HUMAN VALUES AND ITS SUB VALUES = EDUCARE
The five main human values are Truth, Love, Peace, Right Conduct and Non‐Violence. They are meant to be pillars of our life. They lie within each of us like a golden effulgence waiting to be tapped. Educare is the process of eliciting the five human values latent in each of us. These values are essential ingredients for developing good character; an important end product of education. Furthermore, they serve as catalysts to bring out our best as we go about our various tasks in our daily life. They would also unify our society to achieve both individual and national goals. They are indeed the pivotal foci for self‐learning, which will transform us into a unifying force to work for the well‐being of all.
Human values provide Unity in our apparent Diversity. They are sculptors of our own character and will chip away those thoughts, words and actions, which are not related to the Universal Human Values and our National Interest. Thereby, they pave the way for the development of a cohesive society, which is necessary for our nation to progress harmoniously.
This fundamental power of human life consisting of Truth, Love, Peace, Right Conduct and Non‐Violence are inherent properties of every individual. The sub values, which are indicated in the chart as a guide, will facilitate teaching and learning of each of the main values. The sub values, which are tied up to each of the five main values, explains the full meaning of each of the main values. Educare means to bring out the human values. “To bring out” means to translate them into action in our daily tasks so that we generate both graciousness and productivity .
Implementation of Human Values
The seeds of human values are best sown on the fertile fields of our schools. These values would take root in our children, when they are introduced seamlessly through all academic subjects, sports and cultural activities. Just merge them by creating appropriate teaching moments. Therefore the existing curriculum need not be disrupted, because the values are being introduced in ‘small dosages’ for easy assimilation.
The human values, which embrace Love, would impact the holistic development of our students. This Love would empower them to be selfless. It can also become a dynamic force for excellence in academic achievement, economic development and gracious living. Thus Unity would prevail in spite of Diversity for our common good.
The Miracle School
The Miracle School in Zambia was started by Victor Kanu, who was a great advocate of Human Values. These values were introduced into all the academic subjects seamlessly. The students of this school were drawn from the rejects of society – economically, emotionally, socially, mentally and morally. Victor admitted such Zeroes who were ultimately transformed into all round Heroes. This achievement was hailed by teachers, parents, and educators. It was indeed a joy to see their children bloom into such fragrant flowers. The hidden power within them was released by Educare that brought about this miraculous transformation.
If the Zeros in the Zambian School can be transformed into Heroes, then there is definitely tremendous hope for our weak pupils, who are in a far more superior environment. Just treat them with Respect and Love, and that would touch their Heart. When they see the Light, the transformation will begin.
This programme in human values was started in schools in Puttapathy in India and has spread to Thailand and other countries as well. Dr Jumsai, who was the Minister for Education in Thailand, was another great advocate of human values and he introduced Educare as a component in the teacher training programme. There are also diploma and degree courses in Human Values in their institute of higher learning.
My School Experience
When I was posted to Cedar Girls’ Secondary in 1961, I met Mrs P C Tan, who was a firm principal, determined to nurture good conduct to facilitate teaching and learning. This created a healthy learning climate. Hence the academic performance improved year by year and it was later ranked among the top schools. Cedar is today an educational monument.
The team of teachers, who were in‐charge of the sports, also gave due attention to character development. The character component merged very well with sports excellence. Hence from Zeroes they rose to become Heroes in hockey, badminton and track and field; they were in the league of champions. Even more important; we cherish their sportsmanship.
An excellent role model was Lee Fong Chan, who was a centre forward in the hockey match between Cedar Girls’ Secondary and Willow Secondary School. This game was keenly contested. When Fong Chan dribbled in front of the goal, the opposing defender’s hockey stick fell to the ground. In a flash, Fong Chan picked up the defender’s hockey stick, handed it to her, and immediately hit the ball into the goal. Fong Chan displayed exemplary conduct even at the height of intense competition.
Cedar Girls’ track and field team trained 3 times a week and commenced each session at 4.00pm. After school, the girls were encouraged to stay in the library to complete their homework and do their self‐study. Here the better students helped the weaker ones. This caring nature naturally extended to the athletic training sessions in the field. This bonding facilitated the desire to excel. They not only became Champions in the field, but also did well academically to continue their studies in junior colleges.
The Annual Inter‐School Track and Field Championship was the true display of Cedar Family Spirit. While the athletes sweated it out on the track and scored many ‘firsts,’ their friends in the spectator gallery urged them on. The losers were also cheered on for having done their best. This event contributed greatly to the Cedar Spirit.
A group of 30 students went tracking at Lake Toba. The rain made the track up the hill slippery and treacherous at times. When they faced adverse conditions they took care of each other extremely well. The more capable ones rendered help voluntarily at certain very difficult terrain, where their friends had to climb up with caution. They saw to it that every one was safe. The spirit in which they cared for one another during this expedition was fondly remembered and valued by all.
I was truly elated and delighted to see a sisterly relationship emerging through the games and outdoor activities.
Some Reflections Of The Ex‐Pupils
Dhana Devi, who was a top school‐girl and national sprinter, says “Every sprint run in the major events that I participated was like facing challenges in life. When I was told to take charge of the Learning Support Programme in my school, I took it on as a challenge and gave off my best like I did in every sprint run.” The results were amazing.
Chan Wai Lin says, “My PE teachers are my role models. While teaching different games, they blended discipline and team spirit very well. I tend to teach like them. My efforts were recognized and I won the most outstanding PE teachers’ award in 1996.
