Citizens' Issues
Ethics, moral science must be taught in schools
In the recent past a theft of a camera, an iPod and cash took place in my younger daughter's house in rural Maharashtra. The finger of suspicion fell on a Class 8 student from a good local school. He lived nearby and came often to my daughter's house during her absence since his dog loved to play with my daughter's dog and the maid would allow him to play inside the house.
 
On questioning by police he admitted to the theft and then dropped a bombshell: Most students in his class regularly indulged in stealing electronic gadgets like smart phones and cameras and sold these to local shop owners. It was like a game for them and they would compare notes on who stole the best gadget. It turned out they also indulged in drinking and causing serious physical violence.
 
Such behavior is not unique to our small rural town. It is happening all over the country. What type of children are we raising in our society? These children, when they become adults, get into bigger crimes and mind you, these children were studying in a good school in our town of Phaltan.
 
This was extremely depressing and I started wondering about how we can create such conditions in schools that these kinds of traits don't develop in children.
 
I think in the race to make the children cram knowledge (and sometimes useless knowledge) we have lost the art of teaching moral science to them and have them imbibe ethical behavior.
 
If the children are taught ethics and morality as a part of all courses, then even 5-6 hours they spend in school may help in changing their character. This is true since very few parents have the time to spend with their children and feel that their work is over when the children are either sent to coaching classes or show that they are studying late doing their homework. The general discussion on what is right or wrong and ethics is rarely conducted. So they learn the risqué behavior mostly from their peers.
 
How can we mould these children for better behavior? Partly by making education very enjoyable. Today it is mostly rote learning and passing of examinations. If we engage the students thoroughly in the class with interesting hands-on work and experiments, then they will have less time to think about criminal things.
 
In some of the great schools all over the world, students make things through 3D printers and are engaged in other activities which not only occupy their time but also help them learn about physics, chemistry, mathematics and other subjects in an enjoyable way.
 
However, for this to happen we need great teachers who love to teach and inspire students. At present the whole teaching system in India is based upon the principle "Those who cannot - teach."
 
Even with very good pay for teachers we rarely get great teachers. I feel one can never hire teachers - they are born that way. The trick is to identify them in every walk of life and maybe induce them to join the teaching profession.
 
Since most people involved in teaching are doing so only for a living, it becomes very easy for them to focus only on curriculum and nothing else. This creates a regime which only emphasises on passing examinations.
 
Yet, with new technologies of 3D printing, reasonably priced materials and the internet et al, one can teach students in such a way that learning becomes enjoyable.
 
My daughter teaches English and science in Kamala Nimbkar Bal Bhavan in Phaltan. She teaches 7th and 8th grade students English through movie making. She has taught them to make short videos which they upload on YouTube. They have become so interested in making them that they spend a lot of time on the Internet searching for themes, music and the like. This creativity bug keeps them very busy and they don't spend much time chatting on social networks.
 
Another problem in India is that even if you want to teach and have a flair for it, you cannot do so till you have a B.Ed. degree. This is especially true for government-aided schools.
 
There is no problem in doing a B.Ed., but its course work is boring, horrible and hardly teaches anything - let alone how to become a good teacher. So, one can imagine what type of teachers we are producing. These are the teachers in schools in rural areas where the major portion of Indian population lives.
 
We should reduce the bureaucratic hold on the school system and allow innovation and creativity to flower. This may help in getting a large number of motivated and dedicated teachers.
 
Besides teaching the regular curriculum, we should make ethics and moral science a part of every grade. This continuous focus on morality (not religion) will help students raise their quality of thinking.
 
During my school days we had a moral science course in every grade. Though some of the material was Christian-oriented (it being a missionary school), one book that had a great impact on my young mind was on Nobel laureate Albert Schweitzer. His life in African jungles and his missionary work in treating the poorest had a great impact on me.
 
I am sure such inspiring stories of Indians and others will ignite the young minds. Alongside, the teaching of Indian classics will expose children to noble ideas-something the electronic or print media cannot provide.
 
The question is: Who will bell the cat?
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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COMMENTS

Dipakkumar J Shah

10 months ago

If , if only you have carried our in spirit , ethically , in principle and morally principle. Let me take you to factual things about Justices in High Court of Gujarat. Oath is taken to abide constitution , law , impartial and much more. But I have observed it is not so in practice.

Bapoo Malcolm

10 months ago

We were taught Moral Science at school and college. Ethics followed naturally.

MG Warrier

10 months ago

I feel sad and depressed that even the elite readers of Moneylife are not sure whether efforts to teach good behaviour will work. Some of them feel that those in leadership positions and celebrities need to lead by example by behaving themselves. One cannot fault this argument. But, the emphasis of this article, as I understand is, about saving the future generation from getting spoiled. Here, any amount of ‘preaching’ about ethics and good behaviour should be encouraged. I believe, this decade in India will be special, as there is more awareness about the areas of governance, teaching and lifestyle where correction is overdue. Let us make a beginning by talking about the changes. There is no better place than our own homes and schools to make experiments for expediting such changes.

