Moral decadence and its impacts on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 municipality
|GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING|
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The title of this research is Moral decadence and its Impacts on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality. The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of moral decadence on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality and also to find out the impacts of illicit or immoral sex, indiscipline and the Abusive use of hard drugs on the educational standards of students.
Three research hypotheses were tested and three research questions were answered in the course of the study. A descriptive survey research design was used for the study and a stratified sampling technique was also used to select the sample size. Questionnaires for students were used as an instrument to collect data. The sample consisted of 80 students drawn from three selected secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality of Wouri Division of the Littoral Region.
Data collected was analyzed using F-test (Pearson’s Correlation) .this was used purposefully to impact the independent variable on the dependent variables. All tests were based on the 0.05 level of significance. The data is analyzed using a computer programme, the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 25. The findings revealed among others that illicit or immoral sex has a significant negative effect on students’ educational standards.
It was also discovered that Indiscipline affects adversely the educational standard of secondary school students. The findings lastly showed that the abusive use of hard drugs affects negatively students’ educational standards and the study recommends that counsellors, parents, social workers, school administration, teachers and government should identify such moral decadence and adopt better policies and ways to ameliorate and curb its development in the society. Also, parents should be reminded of their obligation as a moral responsibility to educate and train their children to inculcate morally accepted behaviours and actions. The school counsellor should see themselves as parents and guide students identified as morally bankrupt.
In this chapter, we will discuss the background of the study, the statement of the problem with its objectives and research questions, the hypotheses and significance of the study, and delimitation of the study while rounding up with a definition of key terms about the research topic and chapter summary.
Historically, our society has witnessed a tremendous deterioration in its moral, social and educational values, especially among the youths (Martins, 2021). However, the issue of moral decadence in our society has become a very controversial issue because society seemed not to know the disparity between what is morally right and wrong.
Also, the concept of decadence dates from the eighteenth century, especially from Montesquieu, and was taken up by critics as a term of abuse after Désiré Nisard used it against Victor Hugo and Romanticism in general (Nucci & Weber 1991) A later generation of Romantics, such as Théophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire took the word as a badge of pride, as a sign of their rejection of what they saw as banal “progress.” In the 1880s, a group of French writers referred to themselves as Decadents. The classic novel from this group is Joris-Karl Huysmans’ Against Nature, often seen as the first great decadent work, though others attribute this honour to Baudelaire’s works.
Brown, M. E., & Trevino, L. K. (2006) opined that in the past our society had a high sense of respect, determination and diligence to work. Today the sense of awe, respect, determination and diligence to work is gradually fading away. This they say is obvious in the way people are doing things carelessly. We are aware of how much our society is bereaved of morality this day. There is no doubt as youths behave as if there is no need for decency and diligence for things that matter increasing moral, social and cultural decadence.
In this 21st century as many schools attempted to ignore the moral dimensions of Schooling; there is a decline in performance. Examination malpractice, illicit sex, indiscipline and hard drug consumption have been attributed to the moral decline in secondary Schools in Cameroon by the stakeholders (Martins, 2021). At the same time, educators were encouraged to address the moral concerns of students using two approaches: values clarification and cognitive developmental moral education. The first, values clarification, rests on little theory other than the assumption that students need to practice choosing among moral alternatives and that teachers should be facilitators of the clarification process rather than indoctrinators of particular moral ideas or value choices. (Odeh, 2013)
Conceptually, Odeh (2013) asserted that moral decadence is the failure to uphold sound morality in our society. Muraino and Ugwumba (2014) asserted that moral decadence is the process of behaving in a way that shows low moral standards. It means a gross reduction in the moral values in a particular society. Thus, moral decadence appears to be a fall’ in the moral standard of society. It seems to be a deterioration or a collapse in upholding our societal values, beliefs, norms and ethical standards. Also, Afuye (2015), stated the forms of moral decadence as; cultism, Rape, examination malpractice, Teenage pregnancy, student prostitution, sexual harassment, sale of “Grade” student demonstrations, drug abuse, indecent dressing and so on. Obedi (2014) asserted that moral decadence is reported in different societies and cultures, industrialized world to the non-industrialized world and that behaviours denoting immorality have risen such as rape, sexual abuse, drug abuse, and school violence and killings have been common among youths and children all over the world.
Okeke C. (2016) described morality as “the astuteness of one’s conduct and behaviour which enhances good conduct and fair relationship. Muraino and Ugwumba (2014) asserted that morality is collectively upholding certain beliefs, ideas, values and behaviours, rules and regulations which are considered good, right and acceptable by the society and to which members of the society are bound. Weber E. (1991), posited that the descriptive definition of morality explains the moral asset of conduct put forward by any group; including a society; and the normative definition is based on the idea that what is moral should have a code of conduct, that is put forward by a society and that it should be accepted as a guide to behaviour by members of that society. Therefore, from the above definitions, morality seems to be a set of codes of conduct put forward by any group, society or nation that is acceptable to members of the group.
