The successor generation is often described as leaders of tomorrow. In all ages society gives so much concern to the young ones for the simple reason that what they turn out to be, will invariably reflect the kind of society that would be in place. If we have well bred young population today, what it points to will be healthy, thriving and productive society tomorrow.
Failing to properly groom the young children, means that the parents are sure to have turbulent old age, full of anguish, and of course, regrets. This is at the individual level. There are consequences for the larger society. There is risk of having a society that will be perpetually in all kinds of conflict with themselves. Deviancy would be the vogue and with time graduate into state policy. In this climate the features of the Neanderthal age will return complete. Might will become the acceptible normal.
At this time only the most powerful gets the whole thing available for making life easier and sweet. The few with warped minds and vulture mentality determine the rules of general engagement. Under such an order human life becomes cheap. The situation is already with us. Before today any one could leave his doors wide open, go to the farm or office and return seven hours later and no one will dare to look in let alone contemplate taking away articles belonging to the owner. We recall that in the not too distant past, all we needed to scare away petty thieves was to make a signal the presence of the owner with a cough.
Today, the thief has become so emboldened he or as a group dictate the terms of engagement. The thief invades, tells his victim “cooperate or I kill you, open the door before I count three or if we come through your obstacle you are as good as dead.” Unfortunately, people of all stations in life obey. The funny aspect is that many will prefer to keep the ugly incident to themselves rather than reporting to the security agencies. The unfortunate thing about all of this, is that those involved are our adolescents, those we refer to as leaders of tomorrow.
We see what they do and keep shouting but it seems the more we come on them the harder and more vicious they turn out to be in their weird ways. What should frighten the hell out of all of us ought to be the fact that deviant behaviors have left the realm of nuclear homes and now ravaging educational institutions at all levels. This should worry us immensely if we know the import of what is about to happen to us, particularly in the near future. Let’s look at the trend: students virtually dictate to teachers what they will teach, questions that should be set for examinations and scores to give.
Those teachers who insist on the proper approach become susceptible to vicious attacks. In one of the recent incidents a senior lost his wife when students turned cultists invaded his home in the dead of the night. The lecturer escaped because fortune took him away from home but the innocent wife who had virtually nothing to do with academics wasn’t. We have so many examples of growing bad behavior of the youths across the country. Many have in the last few days been regaling the public with accounts of personal experiences following the Dowen College incident in which student cultists descended on another innocent one, beating him to a state of stupor and finally leaving him to die. This writer too has account surrounding the daughter in one of the military secondary schools in the county.
One common thread in all the accounts is the prevalence of cultists among pupil and student populations. Terrible, isn’t it? Their modus operandi is the same: naked bravado, which some of us call effrontery and disobedience to school rules. The gang boys and girls remain awake and devilishly active when they ought to be in bed in boarding houses. They bully others, steal clothes and other articles belonging to others, including provisions provided by parents who want to make their wards averagely comfortable in school. They make parents keep repeating purchases of vital items to no end. What is amazing is that officials of our schools feign ignorance of these developments. Some who have a little spark remaining in their conscience acknowledge that these things happen but there is little or nothing they can do.
The reason we are losing our future generation to waywardness is simple: as parents, institutions and corporate entities, we have lost sense of our responsibility to our children. The priority currently is money and nothing else. The larger society has jettisoned old paths that gave us sanity. We have embraced the wrong side of modernity and modern truths, philosophy that seems to say do as you like, there is no need for teaching and instructions.
Man and animal are same but for education, formal and even the informal. An untutored mind is capable of doing everything animals do including unmitigated savagery. It is sound instructions and education that reengineers the mindset of the human race and steadies it for sensible functioning. So when we abdicate the cardinal responsibility to teach our children the way to go, when they grow, they become monsters. Most of the children who misbehave are good observers and clinical imitators of their parents. Cultism was not a proud thing until recently but today it has been made to look like standard norm. If the effects were good the Nigerian Constitution would not have seen need to prohibit the phenomenon as it did some years back.
As we have seen elsewhere, leaders after getting a country into existence, create the ideal citizens they want to occupy the space. This is where government comes in, they lead in the definition of the kind of citizen suitable for progress and work conscientiously through education, indoctrination and group training to achieve it. Our schools used to be bastions of discipline and appropriate civic training, but today it is no longer so. Education has become a commodity expected to return huge profits. So private schools are springing up every where with no commitment to general good but survival and profits.
Nobody disciplines the children because doing so can diminish patronage. Western world is developed yet they take the training of the successor generation very seriously. Parents go to jail for improper behavior of underage wards. Many of these nations still offer nationalist trainings to the young ones. In our case we allow children grow wild. Simple things enlightenment will do we allow them get out of hand. And that is the result we are getting, it could get far worse.
Solutions can be found in reversing some of the yoke we took on ourselves. Ideology is foundational, private sector is good but taking it full dose without the pillar of industrialization, rule of law, education for all and credit facilities is court disaster. Unbridled capitalism establishes the philosophy of wealth being the ultimate: get it by all means then you are king. It provokes unhealthy completion which in our kind of undeveloped environment is capable of leaving far greater part of the population bruised one way or the other. A welfare system with massive government impute is it. There is need to rework our education system. Then enforce the law. We can begin with those involved in the Lagos case while examining activities in all schools across the land including military schools.