Sunday, April 14, 2024

EDITORIAL: Children need to be taught discipline

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MOST OF THE TIME teachers set out to give of their best. So when educators take a stand to enforce school rules, it is usually with justification and after careful deliberation to point students in the right direction.

Recently publicised incidents at some of our secondary schools speak to indiscipline, not only there, but in the wider society. Too many people do not want to conform to rules and regulations.

Little wonder indiscipline among students, particularly at the secondary level, remains a common problem. Some do not pay due attention, they vandalise public property, hurl verbal abuse and profanity at adults, including teachers, and exhibit gross disrespect.

These are not things which can be condoned or overlooked. What often starts out as minor infractions can escalate easily into major issues and lead to disruption in and out of the classroom. Some students, when challenged, are quick to speak of their “rights” to defend any transgression. But, such a stance should not be allowed to become the new normal.

Our schools must always have clear rules and regulations for students, who need to grasp the importance of discipline in their lives, especially in the classroom, given how it will impact on them when they go into the wider world. That is why parents must inculcate the virtues of honesty, punctuality and respect for others – attributes which will help to determine their children’s success in life.

The crux of the problem is often a lack of good parental guidance in the home hat can be reinforced at school. Rude and disruptive behaviour has its roots in the frustrations some parents experience daily, while some children feel marginalised. Admittedly, even though the country’s schools are supposed to give every child an equal chance, this does not always happen. It can cause some children to become disillusioned, restless and eventually undisciplined and rebellious.

Parents have a legitimate right to defend the interests of their children, ensuring that they are treated fairly and taught properly. But in so doing there must always be a level of decorum and respect. Students must never be encouraged or shielded by making frivolous complaints against teachers and schools. Bad behaviour and indiscipline can also force some educators, including dedicated ones, to leave the profession. 

It is also incumbent on our teachers to hold themselves up to the highest possible standards and ensure they avoid favouritism, nepotism and immoral behaviour. They should focus on helping to develop students into becoming leaders in all fields of endeavour.

Schools must be fountains of learning where teachers can carry out their duties without fear and children rejoice in being present. Students suffer when parents and teachers are ranting against each other.

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