Morality and character formation in students: The role of the school.

Every enduring community has
moral codes and it is the responsibility and concern of its adults to instill the codes in the ears and minds of its young. These young individual form the essential part of every human society. They, to a considerable extent determine the future and hope of the society. Any human society devoid of them is bound to collapse. Their impact is felt at home, church, school and the entire society. They are filled with vigour, enthusiasm and vitality; they are ever ready to perform any kind of work at their disposal.

In spite of their over whelming population, work force and vitality; they still need to lean on shoulders of the adult as they search for meaning in life, self realization, survival and to imbibe moral values. The school as one of the agents of socialization likewise plays a major role in the total development of an individual to become responsible as well as sensitive towards the needs of others. It makes the person orderly within himself as well as an orderly unit of the family, society, nation and the world.                                                                         
  This article seeks to interrogate the role of the school as an institution in molding the character of the students in line with societal ethics.
As a social being, students who form part of the generation are spurred into the life of association and relationship through which they discover their potentials and actualize their dreams. In the course of relating with others, they get socialized and demonstrate their gifts of rationality, which distinguish them from other animals. The result of their interaction could be good or bad. Unlike the previous generations, ours has to a great extent, deviated from the right path. Ideas, attitudes, hopes and aspirations have all undergone tremendous changes. There is high degree of aberrancy currently going on among our students. There is total loss of focus, no entrepreneurship skills, no future plans, no thoughts about achievement, no self discovery and decency is no more celebrated. In our society today, skimpy dresses among the female folks are now tickets to classy events; songs that have sexual talks in them sell faster than meaningful ones, while the male folks see sagging (wearing of trousers below the waist) as a modern fashion trend. The above observed situations are indicative of the fact that our society is eroded of morality. Those ugly trends inhibit healthy human society. In the present scenario where students’ morals are dwindling, training young minds and inculcating values in them is not only the responsibility of parents but teachers. As students spend a better part of their day in school, it becomes imperative that teachers take over the responsibility of creating an ideal environment so that qualitative values are restored. The over whelming percentage of effort by the public to address issues of morality does not match the rate of moral generation. Eminent among parents are high moral remissness, as they push their roles to teachers in school. Therefore, the conscious effort at addressing immorality should be taken seriously by the school. How then can schools inspire and teach students to be morally inclined? How would they be made to take responsibility for others, to think clearly about and pursue justice, to sacrifice for important principle.

Character in this context implies a development of healthy set of values in classrooms, during assemblies and at other school events. But, the challenge is not simply moral literacy because most students understand values such as honesty and respect early in life. What should be prioritized is the cultivation of a moral identity. Due to the degradation in moral values, the teacher-student relationship is deteriorating resulting into certain mishap in the society. Therefore, the mainstay of every school should be the recovery, recasting or the creation of a school mission statement; one that reflect the priority placed on the development of good character. Teachers and students should be absorbed into the school system not only base on academic performance but with good character as another criterion. It tells the teacher that not only should character be stressed to students, but their characters (teachers) are on display.

The attitude and behavior of the teacher is very important in shaping the character of the students because children learn by imitation. The school should emphasize on tolerance, respect, hard work, honesty and integrity, proper dressing in teachers as this naturally encourages good character in students. It also tells students that their efforts and difficulties, their success and disappointment are all parts of a larger process, the formation of character.

As morals and values cannot be imposed, students should be convinced at a personal level that learnig to be morally upright is done because we love and care for them. By doing such, the student’s mind is being addressed. This might seem unrealistic but our daily practice may support its validity. They should be induced to think, analyze and differentiate between right and wrong. Character is built not through one activity but through a complete value system that is enforced in every sphere of school activity. No single educational program in school can help in inculcating these values. Instead, it is the overall atmosphere of the school which will give an all round influence on the character of the child. Participation of parent is also vital. A home-school partnership is required to ensure that a child develops good character. Schools should encourage good role models. Everyday, the students are exposed to a number of influences. From the heroes of childhood stories they see, read and hear about, super heroes of films. They have a vast number of role models and initiate discussions on this topics.

The reward and punishment system followed in the school can play an important role in character building. Proper reward for morally correct behavior, a just punishment and an overall tone of respect and tolerance goes a long way in developing the character of students. Excessive use of corporal punishment should be avoided. The guidance and counseling should be implemented by the school to help students make intelligent choices, decisions and develop good values and character.

 Only when schools begin to play important roles in the lives of students, then will the younger generation be successful in developing good character and making significant contribution towards the betterment of the society because our time shall pass, but the history of our time will never pass. Reference: Twin saints magazine (vol.3)

Post a Comment