Educating the mind instead of the heart is a threat to a peaceful society
By: Priyanka Saurabh
Education is a process of imparting knowledge, skills, and wisdom to ensure the overall development of an individual and the greater advancement of society as a whole. By educating the mind of individuals, they develop a scientific temper, a sense of rationality, and a sharp intellect that enables them to do any task with efficiency. “Educating a person, not in morality but the mind is to educate a danger to society” aptly reflects the idea behind the above quote by Mahatma Gandhi. Education promotes the metamorphosis of a child into a full-fledged adult. Mere learning without the promotion and development of values also defies the definition of education. The education of values and principles shapes and moulds a soul.
Education has a deep meaning, it seeks to develop an all-round personality who is honest and modern, better equipped to understand and deal with the complexities of the outside world, human relationships, and emotions, humanity at large, and a better society. , be able to participate in the process of harmonizing. Only by educating the mind means that we can only develop cognition. But, educating the heart embodies empathy, compassion, respect for diversity and human dignity, love, respect for the law of the land, etc. For this, it will be necessary to learn about and appreciate philosophy, ethics, morality, social values, and knowledge of beauty. in the fields of art, literature, poetry, and music. Only developing knowledge will help to build human robots, not humans.
However, educating the mind without merely educating the heart can be useless and counterproductive at times. Education devoid of the incorporation of moral values and ethical principles produces intellectuals and experts without strong moral character and behavior. For example, the dehumanizing practice of domestic violence is common even in the homes of most educated people in the Indian subcontinent. Achieving academic excellence for all students is at the core of any school’s purpose, and will inform much of what they do. Character education is not a new thing, its extension is like the work of Aristotle. Yet it can be argued that the pursuit of success in schools in recent years has led to calls to put the cart before the horse. Students are pressured to think only of success in terms of exam grades and university places, which can often be counterproductive to the student’s well-being and academic progress.
It does not matter how educated or wealthy one is if his/her underlying character or personality lacks morality. Such personalities can be a threat to a peaceful society. Eg: Mussolini and Hitler are all examples of education devoid of morality which is leading mankind toward destruction. It is equally relevant in contemporary times. For example, an educated person taking dowry would be the death knell for gender equality and gender justice. The seven sins of Gandhiji will be realized when we are educated without morality like science without humanity as is the case with nuclear weapons today. Thus, education without values, as useful as it seems, makes a man a clever devil.
The pervasiveness of the forces of terrorism, Naxalism, and fundamentalism is driven by strong minds but weak hearts. Persons with relatively weak moral character and with the ability and skill to work are easily misled by evil forces. Illegal practices of cross-border human trafficking, and drug and animal trafficking are carried out by intelligent people disguised as security forces. This highlights the lack of values of love, compassion, and empathy in the hearts of these people. The misuse of digital space and technology to commit cybercrime and cyber fraud at the national and international levels shows that there exist educated minds lacking basic ethical understanding. The indiscriminate and heartless exploitation of biodiversity, the environment, and the natural ecosystem by humanity is a sad example of education and skill without a good heart. The practices of corruption, nepotism, communalism, etc. reflect the lack of principles of honesty, integrity, and honesty among the administrators and the political class.
To fight these evils among others, we need to educate the mind as well as the heart of the individuals. It is essential to build the character of individuals because ‘knowledge without character’ is one of the seven Gandhian sins. Value-based education, ethical training of students and professionals along with conscious socialization to impart moral values at an early age will ensure ethical conduct in our society. For this, the development of value-based pedagogy, study material, and storytelling along with the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in letter and spirit will ensure the holistic development of the minds and hearts of children and society. Education without ethics is like a ship without a compass, just wandering nowhere. It is not enough to have the power of concentration, there must be objectives to focus on. Knowing the truth is not enough, rather we should love the truth and make sacrifices for it.
The writer is a Research Scholar in Political Science, Poet, freelance journalist and columnist.