Mathanavalli says, “My teachers made the Biology lessons very relevant to our lives. I am now a Biology teacher and I do likewise.”
Samyata says, “I prefer teachers to integrate moral values in their respective subjects. Each teacher will have a unique style of putting them across and that will make learning values lively.”
The above reflections speak well of our students. Above all, we must ensure that all our activities and relationships are governed by the principles of Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Non‐violence to bring out the best in our students.
The Impact Of Educare On Our Country.
The Human Values besides being introduced in schools, it could also be extended to the workforce during skills developmental programmes. Educare would bring forth a workforce that is dynamic, gracious and productive. The two prong approach of introducing human values to the schools and the workforce would lay the foundation for our nation to weather all storms with a nationalistic fevour.
We already have a few model Singaporeans like the 71‐year‐old of Mr Lee Chee Leong who was well prepared to face the massive flood that inundated the Thai Capital. Ms Rathi Palakrishnan, 35, a United Nations officer, also stayed on with her three children. She said, “I want to be positive. I have enough food for the children.” She was well prepared to face the flood for three weeks.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke to the Singaporeans in Perth to stay connected to their country and return home one day. Will they return home to make Singapore a better home for all? One student indicated that she would definitely return home. This is a true test of one’s patriotism.
The issue of foreign talent and foreign labour seems to be a sore point. We have quite successfully accepted foreign talent for table‐tennis and soccer. We require them to fill the gaps to remain competitive and for our very survival. Therefore, we need to welcome them into our family. If our value system is not in place, it can give way to racial tension.
What Do Our Leaders Say
Educare is applicable at all levels of operation; even at parliament sittings where the fate of our nation is determined. It is interesting to note PM Lee’s thoughts, where he emphasized the need for all MPs – both opposition and ruling party – to engage in serious discussions on policy issues to help find solutions to Singapore’s problems. This special calling by our Prime Minister is of the highest order, because there is a genuine attempt to transcend politics to achieve the best for our nation.
This Unity in Diversity is possible. A laudable example is the appointment of Mr David Marshall, an opposition member in parliament, as Singapore’s ambassador to France by the then ruling party. He did Singapore proud.
The Parliament Soccer Team lost to Singapore Press Holdings and Media Corp 2 ‐1. This is merely a warm‐up for our parliament team before becoming a formidable force. The admirable qualities of the parliamentarian players are reflected in the following statements:
Mr Pritam Singh of the Workers Party said, “We represent different parties. If a war comes tomorrow, we’ll all be on the same team.”
Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, the brainchild of the match said, “It is important for Parliamentarians to come together and show solidarity as a team.”
These views speak well for our future. United we stand; Divided we fall.
Mr Goh Chok Tong admired the Japanese for their character and resilience for withstanding the onslaught of the recent catastrophe. We too can evolve our own model by inducting Educare seamlessly to our already existing programmes. Then we will equip Singaporeans to enjoy good times as products of our selfless labour and also be prepared to face tough times constructively as a nation.
Our Minister for Education, Heng Swee Kiat, announced recently the policy of focusing on character building and positive values. Then human values will rightly form the substratum for a caring nation. Hence the Minister sets the direction:
“We must put values and character development at the core of our education system. We need personal values to enable each of us to have the confidence and self awareness, and the grit and determination to succeed. We need moral values, such as respect, responsibility, care and appreciation towards others, to guide each of us to be a socially responsible person. We need values of citizenship. As a young nation with a short history of independence, we must have informed, rugged and resilient citizens who can stay united to overcome crisis and adversities which we must expect to happen from time‐to‐time.”
Social Capital vs Gross National Product.
We have transformed ourselves at an accelerated space into an impressive city state. We certainly appreciate the tremendous effort that has gone into this impressive architecture. However, the accumulation of materialism is beginning to erode the moral and social fabric. Therefore, it is timely to make room for the moral and social values to keep this impressive infrastructure in place. Hence the prescription is human values, which will cater for the continued growth of both the Gross National Product and Social Capital.
There is always a perpetual conflict going on within us when dealing with family matters to national issues. This War is between Good and Evil. The Good is represented by human values. The Evil is represented by selfishness, ‘kiasuism,’ anger, hatred, jealousy, greed and excessive desires. Get anchored in the human values (educare), and that will empower us to solve our problems
Above all, Educare will constantly remind us to BE GOOD AND DO GOOD ALWAYS. Therefore, our explicit goal is to induct our children and our workforce in human values so that they will bring forth their best for the benefit of all.
Our country will be judged by the character of its leaders and its people. Therefore ask yourself:
Are my leaders and people honest, intelligent, hardworking and dutiful?
Are we prepared to sacrifice our self‐interest for the interest of others?
Can we stand united when our country’s interest is threatened?
Am I bold enough to face dangers individually and collectively?
Am I prepared to give freedom to others as I want freedom for myself?
How have we progressed?
HUMAN VALUES WITH ITS SUB VALUES
Truth (Love in speech)
Right conduct (Love in action)
Peace (Love in thought)
Non‐violence(Love in understanding)
Appreciation of othercultures and religions
Ceiling on desires
Concern for all life
Quest for knowledge
Respect for property
Spirit of self inquiry
Service to others
Unity inthought word and deed
Unity in diversity
Care for environment
Unwilling to hurt
Prepared by: N Subramaniam.