If you feel a sense of social responsibility, first of all, keep working on yourself. “Being peaceful yourself is the first step if you want to live in a peaceful universe”–Ram Das
The recent incident of oil tanker spill and then the disastrous fire where 170 people were burnt to death left the whole nation traumatised and with several questions about crisis and emergency management by the state, poverty and the deteriorating moral values of the society. The incident can be seen as an eye opener as far as the security of masses is concerned.
The individual behaviour usually represents the collective behaviour of a nation and when we look at our behaviour in situations of catastrophes and disasters the revelations aren’t quite pleasant though we are a nation that is considered one of the most generous. It’s been a recurrent phenomenon in recent times when different channels would telecast the videos of political gatherings and the attacks on food at the time it is served irrespective of the fact which party it is.
During Ramzan transmissions, the way the audience behaves and the manner the hosts deal with them is disrespecting to say the least. The guests of these Ramzan shows don’t even mind losing their self respect just so they can win a few prizes. We have been taught beautiful lessons since our childhood in an imaginary world where honesty, self respect, contentedness, love and care are taught. But the realities are quite harsh when practical examples are witnessed. The footage before the incident of the oil tanker spill is not only a clear depiction of the deteriorating situation of rule of law, but also says a lot about the lack of adequate security measures by the state and most importantly, the behaviour of individuals.
Revival of the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts training in early primary and later secondary and higher secondary classes would definitely help in getting rid of mob behaviour
Real education aims to develop a sense of social responsibility among individuals along with an element of controlled and consistent behaviour. Unfortunately, it is only visible when a taxi driver or a police constable is awarded with appreciation and prize for being honest and it is shown on TV channels.
The real question is that how conducive our educational institutions and classroom environments are for preparing our students as individuals armed with the sense of social responsibility and effective citizenship. When we look at the schooling, the three major parallel systems of education(the public schools private schools and Madaris) are producing three different types of breeds. We do hear a lot by the provincial governments of all provinces that a lot is being done to bring these schools up to the required standards yet these schools have their own challenges like bigger number of students which at times don’t allow teachers to go for the activities proposed in the books.
As a result, the actual aims and objectives are seldom achieved even if the objectives of a lesson are developing a sense of social responsibility. The Madaris have their own world where social responsibility and responsible citizenship is directly connected with religion restricting the learner to a specific domain. The higher educational institutions including colleges and universities are a different world altogether. Although with the advent of private universities and colleges, a lot of new ideas and programs have crept in, yet the learner is far from understanding the actual meaning of social responsibility which means some personal investment in the well being of others. Although there are different societies and clubs for helping and supporting communities and social groups, the moment a student leaves an institution in most of the cases he/she loses the contact built for welfare purpose. The educational institutions really need to focus on developing the skills and sense of responsibility towards society by engaging students in real-life activities to make them understand the idea of interdependence among communities. Real life engagements would definitely lead the individuals to think over the solutions as well in cases of crisis.
Education should also aim at creating a consistency in behaviours and behaviours in particular scenarios such as in natural and manmade disasters. Community involvement in this regard would enhance learning, plus there is going to be a sense of ownership on part of both the students and the community.
Revival of Girl guides and Boy Scouts trainings in early primary and later secondary and higher secondary classes would definitely help get rid of mob behaviour. It would also inculcate the sense of responsibility towards community and taking up the problems holistically.
Visits to orphanages, slums, old homes and direct interactions would add up to the sense of realisation. Let’s learn to behave as an organised and civilised nation in moments of crisis.
The writer has experience in the field of education and is currently working as a resource person in the development sector.
courtesy of Daily Times