Start students early with moral education

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 June, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 June, 1995, 12:00am

IN recent years, Hong Kong has faced an increase in a variety of social problems, among them - suicide, teenage pregnancy, divorce.

We read in the papers about two students committing suicide together, even teachers killing themselves. We have to ask ourselves why this is happening.

I believe we live in a world where the new technology revolution is gathering pace. However, at the same time we seem to be losing our grip on moral standards. In moral terms, people are becoming weaker.

Laws are established to maintain order in a society, but it needs more than that to make people recognise their moral duties.

As regards young people, nowadays, many schools focus on the student's academic achievement. It reflects well on the school if its students perform with excellence in their exams. Some schools do this, at the expense of moral education.

When a student has misbehaved, it is not enough for a teacher to tell that student that he/she has done something wrong. Students need to be educated about what is right and wrong. Moral education should begin at an early age. It should be taught at kindergarten, primary, secondary school and even at tertiary level.

The earlier they learn, the sooner young people recognise that having high moral standards is an important part of their lives.

Relationships between students and teachers are very important. If teachers can win the trust of students, they will have a better chance of getting across the message that morality is important.

Parents also play a crucial role. Many teenagers spend a great deal of time watching television and most of the programmes they watch have no educational value.

Of course children should sometimes be allowed to watch meaningless entertainment if it helps them relax. But parents must exercise discretion and get children to watch programmes which can widen their knowledge of the world.

We should not give up with problem teenagers, but help to find the courage to face their problems.