Imbibing values: How we can help

As the debate on the declining moral values in youngsters continues, schools and homes have an important role to play in shaping children’s values

I visualised my emotions on teenagers’ attitudes as words in V.Sunitha’s article (The Hindu in School, February 1). India, our motherland enthusiastically celebrates, the first global Indian citizen’s sesquicentennial birth anniversary, with the goal “Wake up Bharath, Enlighten the World”. To attain the eventual goal and to enlighten the globe, we need youth with cultural and moral values. It reminds us to think seriously of the youth whose values get deteriorated and dissolved. Is it fine to blame the youngsters for their acts? Or who is daring to take the responsibility of it?

General attitude

The younger generation, as they step into teenage, undergo tremendous changes in physical appearance, social and emotional behaviour, cognitive response and moral development. They are perplexed in this stage due to the pubertal changes within, and the fast changing world with technological revolution and mass media often add salt to it, dragging youngsters into a fantasy world. Other than reiterating the familiar remark ‘this generation is like this’, has the fretful community contributed constructively in cultivating values in them?

Responsibility of school

The real purpose of education is to help the learner lead a good life. It covers the development of all aspects of personality — intellectual, social, moral, aesthetic and spiritual. Curriculum serves as an important source of values. In the mad race to secure marks and ranks, attain a venerable career and conquer admirable positions in future, morals and ethics are often forgotten. Moral education classes are dealt as mere subjects without any linkwith real life. Value education can never be taught with a textbook and is not a subject to memorize and reproduce. Does it mean a science or language teacher can incorporate moral education in their teaching? If discipline can be enforced effectively in schools devoid of canning, then values can be cultivated successfully in the minds of youngsters through the thoughts and actions of teachers. If the education system can provide responsibilities and opportunities for the young students to imbibe and apply values in their life, there comes the real success of getting educated.

Parents’ contribution

If charity begins at home, why not ethics? If a mother is cherished as the first teacher and the home isthe first school, undoubtedly family have an undisputable position in promoting morals and values in children. At present, due to the complexity of modern society, home is gradually losing its importance. The busy schedule of working parents often result in kids being glued to television or computer games. In a later stage they are engaged in tuitions and coaching classes. Habitually the feelings, needs and desires of youngsters go unnoticed, unrecognized and unaccepted. Is it right to alienate youngsters from discussions and activities at home? Let them be aware of the hardships parents endure to bring them up in life. Parents can mould their young ones into socially responsible citizens by paying attention to their needs, and providing them openings to act, react and experience. In words and deeds parents play a vital role in helping their children be morally good.

Today we see a tremendous value crisis throughout the world. The weakening of moral values in our life is creating severe social and ethical conflicts. It is difficult to point out if the value system is undergoing a metamorphosis or a steep declination. Imbibing values happens from birth to death and is an incessant process. The power of modern education can be better realized by achieving a happy interpretation of utility and value, integrating body and mind, emotions and ideas, individual and society, and the whole world.

The author is a teacher of Physics in Pushpalata Matriculation School, Tirunelvi and holds a PhD in Adolescent Psychology

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