Why ethical values play a crucial role in the educational system (India)

(Reposted from: Education Times. August 9, 2023)

By Koneru Satyanarayana – chancellor, KL Deemed to be University

Ethical values and norms are essential concepts that influence people’s actions, decisions, and interactions with others; it is imperative to explore how educational institutions may incorporate ethics into their systems to create an excellent character and run efficiently without compromising academic quality. In the framework of the Indian educational system, it is critical to establish ethical principles and conventions among pupils.

This is why the University Grants Commission (UGC) recently wrote to universities, requesting that a foundation course on human values and professional ethics be added to the advanced course at the postgraduate level. The education system is critical in moulding India’s future generations, and pedagogies can develop a society that is academically strong and morally upright by incorporating ethical ideals and conventions into the curriculum. So, let us look at the importance of ethical standards and norms in the Indian educational system and their advantages and disadvantages in the ever-changing industry.

Institutions can foster individuals who contribute constructively to society by introducing ethical qualities such as honesty, integrity, empathy, respect, and responsibility within the educational framework. Moral education fosters critical thinking, social awareness, and a sense of justice, preparing students to navigate challenging ethical quandaries. 

It is undeniably true that moral education helps children discern between right and wrong and aids in the development of positive personal and professional lives. Given their importance, ethical principles provide a solid foundation for pupils’ character development and moral thinking. Institutions can foster individuals who contribute constructively to society by introducing ethical qualities such as honesty, integrity, empathy, respect, and responsibility within the educational framework. Moral education fosters critical thinking, social awareness, and a sense of justice, preparing students to navigate challenging ethical quandaries. 

Fostering honesty and compassion  

Students learn to respect different points of view, appreciate cultural diversity, and work effectively, creating peaceful relationships within and outside the classroom. 

Ethical education fosters values such as honesty, empathy, and compassion, which are necessary for personal growth and social cohesiveness. It teaches students how to establish a solid moral compass and make sound decisions in various life scenarios. Furthermore, ethical education develops communication skills, teamwork, and dispute-resolution abilities. Students learn to respect different points of view, appreciate cultural diversity, and work effectively, creating peaceful relationships within and outside the classroom. 

In addition, students who are exposed to ethical values become more aware of societal issues and acquire a sense of duty towards others.

In addition, students who are exposed to ethical values become more aware of societal issues and acquire a sense of duty towards others. This can result in increased community engagement and participation in projects addressing societal issues. In fact, educational institutions can also help cultivate future leaders who lead with integrity, inspire trust, and prioritise the greater good through imparting ethical ideals. Ethical leaders can effect beneficial change in various fields, including politics, business, and social activity. 

Despite the evident benefits, incorporating ethical concepts into the Indian educational system have a few challenges, including a lack of a well-defined framework, teacher training, cultural and religious sensitivities, and assessment and evaluation. This is where the education system desperately needs ethics and morals. As a result, in order to meet the issues, the government has implemented new UGC guidelines that integrate the core recommendations of the National Education Policy, (NEP) 2020. In this context, the “Education Policy” places a strong emphasis on the development of each individual’s creative potential. It is based on the notion that education must develop not just cognitive capacities—both ‘foundational capacities’ such as literacy and numeracy and ‘higher-order’ cognitive capacities such as critical thinking and problem-solving—but also ‘social,’ ‘ethical,’ and ’emotional capacities’ and ‘dispositions.’  

Learning to adjust in a changing world 

Education should be about training in logical thinking and assisting future generations to adjust to the changing world, and not just imparting knowledge in a subject. The loss of ethical standards in the educational system will result in inept professionals and unruly students. According to a survey conducted by the International Journal of Education, Modern Management, Applied Science, and Social Science (IJEMMASSS), just 33.3% of respondents believe the practices of the Indian Education System are ethical. This is why ethical ideals and norms have become the need of the hour in changing the dynamics of the education system for the future generation. 

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