Moral education is as important as science!

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By: Salik Bilal

As we know that education stands for all round development of a personality and personality is a multidimensional word, which in its holistic view can be understood by four “S” i.e Sihah (good health) Salahiyyah (which includes all cognitive elements) salihiyyah ( which includes moral and ethical development) and suhbah ( which means providing conducive atmosphere for the  development of  former three elements).

So for as these elements are concerned, our education system seems totally lagging behind and the current setup is stressing more upon the physical and cognitive development of an individual and the remaining two elements are totally ignored. In order to develop moral standard of an individual all the developed countries have made it compulsory for their education setup to inculcate moral values among the students.

In many countries it is included in curriculum with different names like Value education, citizenship education and religious education. The secular countries, like Japan, have now realized that the little interest in moral education has resulted in poor performance of the individuals in ethics. The central council for education of Japan pointed out in its report that Japanese children have a poor mindset in terms of respect for life and self esteem, and many of them lead an inappropriate life style, while their normative consciousness is becoming lower and their inadequate social skills prevent them from forming good human relationships and participating from group activities. It is why that the present fundamental law of education (2006) of Japan mentions that education should “cultivate morality and ethics”.

But here in Jammu and Kashmir the situation is totally different, the moral science (Deeniyaat) was taught in schools from 1st standard to 8th standard and at +2 level it was taught as an optional subject. But with the passage of time this subject was withdrawn from the schools which resulted in the deterioration of moral values in society .The Kashmiri Society was known for its communal harmony and respect for others which was of course the outcome of moral science. If our society is committed to reform the present deteriorating moral standard of the children then the only way to regain the past moral glory is to introduce the very subject in the schools from 1st to 12th standard.

In this regard, several organizations are trying to convince the government to introduce the same subject but some people at the helm of affairs do not wish to do so and label it as Islamic fanaticism. But the matter of the fact is that this very subject is being taught in the universities at international, national and state level. It is this discipline which aims to inculcate human values among the children. Skill education can produce best professionals in various practical fields but the education of professional ethics based on human values which is the second facet of the same coin can only be imparted through moral science. The professionals without moral education can be good for themselves but hardly can they serve the society selflessly.

Establishing a society with refined humanitarian values is not the subject matter of chemistry, physics, and botany as these subjects have a specific goal to inculcate scientific temperament among learners. It is not compulsory on every individual to become a doctor, mathematician and astronomer etc, but every professional is required to learn ethics so that he/she may not use a profession in a way which lacks empathy and humaneness.

In Kashmir division, there are touching 400 Higher Secondary Schools. Almost all subjects have been given proper share but the only subject which has been ignored is Islamic Studies (Moral Science) which is sheer injustice with the majority community students. A good number of Muslim students from both science and arts streams of the Jummu and Kashmir want to opt for this subject but the non availability of same create inconvenience for them.

It is therefore a suggestion for the policy makers that the very subject be introduced as fifth compulsory subject in all higher secondary schools, especially in Kashmir province.

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