Instil moral conduct in citizens

Editorial

IT is time authorities took on the challenge of restoring the teaching of good moral conduct into the education system – from primary to secondary schools.
The best way to make this a reality is to give that responsibility back to the churches.
They know best how to go about it, as they had done to the first crop of national leaders who had brought us to where we are today.
Public nuisances such as making loud noises after 10pm in a neighbourhood, consumption of alcohol, drunken behaviour, urinating and carrying weapons in public in the 1970s, 80s and late 90s were a no-no.
The fathers of those periods were brought up and taught by the colonial administrators on how to behave, dress and conduct themselves in public.
Christianity was the agent of change pushed through by the mainstream churches – the Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, United Church and Lutheran Church.
They taught and stressed the morals of good behaviour through Christian teachings.
They emphasised the virtues of good social behaviour.
If one looks back at photos from then, you would see those respectable men and women who grew up under the wings of the founding leaders and learned a lot from them.
Sadly, these men and women were only a very small percentage of the population.
Today, many people leave their homes and villages and go straight to school.
They do not go through the same process of upbringing and the instilling of good values those past leaders experienced.
As the country entered the digital era, the government tried to keep up its pace with rapid development changes.
Today, more emphasis is put into government schools while the church-run schools are getting less and under-capitalised.
They are thus unable to teach the new generation of Papua New Guineans what they did in the 70s and 80s.
It seemed as though we have forgotten about quality education and are putting more focus on quantity in an attempt to get as many people as possible to be literate. And it seems we have left out an important component – the instilling of good and responsible behaviour.
We seem to have regressed in our social development, returning to the primitive behaviour of being head-hunters, women-stealers, executioners of sorcery agents and resorting to fights over land ownership.
We ask ourselves why that change had not been continued, strengthened and extended to reach everyone, especially those who have not experienced it.
Did we push the bulk of our men and women out of their old ways of doing things to the modern system too quickly?
The Government should acknowledge that making tougher laws will not solve social problems in the country.
The churches should be allowed to again become the main drivers of social change for our current generation of citizens.
Let the churches teach our children the right way to behave, dress and how to respect others.
Unless those values are instilled in the children, little progress will be made in our development as a nation.
Let the churches use the new commandment the Lord Jesus brought to the world as the basis of their work.
It emphasises on love – for one’s neighbour and for each other “as I had loved you”.
The churches today know best how to pull the nation back from the edge of the cliff as it was.
And they deserve our – most of all the Government’s – support.

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