Youths target of ICAC drive

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 September, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 September, 1998, 12:00am

High tolerance of corruption among young people has spurred the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and Education Department into action.

A recent ICAC survey revealed 57.6 per cent of people aged 15 to 24 were tolerant of corruption in the business sector, compared with 26.8 per cent of those aged between 45 and 64.

It also indicated the ethical standards of young people were deteriorating, with lower levels of honesty and responsibility.

ICAC community relations director Rosanna Ure said youngsters had not experienced the bad old days when corruption was rampant.

'They may not be able to resist temptation.

'It is important for them to see the evils of corruption by cultivating positive values.' Mrs Ure said youngsters should learn to resist the temptation of corruption and be responsible and honest citizens.

The ICAC has organised a series of publicity and educational activities with the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education to drive home the anti-corruption message.

The activities last until Friday.

Programme co-ordinator Vanessa So Cheung Lai-ying said the ICAC was working with local universities to teach students positive values and ethics related to their courses, such as media and business ethics.

'We have to work more on these graduates-to-be who will leave for their first job very soon,' she said.

The anti-corruption watchdog has visited primary and secondary schools to distribute educational materials.

The Education Department has also been stepping up efforts to train teachers in civic education.

Senior inspector in civic education and religious studies Lee Chi-hoi said this year the department had for the first time held 24 teacher training sessions on ethics and civic education with two local universities.

'The 720 teachers from 24 primary and secondary schools will work more on civic and moral education to educate students on correct values.

'We don't want our students to tolerate corruption and have deteriorating ethical and moral standards,' Mr Lee said.

The Education Department would increase the civic education training sessions to 32 over the next year, he said.

The department has been sending inspectors to primary and secondary schools to consult teachers on including civic and moral education in the curriculum.

Trenus Lee Chui-kuen, a social worker at Kowloon Caritas Centre, said the number of dishonest or irresponsible teenagers was increasing.

'Most of these teenagers belong to busy parents who do not have time to care for them.

'They are often the only child brought up by maids who did not teach them moral standards.' She said parents and teachers should instil positive values in young people.



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