Artikel ini merupakan satu dari 6 artikel terbaik “Dare To Dream, Care To Share” edisi Mei 2015 (Mendidik Anak Bangsa). Artikel ini ditulis oleh Zefanya Wulandari, mahasiswa BA di Economics & Politics, Lancaster University.
Education is a really important matter. It has been an emphasis as part of economic development, political stability within a country, and many more other things. A lot of aid has been given to countries for them to equally disperse the opportunity of getting good schooling. A lot of studies have been done in order to pursue the best approach to educate people in the most effective and efficient way. However, viewing it from my perspective, regardless the main subjects in education, it is currently missing a part that holds stronger impact on the whole situation. When you educate a person, it is not only a concern of educating that person academically. What often happens these days is a person can be educated but morally unschooled. A successful education is when a generation as a whole can present outstanding academic achievement and excellent demeanour.
What is education? And, what is moral?
One source defines education as ‘the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.’ (Dictionary.com, n.d.) Whereby moral is ‘Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behaviour, arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong.’ (TheFreeDictionary.com, n.d.)
Current controversial issue that can exemplify a balance standing between these two is the Rohingya refugees. Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Thailand have been pressurized by the global community to help these people and not let them being deserted in the sea. Using our general knowledge, we may say that as developing countries with many on-going problems, sheltering these migrants would merely add extra burden on the shoulder. With so many unfinished things on the plate, extending our hands to take these people would be another challenge. Genuine effort includes giving them a place to live means extra government spending to feed and generally take care of them while we are still struggling to ease state budget in subsidizing fuel. Possible training may also be needed to equip these people with skills so when they are sent back or when an allocation decision is made, they would be able to survive instead of being unemployed.
During a late night conversation with my flatmate, she told me that these Rohingyas are relatively lazy. Her mother once hired three of them as gardeners out of pity so they would not roam around jobless. What happened back then was they were working slowly to keep adding more hours in order to get extra payment. Regardless, the mother tried to understand by continuing employing them. Until the time, these workers were caught stealing and therefore firing them all was a reasonable decision.
With this in mind, moral needs to intervene. When faced with such situation, knowing that the refugees are unskilled and further lazy, there would not be any need for deep consideration from either Malaysia or Indonesia whether to welcome them or not. However, human’s conscience will demand justice. To be fair, it is not entirely by their choice to be born in less established area and it is not by their choice to not be able to get a proper education or job. This may not apply to all people because some people would use their free will and choose to work so much harder than others so they can improve their lives, but not few may also think that there is no way to get out of this deep hole. Hence, there are so many motives for the aforementioned governments to take an action.
Having these two sides, should we come to rescue? From the conversation we had, my flatmate and I could not reach a decision. Our hearts strongly want the governments to help, but our brains think it would not be fair to place such quite onerous issue to our countries especially if the refugees do not show their effort to help themselves. Proudly saying, at this point, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to take them and ‘provide temporary shelter for some 7,000 Rohingya boat people for one year until they can be resettled.’ (Jalil Hamid, 2015)
Moral values cannot be instructed to kids. Referring to the definition, it is a conscience; it needs to come from inner feeling, which is harder than common subjects in school. There is a clear outline when teaching kids mathematics or economics. The right and wrong are relatively straight even though they are arguable. However, education by itself does not guarantee the future, it is not the only essential weapon in ‘mature life’. An intelligent politician ends up in prison because of corruption as she tries to satisfy her lust for power. With the balance of excellent moral values, moral will encourage ourselves to do simple deeds that may bring positivity in other’s lives. Moral will prevent us from offending others with our opinions. Moral will help to stop the rampant corruption because we simply know it is not right. The challenging bit? It requires to be shown since the early age. If you do not want the kids to be violent because it is morally wrong, then none violent games or action should be given or performed in front of them. It does not necessarily say that doing this behind them is right. Making morally right decisions is also a habit. This habit comes from a constant positive input. Not only governments and teachers are held responsible to do this. This demands every actor in life like family and friends. Providing good education now seems easier. I cannot say much on how to implement these values in our education system, but as a student, what I can say is we need to be aware of our actions. What we do and say can give knock-on effects because wherever we are more and more people witness, hopefully the wisdom, and be influenced. Even if we cannot change people, what we can do is fixing our moral values and spread them. Educating people, therefore, is not only the responsibility of our government. We also take part in producing intelligent, good future generation.
Dictionary.com, (n.d.). [online] Available at: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/education [Accessed 20 May 2015]
Jalil Hamid, A. (2015). A Welcome Respite but…. [online] NST Online. Available at: http://www.nst.com.my/node/85380 [Accessed 24 May 2015]
TheFreeDictionary.com, (n.d.). [online] Available at: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/moral [Accessed 20 May 2015]