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Okonji calls for change in students’ orientation

By Dayo Adesulu

The Executive Director, Society Icons Mr. Nduka Mike Okonji has said that the national value decadence prevalent in our society is due to negligence in given students early basic knowledge that will change their orientation on national and human value. He gave this antidote during a workshop organized recently by Society Icons to sensitized school proprietors and other stakeholders in education sector.

Speaking in her presentation  titled: “Value re-orientation in Nigeria,” Dr Pat. Mbah, lecturer at Yaba College of Technology, said that value can be explained as the measure of how strongly something is desired for its  physical  or  moral   beauty, usefulness, rarity especially expressed in terms of the effort or money one is willing to expend in acquiring, retaining possession of or preserving it.

Similarly, value can be expressed in terms of principle or quality that arouses desire, stressing that good governance is needed in all societies of the world in this era of changing social values and technology despite any form of problems or challenges one is bound to face.

Mbah added that value is examined in relation to behaviour modification, adaptation, attitude and governance, noting that no society is healthy, creative or strong unless that society has a set of common values that give meaning and purpose to group life. Sociologists believe that communities, which share a common core of values, tend to last much longer than communities, which are not guided by values. The source of value might not be great importance to the member of a community.

What is important is the fact that the group has a clear commitment to a common’ set of goals or values. This common set of values can be used as a standard for making decisions, and to help settle differences of opinion.

She observed that, children are confused by thoughts of what they had to do, what they are afraid to do, what they did not want to do and what they felt other adults thought they should do. The most important skill a child needs to be taught is how to relate well with other people in their environment. The burden for the middle generation can be reduced, if the young from an early age, and older generation help carry the burdens.

According to the seasoned lecturer, there are several problems that could obstruct youths (pupils/students) from appreciating the national value system. Such issues include;   access to information from:  Reading, seeing, directs experiment, businesses, government agencies, judging reliability and managing information overload. Secondly, it involves thinking clearly: deductive logic, propaganda, and semantics.

Understanding man’s environment is another factor: physical geography, population dynamics, fundamentals of
modern technology, cultural norms, ethnicity and xenophobia, changing occupational patterns, education and employment, issues in human survival and prospects for mankind.

Personal Competence: physical grace, coordination, survival training and self defense, safety, hygiene, nutrition and sex education, basic interpersonal skills, small group dynamics and effective citizen participation.

In Nigeria, the challenges range from economic backwardness, ignorance, religious prejudice and obsolete ideas.

Mbah discovered that, the most important skill a child needs to be taught is how to relate well with other people in the environment, adding that there are certain basic value orientations, which center on universal hurt problems or issues. Many a time, behaviours which children consider to be normal for themselves and their peers are seen to be maladaptive abnormal by their parents, teachers, and elders in the society.

For Nigeria to achieve positive result from her crusade against corruption believed to be the bane of socio-political and economic development, those in the position of authority must embrace the sterling virtues of transparency and accountability wholeheartedly.

Most   importantly,   to  raise   political leaders of repute, the need for re-orientation of the mind towards attitudinal change is now very important for the future of our generation.

In Nigeria, democracy has become a very fashionable political concept. All manner of political regimes strive to appropriate the democratic garment in order to win automatic legitimacy. The reason for this strong desire of the concept is not because all people by their struggles and sacrifice have the aspiration for democracy on their political agenda. A democratic political culture is attributed to the recognition of the freedom and of the citizens embracing freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom to hold ideas and religious beliefs, freedom of association, freedom to vote and be voted for.


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