Actors in the North West geopolitical area have attributed the current wave of moral decay among school children to the inability of the actors involved to play the role of mentor expected of them.
They said that although the moral formation of children was a collective responsibility, parents were largely responsible for moral decay.
They stressed that parents, teachers, community members and religious leaders have a role to play in instilling good morals in children at home, at school and in places of worship.
Zakari Mohammed, director of higher education at the Kaduna Ministry of Education, said the first point of instilling morality in a child is the home.
Mr Mohammed said it was the primary responsibility of parents to look after their children and when the child reached school age, teachers should be involved.
He noted that parents should find ways to monitor their children at school and explained that immorality among school children showed that parents were not doing enough.
“To some extent, some parents have surrendered their moral upbringing responsibilities to teachers, who have to play the role of ensuring academic advancement, as well as shaping the character of children,” he explained. “Each school has a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and School Management Committees (SBMC), which have key roles to play.”
He added, “While PTAs include parents and teachers, SBMCs include parents, teachers and community members, and these stakeholders come together to address issues affecting the school system.”
Haruna Danjuma, National President of the National Association of Parent Teacher Associations, also mentioned that some parents lack the morals to teach their children, leaving the responsibility to teachers.
Mr. Danjuma stressed the need for parents to ensure that the morale of their children is raised.
Garba Garkuwa, the Chairman of SBMC, Sabon Gari Local Government Area, Kaduna, argued that teachers were supposed to be like parents to the children in their care and should discipline them when they misbehaved.
“But in present realities, no teacher can afford to touch anyone’s child in the name of discipline as some parents might mobilize thugs to attack the teacher,” Mr Garkuwa said.
He added: “Parents discourage teachers from playing their role of disciplining and advising children while they are at school to keep them in line, and at home parents are never there for the children. “.