Bengaluru: Various pontiffs representing influential mathas and religious centres have stressed the need for imbibing moral education in schools at an early age to children in the round-table conference held by the Education Ministry in the Karnataka Assembly in Bengaluru on Monday January 9.
Nirmalananda Natha Swamiji of Aduchunchanagiri Matha, Shivacharya Swamiji of Sirigere Matha, Vishwaprasanna Theertha Swamiji of Pejawar Matha, SriSri Ravishankar Guruji from the Art of Living and Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji from JSS Matha gave their advice over the matter to the BJP Government in Karnataka.
Renowned scientist Kasturi Rangan and Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri attended the round-table conference.
Srigere Mutt Shivacharya swamiji opined that moral education is needed more for politicians rather than school children.
“If politicians reform, half of the society would get reformed. If they go on the wrong path, who will save the civil society?” he said.
He added that he does not have a second thought on imparting moral education to children. But those who teach them should be given moral education first, he said.
He called upon Assembly Speaker Hegde Kageri to provide moral education to politicians and ensure change.
Swamiji said that for the first time in the country, the National Education Policy (NEP) is being implemented in Karnataka.
The trend of children treading on the wrong path is a concern. At an early age they should be given moral education. They need to be taught the morals of Ramayan, Mahabharat and Bhagvad Gita, he added.
Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji of Adichunchanagiri Mutt said that children should be given an opportunity to learn out of their choices at their home and school. It is a decade-old demand that the human values, etiquette, democracy and values of Sanatana dharma and moral education should be imparted to children.
He complimented State Education Minister, B. C. Nagesh for taking opinion from religious seers. He opined that students will face difficulty if they are made to learn advanced psychology and philosophies. They should be imparted stage-by-stage.
Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji of Udupi Pejawar Mutt said, “Children should be given activities like learning values and sports. They should have knowledge on truth, non-violence and character of giving. The children have been turned into rank machines. They should have interaction to learn etiquette.”
Through education, the children should respect others. The changes in the children could be brought from good conduct of parents and the society. The practice of teaching children through Panchatantra tales should begin again, he said.
The violence on television has to come down, animals should not be killed in front of children. The non-vegetarian food should not be displayed in a way that it is visible to all, it is better to keep it inside, Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji said.
Ravishankar Guruji of the Art of Living, who joined the meeting virtually mentioned that 600 shootouts have taken place in America. “Moral education is the need of the hour. The menace of drugs in north India is worrying. This is a concern and they are into bad addictions.”
He also stressed that the menace of drugs had increased in the neighbouring state. “There is no problem as such in Karnataka, but it is picking up in urban areas. The education of a child should be given in a happy environment.”
A child gives a smile 400 times in nurseries. As it grows the number is reduced to 17. Those indulged in violence are getting the status of hero, Ravishankar Guruji said.
“In our ages one who was calm and peaceful was given that status,” he added.
Seminars should be organised not only for teachers but also for parents, he said.
Kasturi Rangan, the President of NEP, said that the role of gurus in forming the culture of the country is important. In this backdrop, the opinion of all participants in the round-table meeting becomes important.
Minister B. C. Nagesh said that for various reasons there is an erosion of values and the meeting is organised in this perspective.