In recent weeks there has been a regular uproar concerning the present generation.
‘Mods and Rockers’ is being used an expression just as free in this country as across the channel. Various suggestions have been made with a view to solving this problem which has reached a chronic stage in some areas. Reference has been made about lenient Court sentences, too much money to spend, and lack of parental control; all of course, with good points and deserving of discussion with the parties involved.
However, the best suggestion to date seems to be that of teaching civics in our schools.
The authorities should take a keen interest in the idea of inculcating love of nationhood to the youth of the country. All other suggestions seem to be putting the cart before the horse, just like trying to cure a disease without endeavouring to trace its source. We don’t have to probe too far to find the reasons for the source of present-day delinquency, for to a great extent it’s the child of the aftermath of the last war.
There’s a certain looseness abroad today that was unheard of a quarter of a century ago when discipline was stricter and outbreaks on the part of young people were few and far between. As one learned judge said recently, one of the causes is that youth has too much money and is misguided, having too much liberty and too little discipline in the home or in public.
Today it is quite evident that manners have become almost a thing of the past; this applies to most sections of the people. The truth is bitter but it must be borne in mind that the background to all the outbreaks of delinquency and hooliganism is to be found in the manner in which the culprits are brought up. The home takes pride of place in the moulding of citizens, then comes the also vital stage of the preliminary years at school. Civic spirit is in the main lying dormant and to date no move has been made to teach the younger folk that with their privileges they also have obligations, primarily to their parents, and in the second place to the nation.
The student of schoolbooks will note that there has been a great change from the earlier years of the century. Those who recall the earlier school books of the Christian Brothers will readily state that very many of the lessons were masterpieces in any language, were educational in every respect and helped to build up a spirit of camaraderie which is so evidently lost today.
In their avid search for material things people have forgotten the moral aspect of education, having put aside the necessity for teaching civics side by side with subjects that go to give the student an interest in a trade or profession. The educational authorities should initiate a scheme whereby the youth of the nation is taught that this is their country, and that they have a vital part to play.