Decline In Behaviour
Sir, - Could I suggest, in the context of school education, a way of addressing the growing problem of the use of coarse language and the general decline in civic behaviour among our youth? It is simply the promotion of virtue based on the exhortation of St Paul in his letters to the Phillipians, (Ch. 4, V. 8.): "Finally brothers and sisters, fill your mind with whatever is truthful, holy, just, pure, lovely and noble. Be mindful of whatever deserves praise and admiration . . . ." The pursuit of these ideals equips students with values and attitudes to sustain them through life and invariably give a school its ethos.
Modern Ireland is bombarding our youth with the lure of crass materialism, instant gratification, and valueless lifestyles. Such falsehoods must be challenged and rejected for their emptiness. The public exam points system, notwithstanding its merits, doesn't allow final year students adequate time to examine and evaluate much of what modern life thrusts on them as acceptable behaviour, but which a more critical and reflectful student would reject. We need to reconsider our priorities, since education is about forming people to partake in a society, not just an economy. - Yours, etc.,
Michael Baker, Killiney, Co Dublin.