Debate over the importance of moral science classes at the college level

What do the terms ‘values’ and ‘morals” mean? Their deconstruction is wholly subjective, many would say. Still, at the school level, certain widely accepted morals and values are taught to the students through moral science classes. Though they do not carry any marks, they are considered as an important part of the education system.

However, the importance of such classes at the college level comes for some debate. Under the ‘value education’ subject, which is compulsory in a few colleges, students are taught a variety of topics, including (sometimes) sex education. While some students despise this “disciplining effort” by colleges, some say it is OK.

The Hindu EducationPlus spoke to a cross-section of students from different colleges to find out what they think about the value education classes and how useful they are.

Parina Dhilla, BA Journalism, Psychology and English Literature, Mount Carmel College:

Value education depends on what you teach. It is a wide topic which should be split intelligently to suit the age group of the people to whom it is taught. If you teach things like ‘honesty is the best policy’ to college students, they are bound to find it useless and would consider it a waste of time. Teachers should teach things that matter, which will make the students listen to what she is saying and actually pay attention. When the same things are repeated, students lose interest and do not care to listen to what is being said. There should be age-based teaching in addition to a specific syllabus tailor-made for the students to make these classes beneficial. Value education classes should also have interactive sessions about the current issues so that they enhance our knowledge as well. Then the purpose of ‘value education’ is served.

Mekhala, B.Sc Environmental Science, Mount Carmel College:

It’s a very nice and interactive platform given to students. This is somewhere we can exchange our views. It allows us to collectively decide what’s right and what’s wrong. It is amazing to see how everyone’s opinion varies though we are all in the same class. But it gets boring at times. Sometimes, discussion about current issues is a value addition to value education as it shows us where the society is going and how we ought to be in the future.

K.V. Maitreyi, B.Sc Environmental Science, Mount Carmel College:

I believe that value education is important for us but not when we are in college. We need to look at what’s next and what is needed at the hour. More than just value education, we need to be taught something where we have a ‘wow’ feeling. No doubt that it is important but it is only needed at the school level, preferable in middle school.

We need to have classes for topics such as career issues. All the programmes in school or college should be age specific; only then will they mould people in the right way.

Amla Ajit, B.Com, Jyoti Nivas College:

Though it is there at the school level, it should also be there in colleges as it is very important. Classes like these do not let the morals get wiped off. But the problem is that the professors who handle the subject are not at all interested in what they teach.

They do not impart any proper information and also don’t tell us what is right or wrong. Until and unless the teachers who take these subjects are interested in what they teach and are serious about it, the students won’t be able to make proper use of this facility.

Monisha Menon, B.Com, Jyoti Nivas College:

It is good if value education is carried forward from the school to the college level. The sad part is that it is not taken seriously. People are not at all interested and hardly pay attention to this subject. It should start from class six as we are forced to listen to whatever is being said.

Since we are in college now, we are very well aware of moral values but we don’t want to hear people talking about it. Schoolchildren have more listening capacity than college students. It should be taught everywhere irrespective of the age group you belong to.

Rishabh Arora, BBM, Christ University:

Value education is very important for everyone as it explains what value each individual has to inculcate. It may sound very boring and unwanted but the values that are put into us by the teachers form an integral part of our lives. The main thing is to have an unperturbed conscience. These classes also act like a reminder to be sure that we have the right thinking and to bring back to track our thoughts.