Military schools are the answer to Ja’s moral decay


Monday, June 02, 2014

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THE moral decay in our society is quite palpable. If one should do a thorough comparative analysis of the 1960s to 1980s and the 2000s, as it relates to moral values and discipline, without a doubt, one would see a significant decline. Let’s examine present-day events, among them an escalating crime rate, especially among our youth.

We turn our attention to the recent 14-year-old who reportedly murdered a nineyear- old boy, and the 17-yearold who is alleged to have murdered the 14-year-old girl with whom there was a seeming relationship. This is not the first we have heard of such cases. In fact, reports of same have become very prevalent.

As it relates to discipline among our youth, we look to contributing factors such as the home, school and wider society, and the existing modes of socialisation. Psychological theorist Lev Vygosky informed us that children are born ‘tabula rasa’ — with a blank state. As such, he believed strongly that community plays a central role in the process of "making meaning".

Therefore, the home, school and community, which are modes of socialisation, all impact behaviours. The home is the first and central mode of socialisation for any child, and if the home fails to instil critical moral values and discipline, then other social institutions have no choice but to do so. The school is a critical place for moral and psychological development, as well as for the development of discipline.

However, indiscipline is parading within our schools, slowly consuming our students as a parasite feeding on its host. And, in some cases, detaching the parasite is next to impossible. Some students are socialised in such a way as they are constantly exposed to violence and ‘loose’ behaviours. Over time, it becomes wired in their state of consciousness.

Therefore, the cognitive process accepts it as the norm. Behaviours are often said to be learnt, as such, psychological theorists Ivan P Pavlov and B F Skinner derived the ‘behaviorism theory’. This theory has two tenets: classical and operant conditioning. Thus, all behavior can be unlearned and new behaviours learned in its place.

Saying that there is a problem will not distinguish me from the rest. Most, if not all persons can do that; there is no rocket science in it. What I am proposing is that, in order to claim back our students and reduce juvenile crime and violence in schools and the wider society, we need some ‘military’ schools.

This is where a thorough dissection of the cognitive can occur, and therefore moral values and discipline become the structure and pilot of the mind. These schools should be built under a strategic framework so as to accommodate all students who think that the ‘bad man’ attitude is substantial. Why have I proposed this idea, you may ask?

It is because I believe that discipline and ‘loose’ behaviours are inversely proportional — the more disciplined you are the less likely you are to engage in criminal activities. Based on the Marine Military Academy website, in the United Kingdom, politicians like Stephen Twigg are pushing for the implementation of more military schools.

The belief of Twigg and other British politicians who support his views is that more military schools will be of great benefit to any society. This is supported by research performed at the University of Southampton in England.

Their report stated: "Military cadets tend to have high levels of respect for authority and others, and high levels of selfesteem. They are likely to be committed citizens and have heightened aspirations."

Kenroy Davis resides in Hyde District, Clark's Town, Trelawny.





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