‘Charity begins at home’ | Daily News

‘Charity begins at home’

After fifty years of English teaching experience both here and abroad, I am convinced that a high percentage of parents have failed to teach their children the value of the old adage “CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.” In my social life, I have witnessed countless times how short-sighted parents have left an irreparable void in their children’s personalities due to ignorance and uncultured behavior at home and in society. This invaluable proverb teaches us that helping one another should start within the confines of our own homes.

Throughout my decades-long teaching career in authentic classroom settings, I have sadly observed the detrimental effects suffered by children who have inherited, from their parents, elders, teachers, and society, a lack of understanding of this principle. Even the clergy has overlooked this aspect of our cultural journey. Education policy planners and legislators also seem to have neglected the importance of shaping children’s character. This aspect has not received the attention it deserves in the development of school curricula, nor in tertiary and university education. The cultural decay we witness in our country can be attributed to defective education systems that lack a cultural foundation. The present generation deserves a better cultural upbringing for the betterment of our nation.

A significant number of school children seem to avoid assisting teachers, prefects, and monitors in keeping their classrooms clean and tidy. Only a handful of students step forward to clean classrooms when instructed by the head prefect and class teachers. Some troublemakers even go as far as to claim that such tasks are meant for the support staff, forgetting about their responsibilities at home. The crux of the matter is that if they were to learn and practice the aforementioned proverb, such situations within the school system would not arise.

Schools are bustling centers of activity. Collaborative efforts from students, parents, support staff, teachers, and well-wishers are required for various activities such as cleaning the environment, school functions, prize-giving ceremonies, annual sports meets, and social and religious events. The principal is no exception to shouldering collective responsibility in such situations. However, it is evident that some individuals try to avoid their share of responsibility and come up with unimaginable excuses. Attendance of students on such days usually drops drastically, compounded by the problem of private tuition. Lack of parental motivation further adds to the barriers. I recall one principal during my tenure who rarely cooperated with his staff, creating a culture of lethargy among the parents.

In today’s busy society, it is difficult to trust that someone will help you in times of urgency. Most members of society are extremely selfish, as they do not practice “CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.” Today’s students hardly share their books and notes with their classmates; instead of charity, jealousy has taken hold.

Let’s give this term a fresh start by helping one another in times of need. Let sharing and caring be our motto. Our progress as a nation requires a cultural foundation.

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