Moral education, like character education, is not a new idea – it is as old as society and education. It addresses ethical dimensions of the individual and society and examines how standards of right and wrong are developed. Thus, moral education teaches core moral values, such as honesty and responsibility, care, etc, and helps to raise morally responsible and self-disciplined citizens. Problem solving, decision making, and conflict resolution are also important parts of developing good moral character.
Good role modeling in the classrooms and out in the communities is important in moral education because through role playing and discussions students could see how their actions and decisions affect others in the society. Thus, it has been noted that morals are “caught, not taught,” and “classroom life is saturated with moral meaning that shapes students’ character and moral development. Serious societies since the time of Plato have made moral education a deliberate aim of schooling.
They educated for good character as well as intellect, decency as well as literacy, virtue as well as knowledge; and they tried to train citizens who would use their intelligence to benefit others as well as themselves. That was the case in the early years in Nigeria. But as the society began to worship money and material wealth (with less regard for good character) support for old-fashioned character education in the society crumbled, with morality taking a dangerous nosedive.
The schools in Nigeria are today strewn with cases of vandalism and cultism and cheating in school examinations, disrespect for authority and an upsurge in prostitution, drug abuse and other self-destructive behaviors. Most of the youths continue with these anti-social behaviors in their adult lives thereby causing the rampant bribery and corruption and electoral frauds in the society. Moral education is must. We often hear people around us grumble that the world is in-every pad_shape.
There is much of corruption, exploitation, merciless killings, terrorism, a lot of casteism and communalism, pollution, global unrest, mutual hatred and a total crisis of character. Man, machine and money are the modern day trinity. Morality is a casualty. Inflicting untold miseries and sufferings on oaf fellow beings is the rule of the day. All this needs to be reformed. But who is to bell the cat? It is we, the children, who have to complete the task.
Today the dire need of the hour is imparting of moral and spiritual education in schools, for “the simple cause of making the young ones strong, brave, courageous and valiant enough to fight the unending list of evils. Cast in the image of God, man possesses immense potential for creativity and innovation. Every child possesses the potential to become the builder of an ideal society. What it needs is a proper mode of-education to mould the child in a way to make him a useful, complete and perfect person.
A rock-like character, spiritual wisdom and the quest for ‘truth should be drilled in the child at an early age. And from this firm foundation they can be taught mathematics to marine sciences and anthropology to aeronautical engineering. The sole purpose of education is to develop a sound mind in a sound body, to teach virtues of oneness, decency in public life, good manners and behaviour and so on. The great goal of education is not to cosmetically furnish the minds to produce doctors and engineers but to develop the sense of right, duty, honour, love of God and humanity.
Rebirth in this context is therefore to mean coming back to fullness of life, usefulness and influence of the spiritual, moral capacity or the inherent divine disposition in Man. According to Rev. Chukwudi Ani Amunnadi in his book “Religion and National Rebirth” it is the entrenching of sound moral and spiritual foundation, values or principles in our collective individual and national character. He further stated that Morality is human responsibility to God.
God is divine, holy and without sin thus being responsible to him entails you doing what he likes which is righteousness. Moral Education teaches a person what God expects from them. What they ought to do to be pleased before God. A nation like ours where materialism, corruption and immorality with its vises have wounded deeply due to zero movement of all indices for growth and development being harnessed by past and present leaders making our nation going counter-productive.
Rev. Amunnadi describes the situation of Nigeria as Atrophy. All these are because people of these nation have failed to understand what God expects from them hence Moral education is necessary. Morality is the pillar every great nation directly or indirectly stands with. Educating people on morality is building a new pillar that will make him and the nation stand. It teaches students on how to face their problems in fear of God.