Values education today: gone today or here to stay?

The official poster of the First International Conference on Values Education, which took place last February 18 to 20 online. It was spearheaded by IIU-Philippines, led by the renowned educator/academic executive/researcher Dr. Dary E. Dacanay.

Just last month (February 18 to 20), I was invited by my good friend and mentor Dr. Dary Dacanay, Vice President for Academics of Saint Patrick School of Quezon City, to the First International Conference on Values Education by the pioneering educational organization International Internship University, of which he is the deputy country director and project director for the Philippine chapter; the event was co-organized by Saint Patrick School of Quezon City. I happened to be one of the speakers, an opportunity which I took with no hesitations whatsoever. I talked about values education in the context of media.
Yes, Virginia, the theme- Values Education Under the Imprint of the COVID-19 Pandemic- was (and still is) quite timely for we are still in a state of pandemic. Various academic personalities (yours truly included) were featured in the three-day webinar. What made the worldwide webinar more interesting was the variety of topics that revolved around values education in the context of the pandemic.
Such an endeavor of holding free international conferences is quite commendable and worthy of being featured in the education section of any broadsheet. Your Ilocano educator is proud to say that I am featuring IIU’s first international conference for 2022 because such an event deserves to be announced to the world. Moreover, IIU is surely making a difference in the lives of learners and academics by providing equal opportunities for both university and technical-vocational students and teachers.
This is the million-dollar question which I would like us to ponder on: Is values education gone today or here to stay?
Giving my two cents’ worth, I would like to tell you all that values education today is not a deviation from the time-honored values we all have. Rather, it is an amalgamation of traditional values, which have been held sacred by our elders and educationalists, and of modern-day values, which have been born out of our desire to adjust to the current times. Yes, we do have values education, but this is quite a Herculean task for us all: parents, elders, teachers, academic heads, community leaders, law enforcers, media practitioners, and many more.
To be realistic, it is difficult nowadays for our teachers and school executives to imbibe treasured traditional values to our learners of today for a vast majority of the Generation Z individuals tend to be downright apathetic, self-centered, emotionally detached, condescending towards others, self-serving to the point of forgetting others’ needs, and technologically adroit yet have the tendency to be rottenly spoilt.
Challenging as it may seem, values education today will exist and evolve in perpetuity for there is nothing constant but change. Ergo, values education is here to stay and it will withstand the test of time, including moral chaos within ourselves and the world we live in (and sometimes live for).
Values education has been and always will be the catalyst for the much-desired social changes that we desire. Though it is akin to traveling on foot from the Philippines to all parts of the world (including the miniscule, distant Cook Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory, Falkland Islands, and the vast Greenland), it can redound to major steps in improving the lives and the morals of all.
Why will values education continue to be a driving force for our society to grow? Here are my eight reasons:

  1. Values education adds to our value as individuals. We increase our moral and emotional net worth whenever we live the values taught to us. It is not just in school that we learn values but most importantly in our homes and communities.
  2. We live in a world full of anarchists, opportunists, recidivists, and sadists. What makes us all different from these types of people, figuratively or literally, is that we all have had values education. Being immersed in values helps us to determine what is morally right or wrong and what is acceptable in the eyes of God and of the law.
  3. Values education applies all across religions. All moral values apply to all religions. Enough said.
  4. Our world today is full of online (and offline) prejudice and hate. Whether we admit it or not, we cause vitriol even with the seemingly innocuous of posts. Values education helps us to toe the line in cyberspace.
  5. There are people who deliberately do not believe in a higher being, and so they are judged harshly. I do not mean to judge religious people, but many non-believers tend to turn out to be more well-grounded and more compassionate than those who are religious. Thanks to values education, these non-believers are more humane than their religious counterparts.
  6. Our morals are now on the loose. We cannot dismiss the fact that we live in a world today where greed, flagrancy, fornication, ambition, and disloyalty are glorified and put on a pedestal instead of being disdained and eschewed.
  7. We live among people who are acerbic and we tend to be caustic ourselves. In this world we live in, incivility, impertinence, and uncouthness are the orders of the day especially for people who are ruthless, vicious, and ambitious. We need continual values education for all of us to recreate a society where politeness, collaboration, and compassion rule.
  8. God created us in His image and likeness. Regardless of what we call our god, we all are gifts of God and thus others deserve to be highly respected and valued as much as we expect them to do the same to us.
    With organizations like International Internship University, values education will not be a remnant of the past but a door of opportunity to success and well-roundedness in the present and in the future!
    N.B. Happy Foundation Day to Saint Patrick School of Quezon City and Happy Birthday to my bosom friend Jaime Espiritu, who also happens to be my business partner!

GUESS WHAT: Rebuffing potential business partners and scaring them out of their wits are the trademarks of this young Chinese-Filipino entrepreneur from an affluent city that has a prissy, elitist scion of a political family as mayor. My source, who was an aspiring entrepreneur at that time but is now on his/her way to success, told me that our subject was at first very cordial and enthusiastic in accommodating our source. When my source tried to set an initial meeting with our subject, the young big shot suddenly texted my reliable source that s/he blocked my source’s number and has reported him/her to the authorities. As a result, my source, who has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, had very cold sweats and was not able to sleep. Our subject’s threats turned out to be a dud.
What are the lessons of the story? Never snub anyone with entrepreneurial dreams. Avoid disregarding other people because they may turn out to be your lucky charms. Threats may scare others into submission but may scar them for life. Never rebuff others’ dreams, especially when you have the capacity to help.
GUESS WHO: Who is this educationalist/academic executive/media practitioner who purports to be saintly but is actually ornery? According to my source, who used to be a teacher at the school owned by our subject, the educator in question would require all his/her staffs to purchase produce from his/her farm even if some of the staffs cannot afford them. Another quirk of our subject is that s/he has a penchant for openly shaming errant employees even if they commit minor infractions. Out of frustration over the idiosyncrasies of our subject, my source resigned from his/her position as guidance counselor.
What are the lessons of the story? Avoid shaming the people who work for you because they may retaliate against you. Give your employees the carte blanche to purchase produce from other sources. Never be a two-bit tramp and a two-faced traitor because you will reap what you sow. On a final note, never be the cause of others’ sorrows.

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