Dr. John Mohan Razu
In all the facets of human life there has been total degradation of basic values such as transparency, integrity, honesty, temperance/moderation and contentment. Currently, in all spheres of our interaction—social, economic, political and religious we have been experiencing breakdown of ethics. In recently held elections in one of the constituencies in Bangalore some thousands of voters’ ID Cards (genuine ones) were confiscated. Freebees such as cookers, gas stoves and others articles were found and so polling in that constituency were countermanded. It has been reported that distribution of cash to the prospective voters. Similar situations and also other incentives to lure voters prevails in other parts of India at the time of elections—panchayat, assembly and parliamentary elections. Even in other areas when it comes to secure licenses, employment, admissions or works to be done in the government sectors if we pay money the jobs we want are done. Corruption in all facets of life is widely prevalent including judiciary and ecclesial/religious bodies.
Each and every segment of human activity in India is tainted with something which is not proper and right. Those who are concerned about integrity and good governance in private and public life expect transparency and accountability. There are many ways of making money. People want to make money by hook or crook. Adam Smith, the father of economics, who was also a moral theologian very clearly pointed out that ‘the ways’ and ‘the means’ ought to be clearly delineated. Economics also reiterates moral investments, social responsibility and morality in economic dealings such as buying and selling—will have to be looked into. All aspects of life will have to encompass with certain value premises, so that human activities would by and large reflect certain moral standards. It is unfortunate the current scenario fails to reflect minimal ethical standards both in public and private life.
In such appalling scenario what then is the way out? Under these circumstances the best possible option would perhaps be: imbuing ethics within the system of education. Currently, those who are concerned about values and fairness across the world have become pessimistic and lost their hope because of the fact that the things they face and the episodes that are happening around and the ways the people respond to those shows total callousness. This is why people have increasingly become pessimistic. Those who are serious about governance, transparency and accountability have come to a point that the institutions of governance as well as those individuals, communities and others have failed to a large extent to set the wrong right. And those involved in diverse ways in the societal spheres are of the opinion that something should drastically be done to set the wrongs right. For this, there is a need for value-oriented education which should be part of educational system.
The need of the hour is to infuse ethics into education. This is of course is the dire need which is supposed to build-in ethics into the system of education. This is the only hope of the present and the future which would take the whole process to a transformative phase in the value orientations of the learners. This would certainly and eventually nurture hope amongst the humanity. Decisions that we make and the behavior we follow-through revolve around the ethical decisions we make in each and every situation. Since ethics is absent in the educational process people by and large have forgotten the basic ethical principles that trigger and influences human behavior. Infusing ethicalities on the principles of ‘what is good life’ and how to lead and live good life’ into the curricula of education will certainly mould each and every pupil to ethical human being leading to all-embracing and all-inclusive humanity. We live in a world of unethical practices and behavior such as avariciousness, consumerism, cut-throat competition, accumulation, individualism, humanity and greed that goes against caring, sharing, equality, and community.
Education without ethics results in total degradation of value applications and manifestations in individual, communal and societal levels. It would further lead to total bankruptcy of non-value-based life in the very life-milieu of society. Ethics depicts value-based society wherein the individual and communities live in line with the prescribed ethical standards based on normative principles. Ethics if imbued into the system of education the total personality of an individual is transformed right from disciplining to good gestures and positive characteristics that enhances the corporate living of people. The whole personality gets transformed if ethics is instilled within the curricula such as telling the truth, standing for honesty, being punctual, not involving in gossiping, being punctual and disciplined, abstaining from looting and thieving, not indulging in bribery and corruption, and being inclusive.
Education with applied ethics can address the issues that the people face strongly and boldly because of the moral rootedness. Moral principles will have to be nurtured consciously and once they are instilled the students would stand strong with courage and will power and not be swayed by other considerations. Introducing ethics and moral in education would certainly raise hope for a better human society thereby leading to humanism and inclusivity. We need to build-in ethical muscle power which means persons rooted in strong moral principles that asks and raises critical questions when confronted with luring situations. We are pushed into a situation where in our social, economic, professional, banks, business houses and political settings needs complete overhauling because of the fact that they are soaked with corruption.
Ethics is universal and pre-eminent concepts which is timeless and go beyond boundaries and domains. If there is not ethics it becomes chaotic and malfunctioned. In a world of fakes news, lies and post-truth, more and more ethical systems need to be evolved and positioned so that the issues that emanates from varied field be adequately and appropriately responded and dealt with. Education in order to authentic, integral and complete, students should be committed and thus develop high moral standards that ought to reflect in words and action. This is how responsible behavioral life be built for the present and future generations. We at this point of juncture need ethics and value-based education so that the pupils will be geared towards ethical compass. The knowledge power will have to be by all means couched with ethical power—the most countervailing power than all the powers and principalities.
Ethics and education should go hand in hand because they are supportive to each other and complimentary. For complete and integral life, ethics is the most crucial factor and by all means should be incorporated at the schooling, collegiate and post-graduate levels. Ethics should go along with education and also in other areas so that it becomes an integral component of education and human behavior and more importantly in the “Operating Systems” of humans.