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    Moral Science periods for value education

    “And the moral of the story is… you must always speak the truth.”
    Have you heard such stories in classrooms?
    So how many of you have been through moral science periods in your schooling years? Or read a value-based story to your child in the hope that this will make the child a better human? Most of you, I assume. Some of you may have some fond memories of the same, some may not.
    The usual format of such value lessons is –
    There is a storybook -usually panchtantra or an actual “Moral Science” book. The teachers reads the story. Children listen to it and the moral is read out at the end. In some cases, it is even printed boldly at the end of the story.
    Now that is where I believe the problem is. Not with stories having morals. Stories are by far the best tools to teach habits and morals but when the “moral” is prescribed at the bottom as something set in stone, it saps the child of any thinking power.
    When a class of 25-40 absolutely different individuals are told what is moral, they are not only robbed of the thinking powers, they are indoctrinated at some level. We tell them this is how the world works. This is right and that is wrong. We ask them to follow and it makes for pretty obedient students but are the morals imbibed?
    Kya woh morals grahan hote hai?
    Also, what happens at a society level, I wonder? Do we create a mindless army that can sway to the Right or Left as per the present conundrum? Can they then engage in a vibrant democracy or make rational choices? And then morals are so fluid. They reflect the changing times.
    Some ethics remain true forever but their implications change. And we need to prepare our children to develop core habits around which they can shape their lives. And imposing morals without understanding them sure won’t cut the deal. In our experience, having open-ended discussions and letting the children figure out the moral works much better.
    Well, what is your view about the moral science lesson? Would love to hear a better way to instill values and habits in our children.

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