During the last two years almost 100 students have graduated from University as teachers of ‘Ethics’ in schools. Professor Michael Hand from Birmingham University is a specialist on the subject and met teachers and students of Ethics at University.
During discussions Professor Hand said that Ethics act as a guide to students to face demands and challenges, some of them of a moral nature.
He said the subject does not bind students to follow a particular life system, a dogma or some religious principle, but Ethics help foster competence and skills enabling them to exercise integrity, morality and social responsibility as well as showing compatibility with other persons.
“We all ought to hold ourselves to such standards, such as don’t kill people, don’t cheat, don’t lie, don’t steal things, keep your promises, help people in need. There are universal ethical standards that we should abide by,” explained Professor Hand. “But of course, there are also vast areas of ethics that are open questions, and including the question, what is the best kind of life for me, or for human beings in general? That question we have no agreed answer to, and the point of teaching it is not to furnish children with a correct answer, but to help them think through the range of answers that have been proposed, and work out for themselves how to live.”
The subject of Ethics is currently being offered in nine Primary and Secondary schools but educational experts said the subject will not be replacing religion. According to the national curriculum, Ethics will automatically be offered to students whose parents opt their offsprings will not attend religious studies. As from next year there will also be a SEC exam in Ethics.