01.03.2024 Feature Article

Increasing rate of moral decadence among the youth: who is to blame?

Increasing rate of moral decadence among the youth: who is to blame?
01.03.2024 LISTEN

The rate at which morality of the Ghanaian youth is declining, the earlier we treat it as a serious social problem and measures put in place to ameliorate it, the better for us in our quest to building a peaceful and prosperous nation.

The Longman English Dictionary defined corruption as “the act of impairing integrity, virtue or moral principle.” A country regarded by many as highly religious people, yet our moral principles and virtues, particularly the youth, continue to weaken with the passage of time.

Before the arrival of the Europeans in the then Gold Coast and the advent of formal education, the indigenous Gold Coasters had their own way of educating their younger generations. Due to its informal nature, educating the youth took place at wherever the people lived. In those days, parents were and still continue to be the first educators of the child and they continued to play the educative function throughout the child’s upbringing. (Agyen, 2007)

Parents apart, it was the moral responsibility of every responsible adult in the society to inculcate the good moral values in the youth. Moral values such as honesty, respect, truthfulness, hard work etc constituted an important component of the whole indigenous home training system, with the ultimate aim of bringing the children closer the Supreme Being. This idealistic principle was based on the conviction that, without good moral values, the very foundations of society breaks down. (Agyen, 2007)

However, the dynamism of culture with the passage of time, coupled with the proliferation of television and radio stations as well as the emergence of social networking channels; Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok etc, has unleashed on the country, a host of western cultures. Our youth are ‘drunk’ in those western lifestyles and are exhibiting it disgracefully in any opportunity they get. Who is to be blamed?

Charity, they say, begins at home but due to the high levels of poverty, leading to lack of child- control, over-pampering, broken homes among other factors, most parents and families who are supposed to act as the first agent of socialisation, have completely lost control over their children. The children therefore have all the liberty to engage in all forms of deviant behaviours.

As the popular aphorism goes, “It is not easy to straighten a tree that has taken hundred years to bend in a day”, the school is struggling to instil virtues into the already-spoilt children. The greater percentage of the mind of the Ghanaian school child is occupied by mundanity and stupidity. This has made the work of the Ghanaian teacher very difficult and even worse, with the abolishment of corporal punishment in schools.

The church as another institution of socialisation, has also failed woefully in their mandate to inculcate godly behaviours in their youth.

Pastors of today are afraid to rebuke secularism for the fear of losing their members. Men of God who have bigger platforms are refusing to speak against the increasing rate of nudity on our national televisions and vulgar languages being displayed on the social media.

The messages that emanate from their pulpits are mainly about superstition and prosperity. Their inordinate affection for wealth has blindfolded them from what they have been called to do, though majority of them called themselves into the church business.

In Ghana, the 1992 Constitution guaranteed freedom and independence of both the print and electronic media. However, there has been palpable evidence on the routine intimidation of journalists, TV presenters etc by political party fanatics when their reportage were deemed to be undermining their ruling governments under the fourth republic of Ghana.

The two governmental organisations which are mandated by the 1992 constitution to regulate the activities of the media; The National Communications Authority (NCA) and the National Media Commission (NMC) have also failed to perform their duties. The National Media Commission is responsible for regulating media content and the National Communications Authority is in charge of the licensing of all telecommunications industries including broadcasters.

It looks like these bodies are nonchalant about the happenings in the media space. The Television, Radio and the Social media platforms particularly have become so porous. Anybody can just get up and publish anything on the social media; nudity, insults etc, not considering the effects it will have on the innocent younger generations. Today, witch doctors, lotto forecasters, money-doublers, occult and illuminati groups and fake men of God are allowed to broadcast their fake and deceptive contents in broad -day light on our national televisions. We sit unconcerned and the so-called mallams, witch doctors and occult masters plainly invite our innocent youth to go to them for money rituals in order to live a luxurious lifestyle.

Today, some female TV presenters whom majority of our young girls aspire to become, shamelessly dress like harlots; exposing almost their full breast size on national television and we don’t seem to see anything wrong with that.

Music, as a form of performing arts must entertain, inform and educate listeners but unfortunately, about ninety-five percent of the songs that are played on our TV and radio stations don’t edify society. Today, in almost eight out of ten music videos played on television, one would see fully-grown ladies wearing only panties and brassieres, shamelessly twerking while young people display their smoking skills for the whole world to see. What actually is the brain behind those videos? What sort of education are they giving our impressionable youth through their music?

Some musicians are greatly corrupting the youth with their indecent dressing, hair style, piercing, tattooing, coupled with their senseless profane music. It is not surprising that, majority of Ghanaian school children can sing any new song from A to Z and perform the accompanying dance movements with ease but struggle to bring to memory, the information given to them by their teachers few days before.

In, conclusion, I beseech the government to act swiftly to salvage the degrading trend of our moral values and not to always hide behind National Media Commission (NMC) and National Communications Authority (NCA) to harass and intimidate journalists when they criticise the negatives in their government. Max Weber, a German sociologist once said, “Righteousness must be the basis of the nation, government and society in general.” The bible also supports this assertion that, righteousness truly exalts a nation. If governments over the years have failed to build befitting infrastructure and provide the basic needs for the ordinary Ghanaian, the solid cultural and moral values bequeathed to us by our ancestors on which our nation thrives, should not be allowed to be destroyed else, we will all perish together as fools.

Written by: Eng.Prince Kwadwo Adofo
Email: [email protected]