The need to impart better values in education

The need to impart better values in education

Two young techies were in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. The motorcycle borne duo assaulted a BMTC driver and conductor on duty. All because the conductor had the gall to ask their girlfriends to buy tickets, while they were busy with a marathon conversation on their cellphone. The girls called their friends because they were irked by the conductor’s interruption, and wanted him to be taught a lesson for ‘harassing’ them.
Winner of reality TV shows, ‘MTV Roadies’ and ‘Big Boss2’ Ashutosh Kaushik confessed, “I had to be rude and lose my temper to get ahead. In real life too I’ll not hesitate to do so to reach my goals”. A popular reality show released a DVD on tips to cheat judges and emerge winners.
According to the creators and directors of these shows, they are not inventing anything new but are just showing reality — as it is. It’s a sign of the changing value system, where it is cool to be rude. Be mean to get ahead. Politeness is an alien word to a large chunk of young educated Indians, who believe they have to be aggressive, manipulative, invective spewing spitfires to be successful.
Surely, loutish behaviour cannot be condoned as youthful exuberance! Does one need to elbow other competitors out unceremoniously in order to reach the goal? If we believe that pushing and shoving can bring success, we are entering into a dangerous world of combat, violence and disharmony. The shifting value system is failing to give them the right direction. They are left more confused than ever.
Our apathy and helplessness towards such moral ambivalence of the youth is a cause for concern. At a tender age, they are left struggling to cope with conflicting signals bombarded to them from all sides. Satellite TV, internet, chat rooms, print media, peer pressure, etc form a wide variety of influences which leave the impressionable minds bewildered.
The growing years with its accompanying stress and strain don’t help either. The role of the teaching community assumes significance here. They have a crucial role to play. Education cannot be merely content transmission and testing. Today’s generation is more practical, less idealistic. Instead of decrying their detached approach to life and living, the important value of ‘live and let live’ need to be imparted.

Value confusion

Social and personal problems are rooted in value confusion. Teachers have a responsibility to address rudeness, irresponsibility, promiscuity, dishonesty, materialism and violence to create a sane society. Otherwise, we have to live with a repugnant ideology of hate and violence that is growing by the day.
“Science without humanity, commerce without morality, and education without character is useless and dangerous”, said a seer. Change is inevitable. Our thoughts, even cultural values keep changing. Questioning age old practices, challenging established norms is the youth’s credo. Nobody can deny them their natural penchant to question authority and be the force of change. The world has welcomed it through the ages. But universal values do not lose their relevance ever.
Honesty, generosity, empathy, compassion can never go out of fashion. Intolerance, arrogance, self righteousness breed fanatics where nobody’s opinion or identity is tolerated except one’s own. Abusing others, betraying trust cannot be modern.
Values, personal social or ethical do conflict. From Socrates to Hamlet people have dwelled on value choices and moral dilemmas that are bound to occur. It is only through such moral dilemmas that new and revolutionary thoughts emerge and character develops. Let us engage with this huge force of vibrant energy and try to channelise it to build and nurture a sane society.

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