The concept of Education Just think back to the time when primitive humans roamed on the earth's surface. Back then, the only overriding concern was food and shelter and maybe some kind of rudimentary clothing as a shield from the elements. As humans became settled and knowledge developed, these needs became easier to fulfill. Then there were concerns as to how to transfer the knowledge acquired by one generation to the later generations. And thus, in this way, a system of education was developed, which was nothing but an arrangement to transfer a quantum of knowledge to the next generation.
Over time as humans progressed through the ages, the earlier rudimentary concept of education also progressed. It soon came to be realized that education not only consists of transferring a fixed amount of knowledge but also creating a complete and harmonious human being. But what does that mean? Basically, this means that a well-educated human being should have the ability to think for himself. In any kind of situation, he should be able to take care of himself.
Humans and Animals However, does it make a person complete? After all, what separates us from other animals? Among mice, if an offspring is perceived to be weak, then the mother simply kills the offspring, just to ensure that that particular mouse cannot transfer its genes to the next generation. Can humans kill their own babies like that? In general, we don't. In fact, we can't. The reason is that we are born with a sense of values: what is right and what is wrong. The system of values is ingrained into our system in such a manner that whenever we notice an action that goes contrary to our values, an action which is barbaric, we describe that action as 'inhuman'.
The shameful rat-race Unfortunately, in the modern age, some of these ingrained values seem to be blunted. In our rat-race for money or for prestige, we seem to have lost touch of these values. An example of this is the pandemic of corruption. In this case, it is not even necessary to look at the corruption at the ministerial level. Even if we look at the nearby ration shop, we would be able to notice a fundamental erosion of values. The rice earmarked for the BPL families are diverted to the open market by money-hungry shopkeepers. A greater tragedy is perhaps the phenomenon in which many well-to-do families make a BPL card through corrupt means. It is hard to understand what they will gain by eating into the share of the poor. After all, with their regular income, they shouldn't have any issues in buying rice or flour from the open market!
The growing number of cases in which the elderly are abandoned by their children is another glaring example of a lack of moral values. The same individuals who supported us with their love and affection are left to fend for themselves at the most difficult stage of their lives. This shows how moral values are getting eroded with the 'progress' that we see around us.
Herein lies the importance of moral education. Earlier, morals and values were transferred within the family itself, through stories narrated by grandmas and grandpas. However, with the development of the system of nuclear families, this became less and less prevalent. Interestingly, liberalization of the economy, faster rates of growth and increasing expectations regarding the standard of living also seem to have originated (at least in the Indian context) during the same period. This does not mean that the previous generation was morally perfect. But the level of the disintegration of values seen today is quite shocking. In this get-rich-quick generation, somewhere we seem to have sacrificed that vital component which distinguishes us from other animals.
A curriculum for Values Well, be that as it may, there can be very less doubt by now that some form of value education has become quite necessary in the present context. But what form should it take? Should we go back to the period of joint families? Doing that, however, is as impossible as going back to the age of firewood from the age of LPG!
Therefore, value education should necessarily be imparted through the curriculum. This can be done through the narration of stories at a younger age. At a slightly older age (standard five onwards), more innovative techniques need to be used. This can include giving a particular situation to the student and asking him or her how he or she would react to that situation. Textbooks for such a subject should be creatively designed in a way that the student doesn't feel the burden of the addition of another subject.
The role of Parents However, it would be foolish to assume that simply adding the subject of 'Value Education' to the school curriculum would automatically solve the problem. If this would have been the case, then simply adding the subject of Mathematics would have made everyone interested in Maths! Therefore, in this case, parents have an important role to play, alongside the school. They need to give a sufficient amount of time to their children. They need to raise the consciousness within their children about basic human values. They need to make their children realize that when we harm somebody, in reality, we are harming ourselves more than anyone else. This is because every human being, in fact, every living organism is a part of a web. We, with all our wealth and power, are only a tiny strand in this great web.
Parents should also make their children realize that there is something vastly more important than money. They should give them enough time to make them realize the value of all those tiny little things which give us happiness. But, quite often, we seem to forget this. Perhaps it is the nature of humans to make such follies. But if we want our future generations to grow up into good human beings, rather than into money-hungry clever devils, we must impart them the best of values, as far as our ability will allow us to.
A good write up on moral values in education. Education is one which makes a human being separate from all other living beings.
In good olden days, students used to stay with the Guru and serve him and used to get educated. Whatever guru says was the way of life for them. He never deviated from the orders and instructions of the teacher. Teachers used to consider their students as their own children. During their education, teachers used to teach them morals, ethics and values. Those days money was not playing an important role.
But the situations have changed. Now, even education is also a business. A government teacher will ask the student to come for tuition to him with a monthly payment of tuition fee. A private college will collect thousands of rupees as a donation. These days we are all purchasing education.
When there are no morals and ethics in educational institutions how can we expect a student to get them from that institute? These days educated persons are also never bothered about taking bribes. Another issue is that they feel as if they are doing a service to the people by discharging their duties.