What is common between Edison, Wright Brothers, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, G.B.Shaw and H.G.Wells? Well, they are all famous personalities and they all are also school drop-outs! Each and every one of the above eminent persons in that list dropped out of school aged 11- 14 and yet they had illustrious careers.
Does this mean we should endorse dropping out of school or shirking academics? No way! It just makes us a question – “Is education the only important thing for students?”
Education and Its meaning
Education is lately associated with ‘academics’ and synonymous with books, exams, marks and ranks. Today it is all about cramming, learning by rote and just stuffing long-winded answers into the exam paper.
Education has become a rat race with competitive exams for each and every field. Children are forced to fill their heads with the information they have totally no clue about. For instance, Indian schools force students to learn about European or World history without enlightening them about the history of their motherland!
Even after all this memorizing and poring over books, schools churn out children who are far off from meeting benchmarks of self-confidence or impressive personality. Most of the children lack in confidence, communication and lack basic social or life-skills.
Yet another drawback in the current system of education is its lack of focus on morality. Children today are more disrespectful, arrogant, or wrongly diverted than ever before. The percentage of obedient and well-behaved students in a school is just a handful.
Is this the education we are aiming at for the future citizens of our country?
Education means ‘imparting inputs of information for the overall betterment of the individual’.
This should include instilling moral, ethical and social values in children.
In the days of yore, India had the system of ‘Gurukul’ where the student resided with the teacher. He assisted him, served him and did even menial duties to receive education from the teacher. This concept was not to enslave children or extract menial labour out of them. The idea of the ‘Gurukul’ system was to induce ‘obedience, humility, respect and discipline’ in children.
True education should include moral lessons in its curriculum apart from mere academics. The following aspects are a must for today’s children.
Children should be drilled this information-
“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost;
When health is lost, something is lost;
When character is lost, everything is lost!”
Yes, the integrity of character is a must for every individual. This includes many aspects like truth, honesty, loyalty, virtue and so on.
Children can be shown examples of men of illustrious characters like Sardar Patel or Lal Bahadur Shashtri to emulate and follow.
Children have come to think of the proverb – “Honesty is the best policy” as a title for essay writing. Teachers must emphasize the importance of honesty in daily life and also narrate real-life incidents to prove this.
Examples of honest police officers, politicians, and other people in a position of power can be narrated to inspire children. Honesty is a very important aspect of being a moral human being. Although there will be scenarios where you are forced to lie, it is best, to be honest as often as possible and not to cheat, lie, or deceive others. This should be required learning for students.
Every child must understand the importance of moral virtue and fidelity. Staying true to one’s family and partner in life is called moral virtue. Faithfulness is extremely important in today’s society, and you should not hide anything from your partner. This will be very useful later on in the student’s life. Children can be taught the stories from Hitopadesha, Upanishads, and from great Indian epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata to prove this.
Children must be taught to be humble in lives and not boast of their actions. Pride is an evil intruder in a noble mind. Children must be taught that humility means ‘acknowledging the contributions of others without thinking too much of oneself’. They must be taught that humility makes them extend their performance and achieve more results. this is because humility tells us that ‘if we are good, there is always someone better than us’.
Under discipline comes obedience, punctuality, neatness, perfection, and other traits.
Obedience is sadly lacking in today’s younger generation. Children must be taught that obedience does not mean submission but acceding to authority. They should be taught that ‘one who follows today is bound to lead tomorrow’.
Punctuality is another thing which children do not follow today. They must be taught that every second they lose now is going to cost them dearly. this should be illustrated by real-life incidents counting minutes or seconds.
A famous proverb says ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’. Unfortunately, children of today are more keen on sporting style and fashion, rather than focussing on cleanliness. They must be taught that every person is judged by their appearance. They must understand that cleanliness of the self and workplace speaks volumes of their character.
Perfection is another point worth teaching today’s children. A job half-done is better not done. This must be emphasized and illustrated.
Social & Interpersonal Skills.
Children must be taught about unity and team spirit. While leadership is an admirable quality, it is unity and team spirit that works in the long run. Illustrate this with examples. Students should be taught to communicate with others and work with them. Everyone has less work to do and the work will get done faster. Group projects are a good way to make students work with their fellow classmates.
The point is that simply studying books and being book smart is great, but not enough. Students should be street smart as well and be educated on character and behaviour. All the above factors sum up the aspect of moral education. This should be made a part of today’s syllabus to achieve a better tomorrow.
However, education and studies are still important for students. Let’s Practise is dedicated to helping children learn in a better manner. We have practise sheets and model papers for math, science, English, and other languages. We have condensed the information to make it easily digestible for the students. You can contact us right now to begin!