Dipakkumar J Shah

10 months ago

What are you talking about? When Justices Take Oath, to be free, frank ,impartial and much mpore.Are They ?I have seen them in last 25 years of experience. See One of them Gujarat High Court Company Petition No 17 of 1996. Wherein Fraud on record proved And Without any reasoning Approved Merger. Such Case of Fraud in accounts ,Like Satyam, Mini Satyam Never Happend in Last 150 years world over> A case of Dividend paid out of capital, illegal payment of dividend, from mere book entry of profit Against Companies Act1956!!!?? What ethicaland Moral Standards Can be expected From Justice Mr M S Shah and Also Advocate , who also practiced in this case a Chartered Accountant turned to Advocate. Noe Government pleader Mr Jayant Patel Now Justice Mr Jayant N Patel in Karnataka???

Raykumar

10 months ago

i remember when i used to study in my school in Mumbai there used to a class exclusively for Moral Science which includes a text book. On this period we were taught apart from how to cross the road all the other antiquities of life. This the period which has made me what i am or else i would have behaved rudely and would have become a vagabond, who knows?

c v manian

10 months ago

Home is the best place where moral values are inculcated by the children. The parents cannot wash their hands off their responsibilities. No other institution is a better teacher than observing one's own parents, who set the general standard for behaviour for children. We cannot expect school to teach moral standards, which are not followed at home. Schools are just an extension of home and hence as parents, let us be the flag bearers.

REPLY

Prakash Bhate

In Reply to c v manian 10 months ago

You have hit the nail on the head. No amount of Moral Science in schools will neutralize the effect of a parent coolly crossing a red light almost every morning while dropping a child to school, or opening the window of the car and throwing an empty bottle or other trash. We see this happening everyday.

India's wholesale inflation shoots up to 1.62%
Ballooning prices of food articles pushed up India's annual wholesale price index sharply to 1.62% for June from 0.79% for the month before. This kept the inflation level in the positive domain for the third month after 17 months in the negative.
 
The annual inflation for potatoes, as per data on official wholesale price index (WPI) released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry, was as much as 64.48%, while for pulses it was 26.61%. Vegetable prices were 16.91% higher.
 
Significantly, the final wholesale price index for the month of April was also revised to suggest a higher annual inflation rate of 0.79% against 0.34% as reported earlier.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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New requirements for refund of cancelled air tickets issued
The government has issued regulatory norms with regard to the minimum requirements for refund of airline tickets.
 
According to the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday, these will come into effect from August 1.
 
The CAR document elaborated that while the government is committed to "no interference" in the commercial practices of airlines, however, the volume of the complaints have necessitated some affirmative action to safeguard the interest of passengers. 
 
“The matter has been discussed in several meetings with the airlines with no significant improvement in the system adopted by airlines for refund of tickets,” the aviation regulator said in the CAR document.
 
“It is, therefore, now considered necessary by government to fix some minimum bench marks, as far as the refund policy is concerned in order to stem the growing dissatisfaction among the passengers regarding the refund procedures adopted by some airlines.”
 
The prescribed minimum requirements directs airlines to indicate the refund amount admissible on ticket cancellation.
 
"For this purpose, the amount and its break-up may be indicated on the ticket
itself or through separate form used for the purpose, and the policy and amount of refund shall also be displayed by the airlines on their respective websites," the CAR document said. 
 
Further, the regulations instructs the airlines not to levy cancellation charge of more than the basic fare plus fuel surcharge, and also no additional charge to process the refund.
 
The regulations also states that in case of credit card payments, refund shall be made by the airlines within seven days of the cancellation to the account of credit card holder.
 
"In case of cash transactions, refund shall be made immediately by the airlines office from where the ticket was purchased," the document said. 
 
"In case of purchase of ticket through travel agent, portal, onus of refund shall lie with the airlines as agents are their appointed representatives. The airlines shall ensure that the refund process is completed within 30 working days."
 
Besides, the airlines are required to refund all statutory taxes and user development fee (UDF), airport development fee (ADF), passenger service fee (PSF) to the passengers in case of cancellation, non-utilisation of tickets or no show by the traveller.
 
"This provision shall also be applicable for all types of fares offered including promos, special fares and where the basic fare is non-refundable," the document pointed out.
 
The regulations were released a month after the Civil Aviation Ministry had proposed a number of steps to rein-in the indiscriminate policies of some domestic airlines on flight cancellations and refunds.
 
At that time, Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that proposals, which will be finalised soon, also call for airlines to ensure that refunds on cancelled tickets are made within 15 days, even if the bookings were made through agents or portals.
 
"The proposal will be put up on the ministry's website for 15 days during which stakeholders are free to give their suggestions and comments. After this, the ministry will finalse the proposed amendments and implement them very soon," a ministry statement had said that time.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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COMMENTS

MAHENDRA ISLANIYA

10 months ago

Time limit mentioned is very long why there is so much time of 15 day & 30 day,are we living in still in 20th century with Paper Register? Why they can not make it in 3-day & Maximum 7 working day for refund. Authority-Airlines should understand Problem of poor public -working class who's fund get stuck up due to many reason for cancellation of flight .If Fund available in time than blessing to use, same fund for other important matters! Air line-Authority should know very well that we live in Jet age Banking & fast-Instant - Communication revolution equally running more than at Jet Aero plane Speed- they operate in this nation.

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