Value Added Course = Indian Spices!

Blog by Paridhi
University of Warwick, United Kingdom,

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The world today is driven by passionate communities and ambitious people. Perfectionism is what we crave for and wish to achieve but for some reason, this ambition feels a little bland.
Where is the spice?
We are composed of emotions, feelings, values and morals and all these are our strongest spices but somehow, our generation is drifting away from the concept of having a solid value system and the concerning tangent is their botherless approach towards it. We have come across people saying “School doesn’t teach us what’s important in life” but have we ever actively thought about it? Have we ever questioned that what has been going wrong all this while? Ever since we were children, we’ve been advised to score good in academics and it’s the only thing which will make us successful in the future. HERE is where the problem begins and things start turning bland.
“Adding values in ourselves is like adding spices to our favourite dish”
The potential solution to reset this generation and enhance the existing but hidden good is by introducing Value-Added Courses in addition to regular courses. As the name suggests, these courses Adds Values and provides the individual with the required knowledge to actually lead a virtuous life. It outlines the ability of a particular individual to inculcate a value system which is essential for his/her development. Value added courses have countless advantages. Such course enhances several soft skills including:
• Our attitude
• Communication
• Creative/Critical thinking
• Work ethic and teamwork
• Decision making
• Time management
• Motivation
• Conflict resolution

It’s almost like an All-in-one solution for an overall development.

By restoring, we aim to work on areas including thoughts, belief, words and actions. Individual values reflect how one shows up in their life and their specific needs. The principle they live by and what they consider important for their self-interest is what composes them.  

Individual values include enthusiasmcreativityhumility, and personal fulfilment. There is a fine line where people start become a little self-absorbed quoting this trait of them as ‘having values’ and here is where bigger glitches start. 

Giving insights of a visible situation, students who come from rural areas to cities generally face difficulties while communicating with the urban population because for some reason, the urban population feel themselves to be ‘more aware’ and thereby indulge in discriminating the others.

Such value-added courses would help most of those students (both from urban and rural areas) by boosting their communication skills and confidence and will further make them realise the actual meaning of humanity and having values and respect towards others irrespective of their background; making both of the ‘Equally Aware’. Addressing few bigger problems, these courses thus, might also become a possible key to bridge the gap created among people and become the promoter of world peace.

“Perfect Flavour matters but…”

Yes, such value-added courses are easy to understand but are a little hard to implement in real life. Many students feel that concentrating on these value-added courses does not attract their interest over the other major subjects because when introduced in schools, they look at it from an examination point of view. This gives a rise to both ‘Complains and Demands’ at a later point in life where they say “Schools did not teach us what they actually had to”. This thinking makes way for an area which really needs guidance and a perspective change.

This also brings in notice the importance of counselling and the role of teachers in guiding students in the right direction. Not only students but even teachers should actively take part in such courses so that there is a way of mutual development of personality and value system. It is extremely important this course comes in the spot light and its value is recognised because THIS makes a student a human. 

Suggesting few changes in the curriculum reform, currently, such courses do not go far enough because they are kept optional. Considering the present scenario, such value-adding courses should be made mandatory and should become a ‘Core’ subject and students should perceive it as a comfortable course and a way of learning where they sit back, relax and learn about the greater good and morals which one should have to attain a righteous life. They shouldn’t be worried about the grades they will score in such courses, after all, its self-development which matters. It should be taught as both practical and theoretical classes, which can improve the student’s interest toward this subject and ensure a longer memory of these courses forever. These courses can be mostly taken in forms of activity classes and students can be given creative projects to prepare in whichever way they like, for the particular subject. This will keep them more interested towards the subject.

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“Time to taste our improved dish before serving!”

Eventually, what everyone would receive is a scale for self-assessment which will provide evidence for self-evaluation, improvement and inspection. Also, a value-added-feedback system would work wonders as it will allow one to monitor their added-value trends in themselves in comparison with their previous self. This shall be a fair measure of the progress that students have made. Rather than relying solely on exam results, it would take account of where each student started from and the progress they made relative to other, similar students and within themselves!

The awareness of these courses should be made in various workshops, conferences, and lectures so that people come to know about the real value of these courses on their lives, its utmost importance and how it COMPLETES them as individuals.  

In long run, such value-added courses can prove to be a huge factor for development of one’s Organizational values which would reflect their financial growthteamworkproductivity, and strategic alliances. Furthermore, development of Societal values would also reflect in their future generationsunderstanding of environmental awarenessecology, and sustainability in the world.

Let’s resonate the values, unite with an interest and a purpose. We’re in this together!

The food is served!

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