Secondary school students are involving in various academic and non academic activities and they are also engaging in different immoral practices. Since they are very young, they are failed to recognize and follow which is right or wrong in their activities and behaviour in their school and family environments and it is one of the important issues among secondary school students.
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It is the responsibility of secondary school teachers to teach ethical and moral values to their secondary school students and making them to follow those values in their learning and persona life. Parents and family environment are also playing a significant role in creating and managing better moral reasoning of their children. Moral reasoning is extremely crucial for them to select right path for their learning and personal life and to realize significance of values of school and home system in which they live around them. Moral reasoning of secondary school students is largely influenced by personal, internal and external environmental, social, cultural, ethical and moral factors. Further, moral reasoning is highly related with behaviour and academic achievement of secondary school students. Therefore, moral education is highly essential for secondary school students in order to enhance their moral reasoning and academic achievements in the current situation
Moral is a value of choice of an individual, which can also be owned and shared within a culture, religion and society. Morality should not be measured by solely grading cognitive development. but should involve emotional development and transformation of the students through their ability to develop their sense of morality. The curriculum of moral education for primary school consists of 12 core values while the secondary school includes seven areas of learning (self-development, family, environment, patriotism, human rights, democracy and, peace and harmony) which consist of 36 values. Moral education curriculum emphasizes spirituality, family, environmental, social relationship and humanity for a holistic development of students. In addition, the focus on moral education is an attempt to establish moral and spiritual strength through the experiences and values gain from religion, tradition and culture. There are seven areas of learning in the moral education syllabus of secondary schools that form the basis for nurturing good values among students. These learning areas focus on efforts to foster students’ spiritual and moral strengths through the appreciation and the practice of actually utilizing moral values and moral principles.
Academic performance refers to the degree of a student’s accomplishment his or her tasks and studies. The most well-known indicator of measuring academic performance is grades which reflect the student's "score" for their subjects and overall tenure. Success is measured by academic performance in most educational institutions. In this case, how well a student meets standards set out by an institution itself or an external examination body either set up by the government or an independent outfit signifies success or good performance. Before standardization, teachers' observations made up the bulk of the assessment. Grading system that came into existence in the late Victorian period and were highly subjectivity as different teachers valued different aspects of learning more highly than others. However, standardization function which is fulfilled by establishments outside the schools helped in putting this in check considerably.
STUDENTS MORAL AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
One of the most important goals of school education is to generate an educated society that leads to intellectual and economic development of nation. Moral reasoning is an integral component teaching and learning process in school education. Moral reasoning is a combination of ideas and thoughts which can be observed and assessed by school students by means of interactions and discussions with teachers and parents and friends. School teachers are involving in teaching and incorporating values among their students and also make them to think in terms of context and analytical ways. Moral reasoning is mainly focusing on making right decisions to do right activities and exhibit good behaviour of school students in a particular situation and it provides chances for them to discover and realize values, to build character and to improve personality. Further, moral reasoning is playing an important role in improving moral and ethical values and academic achievement of school students. Nowadays, higher number of secondary schools in Tamil Nadu is realizing importance of moral education especially for secondary school students for enhancing their innovativeness, academic achievement and behaviour. Thus, it is essential to study moral reasoning and academic achievement of secondary school students
There is difference amongst moral reasoning of secondary school students and their profile. Moral reasoning is positively and moderately related with academic achievement of secondary school students. Hence, secondary school teachers should give proper guidance to their secondary school students for improving their moral reasoning and ethical and moral behaviours. Parents must provide conducive home environment for their secondary school students to enhance their abilities for moral reasoning and academic achievement. Furthermore, secondary school teachers should interact, discuss and exchange ideas regularly with their secondary school students for increasing their moral reasoning and academic achievement. Peer groups and family members must also give moral support to their secondary school students for improving their moral reasoning and academic achievement. In addition, secondary schools should conduct various programmes for enhancing moral reasoning and academic achievement among their secondary school students.