‘We are all born as empty vessels which can be shaped by moral values’
World in Transition
Today, the society is going through tremendous transition. There is so much emphasis being laid on the studies and competition that little time is spent on discussing moral values and related topics at school as well as home. Crime rate has skyrocketed and unfortunately, very serious crimes are being committed by juveniles too. Children have no patience or resilience to take a no or a small failure resulting in suicides and depression.
Blame it on media, stress, lack of time or internet; we need to find a solution to this problem. Unless we take this seriously as parents and teachers, this problem is not going to disappear. Some of us have almost given up that nothing can be done as a lot of damage has already been done to the psyche of the next generation. Should we give up then? The answer is no. Is there a solution? And the answer is yes.
This is very much possible if as parents and teachers we take joint responsibility and take this problem seriously and spend some time and effort on this. The spark has to trigger from schools. Unfortunately, very little effort is being made by schools to teach moral science or value education as part of the curriculum. If you can find time for Maths, Physics and English, you have to find at least couple of hours in a week to teach values. Whatever is taught in the schools must be practiced and reiterated by parents at home. Remember, parents are the most influential role models for children.
There are books on Value education in the market place but most are very preachy and text bookish and do not appeal to the well aware child of today. They are very boring with poor example and ineffective illustration.
A modern approach to inculcate traditional values
Virender Kapoor, a distinguished author of repute, has created value education books for class I to VIII which adhere to the National Curriculum Framework (NCF). This seeks to nurture ethical development, inculcating values, attitudes and skills required for living in harmony with oneself and with others including the environment. Virender, who has written several books on motivation, leadership and emotional intelligence realized that there is a big gap between what we have and what we should have in the society. Schools are the space where values can be best talked about. Earlier the better. Therefore, he embarked upon writing school books for children which can inspire them and motivate them to seek value based life style. Values can’t be taught and forgotten, these must be adopted by people as part of life and therefore making it a life style.
Close to ninety chapters spread across eight books the entire spectrum of morals, value based leadership, emotional intelligence, life style disorders, general awareness and personality development are covered. Use and abuse of social media, internet, mobile phones and how to handle these effectively- which has hit us like a sledge hammer- , have been given due coverage across eight chapters in these books.
Illustrations have a deep impact
Illustrations and graphics are the heart of school books. ‘Pictures stick to the mind more than text,’ says Virender. Meaningful graphics have a great recall and are with you for life- Cinderella or Red Riding hood. Four color pictures and graphics have been created for every chapter so as to appeal to young readers. The author believes that if you can make the content as interesting as comics and equally convincing, value education books will be lapped up by kids.
Virender, who served as the Director of Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management, feels that students must learn to self asses themselves. Hence, at the end of every chapter, there are ten self assessment questions (personal score card) with score interpretation to give children an idea as to how they fared in the understanding and implementation of chapter learning. Every chapter has home assignments, activities and several question answers.
Each chapter has stories of people whom the children can relate to. Virender kapoor believes that we should use ‘visible role models’ who are seen on TV and media every day so that children can relate and also get convinced about the point being illustrated. These books are so motivating that children should get excited while reading these books as they do while reading story books.
Parents play a very important role in building values. These can’t be left to the schools alone and hence at the end of every chapter there is a detailed note for the parents to guide them as to how they should take these values being taught at school forward with their children on day to day basis.
Every book has a teacher’s manual, which helps the teacher understand the purpose and philosophy of each chapter and how to effectively teach the children from every chapter.
As an author, Virender says that S Chand publishers who have published these series have done a wonderful job of illustrations and graphics. Pictures and figures are all in full color and very attractive.
These books are designed with future citizens in mind, who can deal appropriately with the world that is moving so fast. Content is top of the line and entire spectrum as envisaged has been covered, each being illustrated by examples of very relevant role models.
Every school should adopt these and give adequate time every week to let a teacher instill values and morals in young children. This is the only way we can build national character and as the author says ‘teaching and learning Physics, Chemistry and math is important but o make a good person is much more important than that’. Schools can do yeoman service to the nation by using these to their full advantage.
‘Life with values’ a holistic course designed as per the National Curriculum Framework to teach our children morals, ethics and values to become responsible citizens of future. A motivational series which inculcate age old values with modern day problems for school children of class 1st to 8th.
is the former director of a management institute under the Symbiosis umbrella and the founder of Management Institute for Leadership and Excellence.)