Theoretically, this study was guided by the Social Learning Theory of Bandura (1977). The Social Learning Theory states that children learn social behaviour such as aggression through the process of observation learning – through watching the behaviour of another person. This study has important implications for the effects of social media influence on youth through observation on this platform for example webcam chats or porn chats. In contrast (Bandura, 1977) illustrated in social learning theory that aggression is learnt from the environment through observation and imitation. This is seen in his famous Bobo doll experiment (Bandura, A. Ross, D., & Ross, S. A., 1961). Also, (Skinner, 1957) believed that language is learnt from other people via behaviour shaping techniques. And social media provides such a learning environment thus these may include; vulgar language and disrespectful language on social media forums.
In addition, this study was also guided by the Psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud. This theory seeks to make the unconscious conscious. That is to say, students’ immoral behaviour is a result of factors which are unconscious to them. Freud described such forces as the id and ego. Consequently, bringing the third force which is the superego helps to bring the students to consciousness and thus reduce the rate of moral decadence and improve students’ educational standards in secondary schools. (Martins, 2021)
Contextually, the issue of school moral decadence is not a new phenomenon. Despite the efforts by the Ministry of secondary education to handle indiscipline in public secondary schools by setting up Guidance and Counselling departments in secondary schools in Cameroon, indiscipline has continued to manifest in various ways and new dimensions. Students have adopted new means of disrespect such as direct assault on teaching staff, use of knives and daggers to stab teachers and voluntary absenteeism from class lectures. They are often seen open consuming hard drugs and alcohol which affects their reasoning faculty making them unsuccessful in examinations and school as a whole. However, it should be noted that the moral vices highlighted above are common characteristics of both public and private secondary schools in Douala 1 in particular and Cameroon as a whole.
Morality in all human societies has always been an issue to grapple with, especially during civilization. Hence, morality defines a community’s level of civilization, development and educational progress. However, recently, morality has seemingly been dropping in most societies thereby affecting how people behave, think, react and perceive the environment they live in. education which is considered the fundamental to moral growth in recent times produces a more deviant society which is less expected. Moral decadence is fast rising within the school citadel causing a fall in the level of knowledge expected from learners in secondary schools. The researcher, therefore, seeks to investigate this moral decay and its impacts on students’ educational standards in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
Statement of the problem
The education system in Cameroon is designed in a manner such that morality is upheld in terms of curriculum and discipline. This is aimed at fostering the standard of education for secondary school adolescence. It is also intended to develop students’ moral behaviour and performance which can help them adapt easily to societal norms and values and be relevant to themselves and society. In the past, schools have managed to prevent students from engaging in illicit sex, indiscipline and the abusive use of hard drugs, thereby maintaining quality standards in the expected outcome and behaviour of students and reducing the risk of moral decay. In the present, this is not the situation on the ground as moral decadence is gaining more ground in secondary schools. Students are grossly involved in illicit sex like the case of male and female students of Integ College Bepanda caught inside the school toilet during the break, involved in sexual intercourse and the sex tape of some female students at Government Bilingual High School Krabi. Furthermore, Indiscipline is not left aside such that teachers and administrative authorities are no longer respected, late coming and absenteeism have become the order of the day, and the abusive use of hard drugs for example influence a student in Government Bilingual High School Deido to stab to death a fellow student in form four of the same school. These, in a long run, affect their Behaviours and performance adversely. The standards of education in the present are questionable as education which is considered the belt to moral uprightness is yielding negative fruits in the lives of secondary school Adolescence. What can be the cause of this fall in the expected knowledge and behaviours of the present students? It is on this note that the researcher seeks to investigate how moral decadence, manifested in the form of illicit sex, indiscipline and abusive use of hard drugs impact the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
The main objective of the study is to investigate how moral decadence impacts the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
- To find out how illicit or immoral sex impacts students’ educational standards in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
- To examine the effects of indiscipline on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
- To investigate the impact of the abusive use of hard drugs on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
What factors influence moral decadence and its impact on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality?
- What is the impact of illicit or immoral sex on students’ educational standards in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality?
- What is the effect of indiscipline on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality?
- What is the effect of the abusive use of hard drugs on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality?
H01. There exist a relationship between moral decadence and students’ educational standards in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
Ha1. There exist no relationship between moral decadence and students’ educational standards in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
H02. There is a possible impact of illicit or immoral sex on students’ educational standards in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
Ha2. There is no possible relationship between illicit or immoral sex and students’ educational standards in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
H03. There is an effect of indiscipline on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
Ha3. There is no effect of indiscipline on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
H04. There is an impact of the abusive use of hard drugs on the educational standard of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.
Ha4. There is no impact of the abusive use of hard drugs on the educational standards of students in some secondary schools in Douala 1 Municipality.