Fundamental rights, duties and moral education in schools

I think everybody is aware of the fundamental rights and duties offered by our constitution. However, what is extra in this article is the importance of the value education taught in the schools.

Fundamental rights

The fundamental rights given in the part III of the Indian constitution include the following:

  • The right to equality

  • The right to freedom

  • The right to freedom of religion

  • The right against exploitation

  • Cultural and educational rights

  • The right to constitutional remedies

The right to free and compulsory education up to fourteen years of age for every child has been an important addition tom the list of the fundamental rights. In case of violation, any citizen can seek justice and the enforcement of the fundamental rights by appealing to the high court or the supreme court of India.
During the promulgation of a national emergency, all the fundamental rights are suspended except the right to life and personal liberty.

Fundamental duties

In a multiracial, multilingual overpopulated country, every citizen must realize that faithfully abiding by his Fundamental Duties alone will help in the ultimate progress and development of the nation. It is of no use to play the blame game where even educated individuals point fingers of accusation at the state and central government.
Following are the few of the fundamental duties of a citizen:

  • To cherish and follow the noble ideas which inspired our national struggle of freedom.

  • To protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of a nation.

  • To defend our country by national service.

  • To promote the spirit of brotherhood amongst all people of India.

  • To preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.

  • To abide by the constitution and respect the national anthem.

  • To protect and improve the national environment.

  • To develop the scientific temper and spirit of injury.

  • To safeguard the public property.

  • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity.
    However, one must keep in mind that there is no provision in our constitution for the direct enforcement of these duties or any sanction to prevent their violation.

Value education

Values and morals form the basis of an person's life. Personal values such as honesty, charity and tolerance make a man an ideal person of the society.
International relations between the nations are governed by the values of the Panchsheel, advocated by India under the leadership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The principles are:

  • Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

  • Non-aggression.

  • Non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

  • Equality for mutual benefit.

  • Peaceful coexistence.

Value education in schools

It is often said that values are caught and not taught.The first nursery of values is his own home. Parents and grandparents imbibe the children with family traditions, values and customs in keeping with the culture that has been followed by them since centuries.
In the school, the student finds more secular and democratic environment, where he has to interact with peers drawn form various communities and religions and speaking in different language. Ina multilingual, multiracial environment, the student must be provided with a set of social and cultural values that will help to participate openly and whole-heartedly in the process of education.

The teacher in the school is herself a role model and imbues the students with positive values by her own example.
If values are to be made the core of personality development, students must be made aware of social, cultural and environmental values through every aspect of curriculum.

  • Literature can emphasize in human values through prose and poetry, taking care to choose the writings that bring out positive emotional values.

  • Social studies emphasize the study of human beings and their interactions in relation to time and place.

  • The study of history gives the student perspective on ancient, medieval and modern events that shaped the destinies of man the world over.

  • Progressive civilization an their evolutionary patterns and discoveries come to view.

  • The destructive nature of the wars and the loss of life and property on the battlefield teaches the student of the need of the national integration and international cooperation.

  • Lessons in geography teach the students the impact of different palce, climate conditions and terrains on its natural and human environmental. International peace and harmony will come from understanding and appreciating life in all its diversity.

  • Playground games and physical education are the other areas that can develop universal and wholesome values in the students.

  • Since nature itself is the best teacher, environmental value should be developed in student in the heart of nature itself.Field trips and educational excursions can reveal to a student, man's exploitative use and abuse of nature, the harms that accure from deforestation and the health effects of pollution.Love for nature and a deep sensitivity towards it can be developed through activities such as gardening, nature-photography, nature trails and camps, vermi-composting, cleaning up projects of the school neighborhood and so on.

In essence, the modern schools must one recall the principles of the ancient Gurukul systems of education, where the students received holistic education in close personal and spiritual connection with Guru, completed a comprehensive curriculum of learning the shastras and having acquired the most important life skills , emerged into society as responsible human beings tom carry on their further social responsibilities.


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