Declining ethics among students and ways to reverse that – an Open Speech
A school is a place where students learn the importance of ethics. Ethics relates to good behavior whereby one conducts one’s behavior according to set rules and regulations which are based on moral values. The school also provides an environment for students to realize that unethical behavior would not go unpunished.
However, statistics indicate that a worrying number of students are behaving unethically. There has been a steady increase in the number of students playing truant. The statistics compiled by our Ethics Society show that almost every day, a student plays truant. Most of these students skip classes and have been reported as loitering in shopping complexes and some in the company of a bad crowd. There are also students who fake illnesses so that they would be excused from attending classes. One of our teachers has even reported a student forging a medical certificate so that he can avoid class to attend a concert!
In addition, discipline teachers in secondary schools complain that the number of school bullies has gone up. Incidents of physically weaker and younger students being terrorized and extorted for money are rising. Many of the victims have been beaten and in fact, the killing of a student by a group of bullies from a religious school has made newspaper headlines recently. It is tragic that a fourteen-year-old boy lost his life due to bullying and ragging. The future of the perpetrators remains uncertain and most probably they would be sent to a juvenile detention center. Their career prospects and future upon being released would be very bleak indeed.
School authorities are also worried that vandalism is on the rise. School equipment in our very school has been vandalized. Some students even broke into our laboratory and stole some equipment. They have not been caught. Most school authorities also believe that vandalism and stealing are directly connected to students being hooked to drugs. This is another big problem among students. Declining ethics among students see many engaged in illegal and harmful activities.
Thus, urgent steps need to be taken to reverse this worrying trend. Schools should emphasize civic education. Most students look at civics education as a subject rather than something that has to be applied in their daily lives. Teachers play an important role in encouraging students to behave ethically by demonstrating the importance of good and moral behavior.
Students should also be encouraged to get involved in community projects. Assignments and projects which involve the community must be introduced. These assignments should be graded. Hence, students would gradually learn how to act in accordance with rules and regulations when interacting among members of society.
Punishments for wrongdoing can act as a deterrent. However, it should be reserved only for those caught for severe wrongdoing. Instead, counseling would be a better tool. School counselors play a vital role in drumming into the perpetrators on their acts that are so detrimental to society at large and also to their own future.
I am sure the school can halt the problem of declining ethics among students. The school authorities, especially teachers, have an important role to ensure only students of high moral caliber are produced.