Saturday, May 14, 2011

Are Our Schools Inculcating the Basic Values...

Some examples of littered areas.

I've noted s number of tendencies among the young school children of today which makes me question whether they have been taught and infused with some of the basic societal values that help to hold society together at school. Their total neglect of such values makes me wonder whether our schools are really educating the children or just training them to pass examinations.

My first concern is over the lack of respect for the older people which has been voiced by many people before this. Children don't seem to bother about greeting and giving way to older and elderly people anymore. Respect for the older folks is a fundamental value that underlies many others such as obedience to the parents and other older members of the family, respecting authority and accepting the order of seniority in life. We expect this hasic value to be taught and inculcated in the young at school. At home parents and elders are often too loving to enforce this value on the young. As such they are often allowed to have their own ways, with the parents and elders often bowing to their demand. This is, in fact, the basis for creating a very permissive society where the kids and the younger people are allowed to do what they want without any serious criticism by the older members of society.

A second concern hit me while attending the Friday prayer at a mosque recently although I have noticed it many times before. The Imam was delivering his khutbah (sermon). But the school children in the back-rows of the "jemaah" (congregation) were talking to each other as if tbey were in the market place. Many people threw glances of embarrassment at them but the talking went on. Haven't these children been taught by the ustaz in schools that talking while the khatib or imam is delivering the khutbah is a great sin (dosa)? Weren't they trained and conditioned to remain silent while the imam is addressing the jemaah? If the ustaz teaching religion fails to inculcate this simple and basic act of obedience ion the the teaching of Islam, how can he make the children accept and obey other more difficult rules of conduct and injunctions. Have they just been taught but never conditioned to practice what was taught? If the school is not made the training grounds for the observation of the teachings, where else will the children learn to obey the rules? Has our education system failed to inculcate the values behind the lessons that the children are taught?

A third conern is with regard to littering. I have seen children, and in some cases even adults, nonchalently throwing some rubbish out of a car or out of hand while walking by a clean and tidy place as if they had never been taught not to dirty up a clean place but must help to keep it clean. The failure of the ecucation system to inculcate such simple rules and basic values among our young coukd be the reason for many public areas in the towns and cities to be littered, like the location of a night market after the stall owners moved away as seen the next morning. It's enough to make one swoon and the City Council or Local Autnority workers must work darn hard to clean up the place the next morning. . This unconcerned littering despite warnings that one could be fined for doing so, is a clear indication of a basic failure in the education and upbringing of the children ( and the adults too). The failure must have happened in schools where the children received their basic training and education, while at home parents can only holler at an irresponsible act when they see it being committed.
An example of a tidy though rural area.

Yes, many more examples can be given but the above three are enough to show that some simple and basic societal vales which should be taught in schools and effectively inculcated among the young through the discipline in schools had not been successfully done by our education system. The system seemed to be more geared towards passing examinations rather than implanting tne essential good values of human society so that the young wiil grow up into civilized men and women. If the current education system fails to do that, what hope do we have of inculcating the more subtle and complex human values to make the future citizens of tbe vountry more civilized and sophisticated, When we talk about achieving a developed nation statur I believe that these basic values must first be put in place. If the education system failed to inculcate those basic values in the schools, the country will end up having intelligent citizens but quite uncouth and less than civilized.


kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah,
Rightly so. But I suppose these are the sign of times. Technological progression and advancement especially in cyber-space led to openness that made these youngsters appear uncouth. It would be more challenging when they themselves reach adulthood and by then they would have to deal with little monsters of their own ( who may well be worst than them now )

norzah said...

To me there' a great difference between being uncouth and
being openminded, blunt and even kantankerous or argumentative, Akhi. The latter reflect intelligence and sharpness. The former reflects poor mannerism and faulty upbringing.
It is this lack of good manners, sense of propriety, and enen common sense which bothers me. Like talking aloud with friends while in the mosque, not replying to a salam, throwing rubbish out of the car onto the road, abusing an old man (or parents). I think the schools must teach and conditioned children while in school to be more civilized. If the education fails to inculcate certain basic sovietsl values in our children, much of the meaning of education is lost. But i certainly agree with tour comments on the changesbthat time had brought. I just hopenthst theynare for the better.

Al-Manar said...

By our 'ancient' standard many things are not right. Schools are no longer what we knew. I have daily contacts with these children. Sadly I get all the feedbacks which sadden me - from pejabat pelajaran all the way down to the principals and teachers. The victims are the children. So I do not put all the blames on the children. With the recent announcement on promotions etc I wonder whether we can expect better results or just a 'high hope'.

norzah said...

We just have to hope that the salary increase and promotions promised to the teachers will increase their dedication to their responsibilities, Pakcik Al-Manar. Children don't depend entirely in teachers for gaining knowledge now, but they need guidance especially in terms of ethical and moral development.
They cannot get much of that from the home now and some of the young teachers nowadays need a doze of such education themselves. So, can we blame the children if they become "kurang ajar" today?

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