Do schools and universities have responsibilities to educate their students on social behavior alongside the academic?

By Shem Kuria. Shem, 25, is a manager at Bridge International Academy in Nairobi, Kenya.

In the society that we live in today the responsibility of raising children has shifted from parents to house girls, grandparents, relatives, family friends and teachers in the learning institutions. Are our children getting the best in terms of being raised morally right individuals? Well, with no doubt, the answer is absolutely NO. This is because the number of children getting involved in crime is increasing daily. What are the reasons behind this? What are the possible solutions?

I will focus more on learning institutions. Every parent wants their child to have a bright future. This is the primary reason that will push the parent to educate their child. The parent strongly believes that by sending their children to school they will get wisdom to help them in the future. It’s ironic that the children gains knowledge in crime advancement. Learning institutions are doing a great job, however they need to mold students to be all round people. They should not put all their focus in academics only, but add social values. What are the reasons behind this? Before I say what learning institutions should do, let’s focus on the life of today’s parents.

I congratulate all hardworking parents, however if anything is done without limits, it is likely not to be of any help. Why am I saying this, despite the fact that the parents are working hard, they need to sacrifice time with their children. Their children need parental love, they want to spend time with them. It’s so sad and heartbreaking that parents have deliberately ignored this vital responsibility that belongs to them. Parents will leave very early in the morning before the children wake up and will return very late in the evening when the children are already asleep. Most of the time the children will spend time with the house girl hired by the parents to take care of them. This is the person who will feed the children and ensure their well-being. Parents will only interact with their children during public holidays and when they are off duty. This time will be limited since that is the time they want to relax and rest. It will not be a surprise that they may still end up having no time with them.

The children will greatly suffer having no time and the right person to teach them morals when they are still young. Moral degradation will have started at home. Children will have the interest for doing what is right but no one is readily available to show them the right direction. Parents will pamper their children with gifts to bribe them in return to be shown love. What has happened will surprise you, since the children will love the gifts more than the parents. When the parents get back to their senses, it will be too late, since the children will be addicted to the electronic devices purchased by their own parents.

Today we can say we are living in the information age, where one can easily get information while sat comfortably at his home, can be entertained right in his home via computer or television sets. If not closely monitored, they can be airing programs which will educate immoral behaviors and violence to our children, since they imitate what’s is around them. Therefore strict measures should be put in place and monitoring of programs watched.

When a child reaches an age of 10-12 years, their parents take them to a boarding school. If the child is not an outstanding pupil or a principled child, they will always be in the group of law-breakers in order to accepted. It is a school where the children will be exposed to antisocial behaviors such as drug abuse, undisciplined violence by having demonstrations, burning of schools and theft. The teacher and the institution will play their part in terms of syllabus delivery. It’s rare for them to take part in social education, and that’s why these institutions have guidance and counseling departments which offer assistance voluntarily. Due to work pressure, they will be focused in driving success to the student.

The student will interact with other students who are from diverse backgrounds. Some students since they were young were exposed to antisocial behaviors, by viewing programs on their television that supported inhumane acts such as violence. Peer pressure will make an innocent student involve himself in vices which are common in schools. Learning institutions have completely failed by not educating their students on social behavior. This has been made evident by rampant strikes in schools, including the destruction of property. In some cases students participate in street demonstrations, which are not peaceful. It’s a shame to these institutions, and maybe it will reach a time when the name of that learning institution will betray a student when they are seeking a vacancy. Some schools are known better by their vices.

Today society is suffering, just because these institutions are not educating their students on social behavior. It is high time for these institutions to educate these important values to our students so that we can have future responsible citizens, fathers and mothers, and also students who will be responsible employees in their professions. If they embrace this culture we will be fighting vices such as prejudice where others are unfairly judged and even discriminated, in some cases it has led to gross injustices of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Antisocial attitudes have led to ruining of lives, separation of families and destruction of property. This has been happening because our children, our students have the knowledge but they lack wisdom to cope with daily life challenges. A learned person spends most of his time at school and other learning institutions, but for him to be an all round person, the burden is in the hands of schools and universities.

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