In a backward district of a state, after a sudden drop in school attendance, it was found that the upper caste people are not allowing their children to go to school because the school has admitted children from the lower caste.
Upper caste people are insisting that their children will not sit or have food with lower caste children. Upper caste people are adamant on their position and want school administration to first expel the lower-caste students from the school and then only their children will attend school.
a) Discuss the ethical issues in the above case.
b) As a District Magistrate, what effective measures will you undertake to convince them to send their children to school?
Identify the ethical issues like caste discrimination and prejudicial mentality of the upper caste people
Discuss the measures to convince the upper caste people to send their children to school
(a) Ethical issues:
Doxastic norms: The upper caste people are only concerned about preservation of their own status and hence represent a selfish attitude.
Caste discrimination: Discrimination on the basis of caste is widely prevalent in the society. This reflects in educational institutions also. In the above situation, such discrimination impacts human dignity and respect.
Caste prejudices: The upper caste people have prejudices towards lower caste people. They are trying to inculcate the same values in their children by not allowing them to go to school.
Weak socialization: Due to such acts by the upper caste people, the socialization of children does not take place in an appropriate way. There is reinforcement of wrong values among children.
(b) Measures to convince them
Social influence and persuasion: Asking elders and educated people of the society to convince those people from upper caste to send their children to school.
Arranging school management committee meeting:School management committee including parents can have a meeting and discuss the issue. District Magistrate can convince them all that education of children is important and an educational institute should be free from such social evils.
Arranging a nukkad/natak in the village: The audio-visual effects have more impact on the minds of the people. They can be convinced through play depicting ill effects of such caste discrimination on the young minds.
Legal action: Warning those people practising untouchability of legal action may deter them from doing this in the future.
The parents and teachers have a responsibility on their shoulders to inculcate right values among the children. Unjust social norms should not dominate the environment of education. Children should be taught human values like love, human dignity, respect and equality.