Moral Education through School curriculum

By Omkar Dattatray. Dated: 6/15/2019 12:25:40 PM

"Destiny of a nation is shaped in her classrooms" is the apt observation of Kothari Education Commission and there is no controversy over it rather all educationalists agree to this postulate. But then those people who are morally and ethically strong lead to a moral and ethically strong nation and such a society and citizenry is pivotal to societal and national development along with the individual and personal development of the people. But alas the moral, spiritual, cultural and value education is not given proper place and due importance in the whole educational step up in India and this is the real problem.
No doubt, we excel in different fields of life and the country is proud enough to produce trained people like engineers, technocrats, doctors, advocates, professors etc. We fail to produce morally strong work force and human resource. Thus, in the scientific, technological and economic development our country is next to none but so far as the production of morally suitable and strong human resource is concerned, we lag behind and this is the great problem which should attract the attention of the educational planners, educationists and those entrusted with managing the schools in the country.
Commission after commission has been appointed to reform educational sector but due emphasis has not been given to the moral foundation of the children who are the future leaders, administrators, Judges, rulers and what not. Though education commissions in the past recognized the importance of value education but the recommendations of implementing moral, ethical and value education has not been translated into practice. Therefore, the recommendations concerning moral and value education are merely pious declarations without any practical implementation.
Today we see all-round deterioration in the moral fabric of the society and the situation has come such a pass were honest man is looked upon with contempt and is an odd man out. Therefore, there is vital importance of moral and character building neigh man making and character making education. Then and only then can we build a morally and ethically strong edifice and till then there is bound to be moral and ethical degradation in society. Thus, the pressing need is to give moral and value education to the children along with the education for bread and butter, otherwise there is bound to be lop- sided development in the country. So moral and value education should be made an integral part of school curriculum, if we want a morally strong nation.
The all-round deterioration in the moral fabric of the society is due to lack of moral, ethical rather value education. The mad race for money, name, fame, power and pelf has been there in the society thanks to the fact that man-making and character making education is not given its due place and the results are before us. To resurrect the growing trend of moral deterioration, it is important that moral and value education be made mandatory along with livelihood education and it be made an inseparable part of school curriculum. There should be some yard stick to measure the moral development of the students and therefore moral criteria should be developed to measure moral and value development of children.
Therefore, along with material education, moral education should also be given. Thus we can produce great men only when our educational system is morally vibrant and strong otherwise we can only produce men like machines who are devoid of morality and ethics. Therefore, we can produce doctors, engineers, technocrats, pilots but cannot produce great men and women who are morally and ethically strong. Education means development of body, mind and spirit and it implies all-round development of body, mind and soul and therefore we should give such as education which will produce morally and culturally strong personalities and not men like machines.
Thus, along with education for life and living, education for soul should also be imparted in schools and this is possible only when moral and spiritual education is made part and parcel of school curriculum. Otherwise we have to be contended with producing people who are like machines without any human touch and feeling. Therefore, for the all-round development of body, mind and spirit, moral and ethical education should be part of school syllabus. The sooner it is done the better. It should be made mandatory to pass moral studies for all students' up to class 12 and for this courses of study and syllabus should be designed as a first step. Morality is belief in and conformity to principles of virtuous conduct.
Consequently moral people are expected to live up rightly and such an education be made part of school curriculum. Education in India is primarily the responsibility of the states. Diversity rather than uniformity characterizes the school curricula among other things of these state school systems. Very few of the states have provided for moral education as a subject of study in these schools, although the importance of moral education is generally appreciated. Besides state schools there is a substantial number of private run schools which unfortunately run as business shops and pay least attention to moral development. Therefore, all schools - public as well as private should give top most attention to moral education and this will become possible if moral education is made mandatory in the school curriculum.
In ancient India no distinction was made between secular, moral and religious education as moral and spiritual aims pervaded all activities of life. Education was conceived essentially as a process of attaining spiritual emancipation which constituted the Summum Bonum of life. But this is not the case of modern day education where livelihood education is given much importance. But along with bread and butter education, moral education should be made part of school education. Therefore, unless and until moral education is made an inseparable part of education and till it is not taught in the class rooms, no significant stride can be made in the moral sphere of the people. Thus moral education should be taught in the classroom along with spiritual education, so that a morally strong society can be developed.
Thus, there is urgent need of man making and character making education. Otherwise we can make economic progress and no moral and cultural progress and therefore urgent attention should be paid to moral and value education. As back as 1965-66 Kothari education commission had stressed moral education. It emphasized the education for social, moral and spiritual values. It said centre and state governments should adopt measures to introduce education in moral, social and spiritual values in all institutions under their control based on the recommendations of UGC and the committee on religious and moral education.
In 1982-83 Hunter education commission has given emphasis on moral education. Recently the national education policy of 2016 has said value education is an ever-arching and comprehensive area that needs conscious integration with general education at each stage including adult education, teacher education and also technical and management education. It said education has little meaning without development, nurture and internalization of values. In nutshell moral education should be made mandatory through school curriculum.
(The writer is a columnist and a social activist)



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