Respect a solution for social ills


THERE is growing concern about the breakdown in discipline and respect in our society which is affecting everyone and if not addressed it will eat into the society.
It seems that everyone is having a knee-jerk reaction to it or being reactive rather than looking at a proactive approach to dealing with the situation.
Law and order issues continue to rise, so are social ills, decline in ethical standards, decline in morality, increase in domestic violence and drug abuse -the list goes on.
How these concerns are addressed is becoming a dilemma as whatever tactics and approaches currently used are not delivering the expected results.
Last week, the chief secretary urged public servants to make “serving God in the Public Service” the standard to bear in their work during a dedication service.
He said in order to achieve this, the question that all must ask is: Have we institutionalised God and God’s word in our public service?
The chief secretary has been a strong advocate of religious being embedded into the daily activities of the citizens.
Last year, he suggested that religious education should be a compulsory subject in the school system.
One may wonder how religious education would fit into a society that is already crumpling under the weight of social issues and crimes.
Religious education makes a distinctive contribution to the school curriculum by developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of religion, religious beliefs, practices, language and traditions and their influence on individuals, communities, societies and cultures.
PNG is a Christian country and Christianity is defined in the constitution but sadly that does not translate into what is happening in the society.
What is being done to eradicate and fight against law and order issues today will not address the root cause of these social problems in the country.
The root causes are lack of discipline and respect for our culture and respect for our laws and religious education is a solution.
If we introduce or make religious education a compulsory subject as science and mathematics, we can help produce an educated population based on discipline, respect, integrity and value for each other.
The future public servants will obviously institutionalise Christianity in the public service.
Successive governments, ministers and even churches have looked at this mess, considered the complications, and concluded that any change would be more trouble than it was worth.
However, the time is now here for principled and decisive action.
Education is such an important part of growing up, and supporting that growth through strong Christian values creates confident, accomplished and well-rounded children.
Religious children will be influenced by their environment to be good and caring citizens.
Using religious reasons to constrict children’s behaviour will enable them to learn to care for others, and they will grow up to be desirable citizens who will do their best for society.
In a few years, this will have an impact on our society that is positive – we will have fewer social ills, law and order problems and, more importantly, increase in economic prosperity.
We just have to look at the experiences of other countries around the world when they institutionalised religious education into their education system and workplace.
We will have a disciplined population, respect for one another, integrity and respect for laws, peace and harmony in communities.
If we are to witness high economic growth, social order, law and order and improvement on the quality of lives of the people, now is the time to be serious to ensure religious education is fully implemented and it must be done correctly.