The Need for Value-based Approach in the Education Sector

Education sector has remained largely stagnant and predictable in its approach to the imparting of knowledge for some time now. The newer approaches and proliferation of technological tools in the field of education has necessitated a rethink on the part of most schools, where there currently exists a top-down approach, with a centralized decision-making regime.

In the light of new developments, a realignment of the organizational structure and dismantling of the hierarchical or process-oriented model, that is basically authoritarian in nature and tends to stifle creativity, may be desirable. It is no longer sufficient to concentrate on why we do what we do. The new approach may have to lay more emphasis on walking the talk.

The value-based model may have the answers to address the limitations of the existing model, especially in the light of changes in society. A change in economic conditions and a corresponding rise in aspiration levels calls for a major change in our approach to education. Decentralization of authority and decision-making power may well be the answers we have been looking for where,

      Top level management provides information of instruction and guidance to subordinates.
      Subordinates in turn provide necessary instructions to the manager about achieving the goals and solving problems at work place.

It stands to reason that, a two way communication provides a greater chance of being able to contribute solutions to a problem more expeditiously and also help smoothen the rough edges in the overall performance levels.

When a change in style of management and approach to work is complemented by a set of values and principles that are non-negotiable and inviolable, then that organization may have moved closer to creating an ideal framework that provides answers to most of the challenges faced by the current system. Let us look at the components that make up a value-based model.

The characteristics of a value-based model

      Flexibility: A structure that is highly adaptive and flexible to accommodate for an environment which is constantly changing and evolving with time.
      Tasks and role are less rigidly defined: People are empowered and encouraged to think out of the box and be able to take charge as per the requirement.
      Multidirectional Communication: People are encouraged to speak their mind and contribute to the betterment of an idea with their own thoughts and ideas.
      Work for greater good: Ignore personal ambitions and contribute to the overall success.
      Integrity at all cost: Do good even when no one is looking. Do your work diligently and conscientiously, and rewards will follow.
      A strong sense of personal conviction: To be guided solely by what is right.
      Going beyond the call of duty: To walk that extra mile in all things you do.
      Add value beyond what is expected: Not be compelled to stay within the parameters defined in order to add value to the task, but also making sure that the brief is not exceeded.
      Under promise and over deliver: In other words, letting your work speak for you.

The task of overhauling the current system and adopting a value-based system is formidable and requires sufficient time as well as a cohesive strategy. A strategy where initial focus is on desired and sustainable outcomes and improvising depending on the outcome.

Naturally, teachers and educators have a significant role to play in ushering in the new system, because any system - old or new - can only be effective, if the right people have been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing it on the ground.

The value-based system allows teachers to be creative in their thinking and innovative in their approach. They have the freedom to attempt new methods. The incentive to succeed is also greater.

And the idea of an empowered and rejuvenated teaching community augurs well for our education system.

Given the advantages and gains of the value-based approach, it deserves to be given a serious consideration from all the stakeholders.