Mohammad Ishfaq Mir
From the layman’s perspective when we think about a civilised society, certain values like egalitarian, personal freedom, justice, integrity, and compassion definitely strike our mind. All developed as well as developing nations make efforts to inculcate among people the sense of what is right and wrong, that is, a moral sense. Among the various functions assigned to education is the inculcation of moral values. All the great educationists of the world have emphasised the importance of moral values and argued that development of science and technology without the development of moral sense can pose a great threat to society as well as to individuals. Dr S Radhakrishnan had pointed out long ago that the strength of anation is not judged by its military or technology but by the character of its people. The educational process, therefore, should aim to develop the moral character of students and not merely intellectual abilities. According to Teddy Roosevelt, to educate a person in mind and not in morals is to create a menace to society.
It was the responsibility of our educational system to develop among the people the sense of what is right and what is wrong. It was meant to instill among students the values of honesty, tolerance, integrity, compassion and much more. But unfortunately, every day the newspaper brings reports of rapes and murders, riots and robberies. Does not all this indicate the failure of our educational system? If yes, who are responsible for this? The parents at home, the teachers at school, and the leaders in society have all failed to set the right examples, and hence the students and the youth have been led astray. All of us have become hypocritical in nature. One thing about moral values is that they are more caught then taught, but how can we expect our youngsters to develop moral values when our society itself has presented a bad example?
In such times, Covid-19 has come up with a miracle. It is as if the Almighty has come up with his own way of teaching the right values. Covid-19 has made us to realise that all the science and technology can be reduced to dust and there is no alternative even for Americans except to look to the sky. It has made us realise that there is some supreme power who can cause great chaos and stop the entire world in its tracks.
From the last month we are observing that the police and other authorities are busy in fighting against Covid-19, but at the same there have very few crimes reported. We have not read reports for many days of rapes and murders, riots and robberies. We are also observing that people are becoming compassionate and are developing tolerance for other communities. People from all sections of society are coming forward to help the needy and giving respect to elders. People are obeying the orders of the government and cooperating with the authorities. Some people have donated money in millions after realising that their contribution can save lives. So we can say that Covid-19 is teaching us how to live and how to take care of the needy, the poor, and other human beings who are in difficulty.