C.S Lewis once said that ” when we mock honour, we should not be surprised to find traitors in our midst”, Today in Nigeria, we have mocked transcended ethics, and that is why we are not to surprised to find cheats and frauds in our midst.
The democratic government system in Nigeria cannot be sustained unless We, the citizens first practice self-government the concept behind President Muhammed Buhari’s “Change starts with me” program launched recently.
Any political order must rest on a moral order. Today, many believe that he can set his own standards- that ethics is just a matter of individual feelings and choice. When we give in to our impulses, the law of jungle take over.
Many believe, schools shouldn’t teach facts, they should teach a process of inquiry. Process-oriented rather child-centred educational curriculum is interested not in objective facts and principles but in the student self-oriented expression, taught a process of inquiry. So he can express his own feelings and choose his own course of actions; affective domainism.
There was a time in Nigeria when education was about teaching basic skills and transmitting common culture. But today’s Nigeria upcoming teachers sees schools as agents for solving social problems, basically, not equipping kids to think, but by boosting their self-esteem.
Debates over issues like family structures have become so politicized that we have nearly lost all shared definition of such terms as “Family and Values” A loss that renders us incapable of reasoned moral discourse.
Finally we are hearing mainstream institutions admit that many of our social problems stem directly from family decline. We have lost the language of moral discourse, moral choices caused by moral disorder happening within our government, public offices, individual activities.
Okay, let’s talk about our Nigeria economy. What are the factors that make for a thriving economy?
Well, for starters, people have to be willing to work hard; that is motivation and self-sacrifice, they have to be willing to honour contracts; that is honesty and fidelity.
They have to invest time and efforts in projects that pay off in the future. That is self-discipline and delay gratification. People have to co-operate with co-workers; that is kindness and respect. Lawmakers have to pass bills for industry that are fair and consistent; that is integrity. You can see the marketplace depends upon people holding high ethical standards. Values are not peripheral to the economy.
To the other side of the coin in that decline in values leads to decline in the economy and these are the genesis of Nigeria moral, ethics and values draughtness that breeds corruptive practices confronting Nigeria from all spheres.
Bad ethics are building drainages in our society and costing us a lot of money. There are epidemic issues of self-respect and self-control in Nigeria today- a moral decayed-ness in the system.
For instance, let’s reflect on issue of savings-loan bail out. Our recessional economy today, which will takes time to reboot and reload because some folks thought they could dip their hands in the till and take whatever they wanted- is a great moral emptiness.
Driving it home, the alleged issue of budget padding?
Looting is looting-whether it is done by gang member in T-shirts or by white-collar bankers in three piece suits.
Instead of smashing windows in the ghettos, these men(Politicians, Public officers) were quietly writing figures in a ledger book. But the moral content of their act was exactly the same (quote me).
By dipping into other people’s savings, they were just culpable as the looters who robbed neighbourhood shops. Take away restraints of conscience, and people grab whatever they can.
Using criminal justice system to solve these problems only makes things once as we can see, after all anti-corruption crusades, EFCC going after the rascals and taken to them to hammers, yet the lion still roars. Not yet sinking in at all.
The kid who is labelled a criminal often acts more and more like one. And any stint in detention usually leaves him schooled in more advanced techniques of crime.
What is the answer? The resolution is to recreate the socio-educational networks that can rescue these kids early on. And that begins in and with the school, starting from foundation approach promises more outcomes.
How and where do we start adjusting the moral compass?
We have to start on how our children perceive these things and how they perceive standard of living. We should start formulate normical value; centred not about people’s earning but about dispostion, beliefs, attitudes, sense of right and wrong, motivation and purpose early on in our children from family and school and is the concept behind YOHESOR pioneered initiative. Coming in time with the Federal Government on 17th february inauguration of the ‘Value Project’ programme to institutionalise anti-corruption campaign and build a corrupt-free society of younger generation, an initiative of Federal Ministry of Education, Public and Private Partnership (PPP) intervention against corruption in collaboration with Youth, Health and Social Reforms (YOHESOR), a Non-Governmental Organisation peer headed by Dr Ijeomah Arodiogbu, National Coordinator.
Prof. Anthony Anwuka, Minister of State for Education, who inaugurated the project in Abuja, yesterday said it was aimed at engendering social engineering through capacity enhancement of Nigerian children and youths.
Anwuka said that it was necessary for the education sector to inculcate moral values on the younger generation in order to build a corrupt-free society.
“The battle ground has now shifted to primary and secondary schools for the purposes of preventing corruption in our society.
“All children and youths, especially those in vulnerable situations, should have access to long learning opportunities to help them acquire the knowledge and skill needed to participate fully in our society.
“The value project is the hope for the future of the country,’’ he said.
He, however, called on stakeholders to give the project the necessary support it needed to actualise its mandate.
Sen. Victor Udoma-Egba, Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission, said the inauguration was timely and critical to the development of the country.
He urged the younger generation to imbibe the moral value needed to project the country in good light.
“Every step to kill corruption in our country is timely and must be encouraged, we need to catch the children young and the easiest partner in this project are the children.
“There is also the need to draw moral and value architecture and to inculcate this new value in the young ones.
“The real resources of the country are the people and the youth just like oil is a resource,“ he said.
Udoma-Egbe said that the youths must be educated, skilled, motivated and empowered to avoid becoming a curse to the country.
He called on Nigerians to ensure that the youths become morally responsible and accountable by teaching them values that would enhance their productivity.
Dr Ijeomah Arodiogbu, National Coordinator, YOHESOR said the war against corruption was a battle for the survival of the soul of Nigeria as the behaviour of a child was a product of environment and learning.
According to him, the project was a concept that was anchored on three key pillars of relationship, enterprise and social engineering.
“The concept of peer education has been recognised in social sector development as an effective educational approach for behaviour change communication.
He added that through the principle of multiplier effect, the trained students, peer educators would influence their peer group members to inculcate positive behaviours that would maximise the value project outcomes.
In an interview chat with the press after the event, Dr. Arodiogbu, This, he said, The process of implementing the strategies, YOHESOR had partnered with the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC)and a Technical Working Group for curriculum enrichment had been constituted towards the anti-corruption education campaign.
He however expressed belief that Nigeria could be saved through the project and assured the group is presently working with necessary organs of government to ensure sustainability of this giant project.
On the part of the sustainability from family quarter, apart cultivating reading culture in your kids, Parents should periodically look into ask what the youngster is reading and watching. When they read, in their brain, they enter into a dialogue with the author or actor without no moderator. From cover to cover, your child is alone with a skilled author whose values may not be yours.
As we wean them off these lurid norms they have become used to. What said is true. Kids need to re oriented for new and real world armed with the new value and truth. Its a task. But its worth it. Its time we gave our children back their childhood.
Pamela James for National Enquirer