Social responsibility is an ethical concept in which individuals are accountable for fulfilling their civic duty; the actions of an individual must benefit the society. In this way, there must be a balance between economic growth and the welfare of society and the environment. If this equilibrium is maintained, then social responsibility is accomplished. Social responsibility is built on a system of ethics, in which decisions and actions must be ethically validated before proceeding.
If the action or decision causes harm to society or the environment then it would be considered to be socially irresponsible. Moral values that are inherent in society create a distinction between right and wrong. In this way, social fairness is believed by most to be in the “right”, but more frequently than not this “fairness” is absent. Every individual has a responsibility to act in manner that is beneficial to society and not solely to the individual.The responsibility of the people for the impacts of their decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behavior contributes to sustainable development, including health and the welfare of society. It takes into account the expectations of stakeholders and is in compliance with applicable laws and consistent with international norms of behavior. Behaving in a transparent, ethical manner ensures an approach that helps protect the long-term success of society and the environment.
The theory of social responsibility and ethics applies in both individual and group capacities. It should be incorporated into daily actions/decisions, particularly those that will have an effect on other people or the environment. Social responsibility is a means of achieving sustainability. Adopting key social responsibility principles, such as accountability and transparency, can help ensure the long-term viability and success of any organisation or system.
The practice of social responsibility does not limit only to educational institutions, societies or the state, families are also responsible for all the impacts that cause their operations towards their publics, the society at large and the environment. Educational impacts refer to the process of teaching–learning and how the curriculum is developed. On the other hand, cognitive impacts include all the theoretical approaches and dissemination of knowledge and how it contributes to the quality of life of the society.
Teachers are important pieces in a responsible learning process that includes the involvement of stakeholders like local communities and the government. In other words, curriculum, learning, teaching and moral values are improved thanks to the feedback and involvement of everyone of the society. Social responsibility refers to the ethical and legal commitments that organisations have towards its publics or stakeholders. All type of organisations has a social responsibility to the society, environment and economy because organisations must assure that their operations do not cause harm to the public and society at large.
Educational impacts refer to the process of teaching–learning and how the curriculum is developed around ethical and socially responsible real issues that includes the participation of educational and real communication structures. Cognitive impacts include all the performances and dissemination of knowledge that contributes to the development of processes related to the well-being of society. Lastly, social impacts refer to the participation of educational institutions (teachers, students and staffs) in the development of local communities and social values.
Unique impacts (organisational, educational, cognitive and social), no matter if they are positive or negative, they must define and articulate their initiatives, efforts, activities and policies regarding social responsibility according to four focused areas: responsible educational institutions, professional and citizen formation, knowledge management and social participation. These four key areas are always interconnected to promote the development of responsible processes and practices.Responsible educational institutions refers to the responsible and ethical actions that these perform related to daily life in institutions (students life, learning environment, internal communication, etc.). Professional and citizen education includes questions about how institutions prepare and educate students to be ethical and socially responsible professionals and citizens and be prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.
Lastly, social describes the role of the educational institutions in performing partnerships and projects that positively impact local communities and society at large, promoting the involvement of students and faculty in the commitment and participation in these initiatives.
Educational institutions should develop strategies for promoting a social responsibility culture such as the importance of involvement students in the efforts and the development of policies that can solve needs for the purpose of creating a conscious and productive society.
However, it is important to continue incorporating training on the matter for providing students with the skills and abilities to become future responsible professionals in their personal and work environments. Educational institutions should align their educational programmes according to current society requirements, which due to social responsibility can be considered as a source of sustainable socioeconomic welfare.
Gazi Md. Abdur Rashid, Research Officer, District Education Office, Secondary and Higher Education, Munshiganj