanistic tradition in education. It 
exalted the individual, and recovered the ancient languages and the classical literature of Greece and 
Rome. It was a secular movement in the main stressing the delights of living, the ideal of liberty and 
among those who found Christian morality too binding a freedom from moral restains. In early 
19thcentury faith in scripture as an authoritative sense, revelation of God was discredited according to 
Louise Berkhof, human insight became the standard of religious “thought”. Men ceased to recognize the 
knowledge of God as something that was given in scriptures.
Reason is not infallible and it must be used in line with scriptures. This drifting gave birth to what is 
known today as “postmodernism.” The ideal that there is no absolute truth is dependent on the individual. This is a clear shift from the Bible. John Dewey (1859 - 1952). Secular educational theory and 
practice began to launch out the independent of theology, a trend best seen in John Dewey who reduced 
philosophy to education theory and dismissed all theology as an obstructive influence in education. The 
trends in the first quarter of the 20th century that greatly affected the Christian education movement are 
liberal and Neo-orthodox theologian. Their negative influences can be noted in seminaries, public 
colleges, sadly enough in the church.

Evangelical/Reformed Education

The evangelicals are known by their steadfastness to the infallibility of the Holy Scriptures; an evangelical 
is one with the unwavering belief that canonical scriptures are the words of God. Albert et al, in their book 
explained that an Evangelical is one who believes that God acts and has acted in history, Evangelicals 
affirms the Lordship of Christ and the centrality of his salvation work. The evangelicals stand against 
human methods that are contrary to the Bible. Their emphasis is on Bible theology no just methods, 
which are borrowed from philosophy and psychology. This method can never make a man of God. Only 
the word of God can build up people for God. An evangelical is one who believes in the necessity of 
personal experience of grace. The reformation set forth three basic principles that have far reaching 
consequences in Christian education. The first was the replacement of papal authority with scriptures, the 
second was the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers” which stressed the individual responsibility to 
God and one another. And thirdly, education for all. The reformers further emphasize three distinct 
theological tenets that can guide their views of education: The covenant of creation, the fall, and the 
covenant of redemption. The reformers also emphasize the providence of God in education.

Liberal/Neo orthodox Education:

Neo-orthodox emphasise more on methods than preaching or teaching the word. Their method has to do 
with social gospel of feeding or clothing the poor. Many churches borrow these ideal because they are 
“marketable” or attract crowds but have no knowledge of the saving grace of God. The major challenge in 
Christian education is one’s theological foundation. As a matter of fact, one’s theological belief has a 
bearing on the person’s concept of education, especially Christian education. The liberal position is what 
has exposed people to biblical criticism, and the social gospel, leading some general positions, namely, 
God was seen as an impersonal or social concept. The Bible was looked upon as a source book of religious 
inspiration, containing legend, myth. Christ was seen as a great man, a wonderful moral teacher, but not a 
deity. His death was not seen as sacrificial or substitutionary which is sheer humanism. According to 
Eleanor, many of leaders of the religious educational movement accepted the liberal position in part or 
totally. This affected both philosophy and procedure of religious education. Eleanor further explained in 
their book, how methods were borrowed from the progressive education movement, associated with John 
Dewey, with its interest in child centeredness and the “social project”. Liberalism is what had led to the 
decline of the Sunday school education movement. Today, churches are substituting Christian education 
program, (Sunday school) with entertainment. It is liberalism that has led the Christian educationalist 
into secularism, where humanism became the content of curriculum. Simply put, liberation theology is an 
attempt to interpret scriptures through the plight of the poor largely with humanistic doctrines Neo-
orthodoxy fundamentally differs from “orthodoxy” with its approach to the doctrine of the “word”. The 
writer holds that the Bible is the revealed word of God; that it was given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 
3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20,21). Neo-orthodox denies this approach of inerrancy of inspiration. In orthodox 
circles, the Bible is regarded as the complete, closed and sufficient revelation of God. Neo-orthodoxy 
believes that the Bible is a medium of revelation. (While orthodox believes it is revelation) revelation is 
therefore dependent on experience; making truth a mystical and not a concrete fact. Truth is therefore 
defined as that which is relevant to people’s experience, compared to the orthodox approach, which 
states that truth is concretely stated in the word of God. Truth therefore becomes relevant and not a 
concrete fact by which Christianity can be measured.

1. Adha Kumud Mookerji (2nd ed. 1951; reprint 1989), Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist (p. 
479), Motilal Banarsidass Publ., ISBN 8120804236:
2. 2009 Dr. Neil Hawkes, Oxf ord, United Kingdom. 
3. (source: Life of Hiuen-Tsiang - by Samuel Beal vol. I p. 79 and vol II p. 170).
4. (source: Everyday Life in Ancient India - By Padmini Sengupta p. 162-169).
5. (source: On Yuang-Chwang's Travels in India - By Thomas Watters (1840-1901) volume 2 p. 165).
6. (source: Civilization in Ancient India - By R C Dutt p. 127).
7. (source: A Brief History of India - By Alain Danielou p. 165-166).
8. (source: India: A synthesis of Culture - By Kewal Motwani p. 138).
9. (source: India: A synthesis of Culture - By Kewal Motwani p. 134-145 and Indian Education in Ancient and 
Later Times - By Key p.145).
10. (source: Hindu Superiority - Har Bilas Sarda p. 150 and Vision of India - By Sisir Kumar Mitra p. 186 and The 
Temple Empire - By Vidyavisarada Garimella Veeraraghuvulu. Printed in Sri Gayathri press. Kakinada. India 
1982 p. 136-137)
11. (source: Bharata Shakti: Collection of Addresses on Indian Culture - By Sir John Woodroffe p 75-77).
12. (source: Indian Science And Technology in the Eighteenth Century; some contemporary European accounts -
By Dharampal 1971. An Account of the manner of inoculating for the Smallpox in the East Indies. Mapusa, Goa: 
Other India Press. Chapter VIII p. 142 -164. The Healers, the Doctor, then and now - By Pollack, 
Kurt1968.English Edition. p. 37-8)
13. (source: The Fragrance of India : landmarks for the world of tomorrow - By Louis Revel p. 99 - 114).
14. According to Alain Danielou (1907-1994) son of French aristocracy, author of numerous books on philosophy, 
religion, history and arts of India:
15. Arthur Anthony Macdonell (1854-1930) author of A History of Sanskrit Literature
17. Philip H. Coombs C G O I Unesco : International Institute for ~ Educational Panning
18. Eleanor, John W. Wade, Charles Gresham, op cit., p. 46.
19. Author: Bilal Tahir  (JAMIA MILLIA ISLAMIA)
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