Communication for social change plan to prevent moral decadence among youth

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Tehn-Lennox AKPETEY

Can you imagine having a society where there is a fusion of cultures but still able to maintain our moral uprightness? There is no doubt that Ghanaian society has fallen over in ethical and moral standards over the last few decades. In the not too distant past, it was very difficult for the young ones to talk back to their older siblings, however, this is not the case anymore.

Even teachers who are supposed to act as parents in school are barred from correcting children when they go wrong. This emboldens the children giving them a false sense of hope that they are independent of society. In the olden days, every child in the community is assumed to be the property of the community, hence, any wrongdoing by the child demands punishment from anyone who witnessed the wrongdoing.

The Ghanaian society seems relaxed on the norms handed down by our forebears. In almost a year now, some students were seen in a viral video insulting the president of Ghana. It is amazing to find out that the youth these days are morally bankrupt. The Ghanaian society has witnessed a tremendous deterioration in its moral, social and educational values, especially among the youth.

Some scholars believe that the issue of moral decadence has become a controversial issue because society seemed confused about the disparity between what is morally right and morally wrong. Just some days ago, two teenagers were alleged to have killed a 10-year-old boy for rituals at Kasoa. This is a strange occurrence. It is unheard of. We have to put our hands in the plough and correct what has become a norm now.

Communication for social change is expected to transform lives from old or wrong to new lifestyles. It takes a lot of effort and time to affect the needed social change. The strategy one adopts determines how fast the intended change is achieved.

There are several examples of how society has deteriorated to a low level now. Some of such practices that the former society abhors are: examination malpractice, cultism, truancy, drug abuse, sexual misconduct, illicit affairs between teachers and students, dishonesty as well as total disregard for rules and regulations.

What should we do to curb this menace?

The youth are the future generation of the country. How the country shall progress is determined by the type of training we offer them today. We don’t seem to care about the challenges this may pose to us in the not too distant future. We cannot find solutions to this problem without identifying the causes. It will be a futile journey.

One of the causes of moral decadence is poor home upbringing. Parents are refusing to take responsibilities for their children. They are concerned about the bread and butter issue relegating the home training our forebears handed to us to the backbench. Consequently, children pick all kinds of lessons from peers, friends.

Communication for social change strategy may look at a project that helps to increase the commitment of national, local and community leadership to still discipline in children.

Again, most children pick up lessons on morality from bad friends whose preoccupation is materialism. Children who lacked parental guidance and control eventually find ways of acquiring material things they crave for. Some of the ways are narrow and evil with consequences. Poverty also plays a role in the moral decadence we are witnessing these days. A lot of the young men turn to occultism, armed robbery and corruption to make ends meet. The only the solution to poverty is wealth.

Every society and its cultural values. Once you introduce a foreign culture into yours through education, news, television, movies and social media, it becomes increasingly herculean to regulate the behaviour of the children. There is always an insatiable desire for foreign culture.
To some lesser extent, broken homes and peer pressure also plays roles in how decayed children are today.

Scholars have opined that moral laxity in religious training has affected the moral fibre of society. Most of us received training from our religious leaders. It was commonplace to get a reprimand from even the Sunday School teachers. They serve as the Inspector-Generals on morality.

Any strategy should focus on empowering religious and educational leaders to take a keen interest in instilling discipline into the children. National Commission for Civic Education together with the Gender Ministry and some Non-Governmental Organisations can commence an advocacy campaign throughout the country.

Placement of advertisement in all local languages aimed at changing the behaviour of the citizens in all Television stations should be one of the objectives. Here the stakeholders must be involved.

As part of the strategy, the should be a social mobilisation of children using both community and national influencers to speak to children about the advantages and disadvantages of moral decadence. Churches /mosques devote time to discuss issues on moral discipline.

There should be a deliberate initiative such as introducing moral leadership modules into the curriculum. Parents must be made to accept that they may not be able to train their children alone. Therefore, others can be of help in moulding their wards to become responsible citizens later in life.

>>>The writer is a development communication consultant. [email protected]

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