Value Education – Teaching future generations the importance of morals
Value Education (VE) has always had an integral part in the education system of many countries. However, over the years there has been a decline in this trend. What was once revered and actively practised has now become ‘lame’ or ‘not cool’ and has reached a dangerously low point in active practise. What has happened? How has this happened? Why has this happened?
As active members of society, we need to ask ourselves if we are responsible for the decline of common courtesy and basic human compassion, through our self-centred approach to life. Harsh words, indeed! But perhaps there is a kernel of truth in them.
With the rise in competition and the mad scramble for jobs, what is commonly referred to as the ‘rat race’, has taken a stronghold in our society. Nowadays, with both parents working hard to make ends meet, children are left to their own devices, free to explore new things without parental guidance. In some cases, it may be a good thing as it encourages them to be independent. However, in most cases it is just the opposite. Children are exposed to things they are not mature enough to understand and handle, leading them onto a path that is damaging. And as parents have no time to spend with their kids the teaching of life and morals falls to the teachers in schools.
Most schools have value based education classes for their students. However, more valuable to children and more effective than those classes are the behaviour and interactions of their teachers with colleagues and strangers. For example, as a student, what good is it if my teacher tells me not to cheat people and then cheats someone? To me, the entire lesson has lost its meaning!
Teaching future generations morals is not hard. It is a proven fact that children imitate their parents, elders, role models, etc. Values and morals are best taught (along with classes) if kids see the practical applications, with their parents, teachers and elders behaving honestly, courteously, compassionately, kindly, with tolerance, with sensitivity, non-violently, with concern and respect for oneself and another, etc.
The importance of values is that it helps individuals to ascertain which behaviour and acts are healthy (good) and which are not (bad). Children who have had values instilled within them from a young age during classes where they particpate in activities for toddlers , grow up to be upstanding and extremely productive members of society. They base their lives on working towards the betterment of mankind. Their satisfaction is obtained through emotions rather than transient material gains. And, the former is a better and more peaceful way to live a full life!
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