Why Character Formation Should Be An Integral Part of Boys' Education

Now more than ever, there is a need to amplify the conversation about the boy child and the vulnerabilities that surround him in the 21st century. Even in education, we must re imagine and refocus our curriculum so that we are deliberate about raising diligent men who will match the demands of the 21st century man. 
The current education model is predominantly focused on mass production of graduates regardless of whether they are functional or not. One wonders what’s the point of one being a first class honors degree holder but a pure drunkard who can’t distinguish their right from left because they are rarely sober? 
What of the men that go round siring children and then evading responsibility for their actions?
The WHO reports that globally, the suicide rate for men is about three times higher than that of women. Factors such as social isolation, untreated mental health conditions, and limited help-seeking behaviors contribute to this disparity. 

Not to mention chronic corruption that is rapidly corroding the fabrics and foundations of our society. 

If there ever is to be any remedy, I dare say that is to be found in our education system. But the truth is, the traditional education model in its current structure cannot avail much of the change we desire to see.

Importance of Character Formation in Boys 

At Merishaw School, we help boys develop a strong sense of personal values and moral compass, which can guide them throughout their lives.
Character formation is an integral part of our education, but it is especially important in the education of boys. Here are some reasons why we never stop to emphasize the importance of character formation at Home of the Boy Child:

1. Building strong values and ethics

Character formation helps boys build strong values and ethics that will guide them throughout their lives. Boys who learn the importance of honesty, integrity, empathy, and responsibility are more likely to become men who uphold these values in their personal and professional lives.

2. Developing emotional intelligence

Boys who are taught emotional intelligence, including empathy, self-awareness, and social awareness, are better equipped to form healthy relationships and navigate conflicts. This is especially important as boys may be socialized to suppress emotions and exhibit behaviors that are harmful to themselves and others.

3. Preparing for leadership roles

Boys who learn leadership skills and values are better equipped to become effective leaders. By learning to work with others, communicate effectively, and make ethical decisions, boys are better prepared to lead and influence others in their personal and professional lives.

4. Encouraging positive behaviour

Character formation can encourage positive behavior and help prevent negative behavior, such as bullying, aggression, or violence. By teaching boys about the importance of respect, kindness, and inclusion, schools can help create a culture that promotes positive behavior and healthy relationships.

5. Fostering a sense of purpose

By emphasizing character formation, schools can help boys develop a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. Learning about their values, passions, and interests, boys can help the boys develop a sense of direction and motivation to pursue their goals and make a positive impact.

6​. Transportive Skills that we Aim to Build in Our Learners

As a school, we focus on implementing the above so that we help our boys develop the transportive skills necessary for them to thrive in the community and world at large. In the rapidly changing education landscape, certain skills have become increasingly important for individuals to thrive and succeed. Here are seven key skills that are highly valued in the 21st century.

i. Critical Thinking
Schools should provide a rigorous academic program that emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This can help boys develop the skills they need to analyze complex issues, evaluate evidence, and make informed decisions.

ii. Problem-solving
We place our learners in situations that help them develop problem-solving skills, which are essential for success in academics, careers, and life. By learning to analyze information, evaluate evidence, and generate creative solutions, the boys become better equipped to tackle complex challenges and make informed decisions.

iii. Decision-making
We create an environment that helps boys develop the ability to make sound decisions based on evidence and logical reasoning. This can help them avoid impulsive or reckless behavior and make choices that are in their best interest and the interest of others.

iv. Analytical skills
Analytical skills are important for success in a wide range of fields, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). By learning to evaluate evidence, analyze data, and draw conclusions, our boys can position themselves to succeed in these fields.

v. Communication skills
Our education model helps our young morans to develop communication skills, including the ability to articulate their ideas clearly and persuasively. This will help them succeed in academic and professional settings, as well as in their personal lives.

vi. Empathy
We want our boys to have empathy and understanding for others, as they learn to evaluate different perspectives and consider the impact of their decisions on others. Our goal is for the boys to become better leaders and collaborators, and promote a more positive and inclusive culture.

vii. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence encompasses self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to manage emotions effectively. It enables individuals to navigate social relationships, collaborate with others, and handle conflicts constructively.


Mentorship - Equipping the Merishaw Man

Merishaw School provides opportunities for boys to be mentored by teachers, staff, and community members through professional and real world experiences. 
We offer them guidance, support, and valuable opportunities to learn from someone with more experience and knowledge. Mentorship helps our students develop their skills, discover their passions, and navigate challenges they may encounter along their educational journey.

Our Approach to Mentorship 
The following are the strategies we use at our school to mentor and make our boys into men of character and influence. 

i. Set clear expectations
We clearly communicate what is expected of the boys in terms of their behavior, academic performance, and character. This includes specific goals, timelines, and standards of conduct.

ii. Provide guidance and support
Boys need guidance and support to help them navigate academic and social challenges. At Home of the Boy Child, we provide resources and assistance, such as counseling, to help them overcome obstacles and reach their potential. 

iii. Foster a positive relationship
Building a positive relationship with boys is important for effective mentoring. We make deliberate efforts to show interest in their lives, listen to their concerns, and provide emotional support when needed. We encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings openly and honestly.

iv. Encourage diligence
We emphasize the importance of hard work, perseverance, and resilience. We guide our boys towards setting goals and working diligently towards them, even when faced with obstacles or setbacks. The School celebrates their achievements and encourages them to learn from their failures.

v. Provide opportunities for growth
The school offers boys opportunities to expand their horizons and develop new skills. We encourage them to explore their interests, try new activities, and take on leadership roles.

vii. Model diligence 
We set a positive example by modeling diligence yourself. Our staff demonstrate a strong work ethic, a commitment to continuous learning, and a willingness to take on challenges. Encourage boys to emulate your example.

Viii. Community Service
As a school, we provide opportunities for boys to engage in community service projects, which can help them develop empathy, compassion, and a sense of social responsibility. We understand that community service is a valuable part of education and personal development. 
For that reason, we introduce the boys to different types of community service. This helps them find a cause they are passionate about and make a meaningful impact which also provides a platform for them to explore their career potential.

ix. Exploration of leadership opportunities
We offer our boys opportunities to develop leadership skills through student government, sports teams, or other extracurricular activities. It is our priority to help them learn how to work with others, make decisions, and take responsibility for their actions. 
We teach the boys how to lead effectively, communicate clearly, make decisions, and work collaboratively. 

Last Words

Character formation plays a crucial role in boys' education as it shapes their moral compass, emotional intelligence, leadership skills, ethical decision-making abilities, resilience, and sense of social responsibility. 

By focusing on character development alongside academic learning, educators and parents can empower boys to become well-rounded individuals who positively contribute to their communities and lead meaningful lives. If you want your son to experience holistic development, Merishaw School is the place you need to bring him. 

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