Jagan wants to educate Ireland in human values
2018-04-01 17:04:00 -
Integration
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By Princess Pamela Toyin

What role can schools play in promoting tolerance and good relations among pupils from different ethnic and faith groups?

 

Jagannadha ‘Jagan’ Reddy Muttumula hopes to answer that question with his self-development education programme that seeks a balance of what he identifies as five distinct human values.

 

The concept of education in human values (EHV) - concentrating on the key values of Peace, righteousness, truth, love and non-violence – originated in India in response to prevailing education policies in the late 1970s.

 

“We started this program in Ireland in 2003 after we observed human values are lacking and these values are the solution for many problems in the society,” says Jagan, an executive committee member of the Confederation of Indian Communities in Ireland.

 

Jagan argues that many education systems neglect shaping the character of the individual, and that children are not formally taught how to treat their fellow human beings.

 

“We want to start seeing great transformation in children from five and six years possessing values that give them self-respect and self-confidence,” he says, emphasising that the programme is for immigrants and native Irish alike.

 

“It is important the children of immigrants get a proper balance because they’re neither seen as ‘Irish’ nor are they ready to accept they’re from their parent’s countries.”

 

In his view, if children have positive minds and positive habits towards society, they will naturally take care of their own health as they grow and we will achieve a more wholesome society overall. 

 

Jagan explains that when a topic like truth is discussed, students are asked what it means to them, and to practice the concept for a month, after which they’re encouraged to their experience. 

 

The programme also aims to integrate its values in the teaching of all subjects, with an emphasis on educating children as complete individuals rather than separating their subject areas.

 

One school that’s adopted the programme is St Brigid’s in Glasnevin. “In September 2016 we began operating as a fully integrated values school, and the feedback from parents, teachers and the children has been overwhelmingly positive,” says teacher Ann Moran.

 

In the coming months, Jagan hopes to expand the programme in conjunction with the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), with the latest introduction set for this month.

 

Meanwhile, he implores youth and community leaders to explore the programme and its potential benefits. 

 

“If the EHV programme is implemented in all schools in Ireland, in 10 years’ time it will produce a value based Irish society and will change the character of the entire nation.”


 

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