I am sure all of us saw and read about how some unruly youngsters drove a jeep into the campus during Onam celebrations at a Govt Engineering College in Thiruvananthapuram and a young student lost her life in the incident. The principal of the college admits that the teachers are not able to control the students who break rules and regulations.
It is easier to drop the subject terming it as an isolated incident. But then, the reality is different. A few days later, Medias flashed photos and videos of students at other colleges riding on trucks, JCBs and hired fire engines in the pretext of Onam celebrations. Luckily, no other tragedies happened!
This should prompt all of us to introspect what our kids are growing up to be! If the situation of the educational institutions is such that the faculty are not able to control the students’ unruly behaviour, I believe it is because of the highhandedness of Student Unions with the support of political parties. Aren’t these political ‘leaders’ who defend such barbarous actions, declaring it as part of students’ democratic and individual right, in reality destroying the future of these youngsters? These students are mere puppets in the hands of the political parties with vested interests!
No use of blaming the strayed young generation for their waywardness (and particularly I don’t want to generalize and say that the whole young generation is spoilt. I mean only those who deserve to be entitled likewise). No use of blaming politicians or films that are blamed to set negative trends. The primary responsibility of raising children as good individuals and patriotic citizens lies with the elders – parents, teachers, religious and other social leaders. I’ve heard many grandparents and parents lamenting about their kids not obeying them. Well, who else is responsible? I am sure children who grow up in an atmosphere where parents lead exemplary life and teach them good manners and civic sense will undoubtedly grow up to be good persons themselves.
But in today’s nuclear families, when it comes to keeping our only prince or princess happy parents tend to be too permissive and not set practical limits; and over protective to the point of not letting kids to face the consequence of their actions. These kids grow up to be selfish individuals who lack compassion, sensitivity and civic sense.
In modern homes power has shifted from parents to child. When we were kids, parents were in charge. Becoming an adult was seen as something desirable, our time to shine and take charge. But somehow over the years, kids have been given more and more of the power until now it seems that they’re the ones in control, hence the directions given by parents, teachers and elders are of little or no value to them. When confronted, they become restless or depressed.
A solution to this predicament is to teach kids a sense of responsibility. When I posted a news-clipping on this topic on my Facebook wall I got some enlightened comments: “Parents should be with children more time, prioritizing between children and money. Teachers should fulfil their primary duty of guiding the students through their student life for a responsible life ahead, and not academic subjects alone. Politicians should stop USING the youth for politics”.
To that comment I would like to add: Instead of making it easy for our kids to get everything they want, we need to let them experience failure and disappointment from time to time. That’s part of real life and it’s hard, but it’s a lesson everyone needs to learn.
If we (and I’m including myself here) keep doing too much for our kids instead of holding them accountable for their actions, I’m afraid the spoiling of this generation will continue. Also, the primary educational curriculum should give greater stress on training kids to be mannered and empathetic, so that they grow up to be individuals who uphold honesty, respect and integrity.