Education plays a vital role in our lives. It helps us to develop an understanding as to what is important and valuable and how do we go about achieving the same. The former deals with values whereas the latter with skills. To achieve any worthwhile goal, we require both, values as well as skills. Values and skills are complementary in nature and go hand in hand. Values show us the path that we need to tread towards a goal and skills help us in doing what is needed to achieve the goal. So, actions performed skillfully in accordance with understanding or in alignment with values culminate in attainment of our goals. Simply put,
Values + Skills – – ->>> Goal
Today, in our society, the values are declining. To stem this decline, we need value-based education that will help young students to grow not only intellectually but also to play their role responsibly in society. In addition, research studies have revealed that majority of students passing out of institutes of higher learning are not readily employable as they lack knowledge application attitude and also skills such as communication and problem solving skills. We need to ensure that the education system is such that our students are able to imbibe values as well as skills.
Let me explain these two key words, Values and Skills…
Values dwell in emotions and feelings. They do not change with time and space and tend to be relatively stable and enduring. They do help us to choose or decide the direction that we need to take to achieve a goal.
Values provide the prime motivating force behind our thoughts, emotions and actions. They affect our attitudes and behaviour as they are at the core of our beliefs. Swami Yuktananda, in the book, Human Values by A. N. Tripathi, says,
“They (Values) are the very core of our behaviour, the motive force of our lives.”
Trust and respect are the examples of Values.
Skill, on the other hand, is a developed talent or ability. Besides, it may also be called proficiency, adroitness or dexterity, which can be developed by practice, training or experience. Skills are of different types such as:
- Fundamental skills include logical reasoning, quantitative abilities and aptitude.
- Technical skills deal with the domain knowledge essential for examining, analyzing and solving a problem.
- Communication skills are all about verbal & written communication and include language, reading, writing, speaking, listening and presentation skills.
- Interpersonal skills comprise leadership, motivation, team – building, uncertainty and conflict handling and social skills.
- Soft skills consist of creative thinking, innovation, goal setting and time management skills.
Development of skills demands, beside time and energy, hard work performed with sincerity, determination, passion, focus and perseverance. Remember that nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without one’s involvement and commitment. So, we need to get fully involved with total commitment into learning new skills. Skills, once learnt or acquired, boost tremendously our self-confidence and when applied, in alignment with our values, help us attain our goals.
To re-emphasize, I quote below the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the American poet and educator,
“The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
Lastly; this blog post is dedicated to my teacher and Guru, Professor Ganesh P. Bagaria, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and recipient of Satyendra K. Dubey Award-2006, and his team members who are relentlessly empowering people to lead values – driven life.