The Education in Universal Human Values Programme is an action oriented programme organized around the gradual acquisition of one or more capabilities: skills, healthy attitudes, moral values, and concepts. The focus of the Programme is fostering students’ personal development and enabling them to contribute to social progress. Students develop their capacities to think and act within a well-defined sphere of activity, which follows a well-defined purpose. These general capabilities are required for effective social action in any field. Among these are the capability of managing one’s affairs and responsibilities with rectitude of conduct, creating environments of unity built on diversity, taking initiative in a creative and disciplined way, and promoting social harmony and peace. The concept of leadership is based on moral development and the skills required to take social action resonates during the contact sessions, home activities, practicals and the field work that follows each module.
The new information age offers great opportunities to the youth of today as never before, while at the same time the destructive forces of social disintegration, moral decline and environmental destruction cast a shadow on their hopes every day. This picture presents new ethical dilemma(s) to the youth who are experiencing a world in transition from a fragmented civilization to a global society. Thus, the core of the problem facing mankind in general, and the youth in particular, is not so much material, but moral. Resolving this challenge requires a new mindset and transformation of standards in accordance with universal human values so as to allow the blessing of this new age to reach all humanity equally.
The current education scenario seems to be focused on transfer of information or completing syllabi rather than building students’ competence and helping them become capable Indians for tomorrow and true citizens of the world. How much positive change can the youth offer to society if, besides developing their intellectual capacities, they don’t at first build their own moral capabilities and skills? The Bahá’í Academy’s programme of Education in Universal Human Values has tried to bridge this void through an educational programme that is at once “secular, universally relevant and has special emphasis on building moral capabilities and life skills”, a programme to “broaden the outlook of the students, making them responsible citizens of society”, as stated by His Excellency Shri S. M. Krishna, the former Governor of Maharashtra.
The learning methodologies employed by the Programme include Cooperative Learning, Experiential Learning, and Service Learning. The Programme offers both face-to-faceand online courses, as well as courses in blended mode.
The Education in Universal Human Values Programmehas a number of connections with the NAAC criteria for both accreditation and reaccreditation of colleges and universities.
Though inspired by the universality of the Bahá’í teachings, the Programme is secular, broadly based and universal in nature and approach. It does not seek to promote any particular school of thought, tradition or religion.