Saturday, February 19, 2011
THE NEED FOR VALUE EDUCATION
Seeing the acts of violence committed by young people (often in their teens or early twenties) all around us, we are left to wonder if most parents and teachers have forgotten their responsibility towards the younger generation. Both parents and teachers are expected to teach youngsters the art of dealing with the various situations of life, and going by the behaviour of some young people, it is clear they have not learnt anything worth knowing.
No person having anything close to good values can become a cold-blooded murderer or throw acid on another person’s face, whatever the excuse. But these inhuman things are being done, and that too, by young people. This brings up the topic of the moral responsibility of parents and teachers to impart value education to children.
Parents need to make time for their children and use that time constructively. In ways that children can relate to, parents need to impart ethical values like honesty, compassion, positive courage and consideration for those who are disadvantaged. Moreover, they need to make the young ones understand that these values are non-negotiable and should not change under circumstantial pressure. Parents should also explain to children the universally-applicable law of karma. The best illustration of this would be, of course, the good manners exhibited by the parents and their ethically-correct conduct. This is so because children learn best by examples.
If this value education starts at home and is again imparted in school as moral education (I remember attending Moral Science classes in my Alma Mater), chances are that children and adolescents will happily learn good values. It is even better if the value-education incorporates some spiritual-education as well. This will help them understand that there is a Creator who has given each one of us life and so, only He has the right to give death to a person and we have no right to kill or unfairly hurt anyone. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that such spiritual-education is non-denominational in nature or it can lead to religious bigotry.
Not all are teachers and not every home has children. For the ones who are neither parents nor are in the teaching profession, there is still ample scope of doing your bit. All come across young people sometime or the other. If you can talk to them, maybe you can make a lot of difference to many young minds who are hungering for guidance and love.
Teacher at Chittagong Grammar School.