Ethics, moral science must be taught in schools

In the recent past a theft of a camera, an iPod and cash took place in a younger daughter’s house in rural Maharashtra. The finger of suspicion fell on a Class 8 student from a good local school. On questioning by police, he admitted to the theft and then dropped a bombshell: Most students in his class regularly indulged in stealing electronic gadgets like smart phones and cameras and sold these to local shop owners. It was like a game for them and they would compare notes on who stole the best gadget. It turned out they also indulged in drinking and causing serious physical violence.Such behavior is not unique to our small rural town. It is happening all over the country. What type of children are we raising in our society? These children, when they become adults, get into bigger crimes and mind you, these children were studying in a good school.This is extremely depressing.

The question is how we can create such conditions in schools that these kinds of traits don’t develop in children.In the race to make the children cram knowledge (and sometimes useless knowledge) we have lost the art of teaching moral science to them and have them imbibe ethical behavior.If the children are taught ethics and morality as a part of all courses, then even 5-6 hours they spend in school may help in changing their character. This is true since very few parents have the time to spend with their children and feel that their work is over when the children are either sent to coaching classes or show that they are studying late doing their homework. The general discussion on what is right or wrong and ethics is rarely conducted. So they learn the risqué behavior mostly from their peers.

How can we mould these children for better behavior? Partly by making education very enjoyable. Today it is mostly rote learning and passing of examinations. If we engage the students thoroughly in the class with interesting hands-on work and experiments, then they will have less time to think about criminal things.

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