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ROLE OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES TEACHER IN CURBING AND CONTROLLING CHILD DELINQUENT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study    

Christian Religious Studies is one of the core subjects in school and as well as an elective in the senior secondary schools. The subject gains its root into Nigeria education system through the European Missionaries who introduced the subject as a means of converting Nigerians into white man religion (Christianity). Shortly after Nigeria independence, management of schools shifted from the hands of the missionaries to the Nigerian government. The shift affected the study of CRS such that the name was changed from Bible knowledge to Christian Religious knowledge and later CRS, in the same way series of changes occurred in its contents. With government take over of schools, there was a call for review of Nigeria education curriculum in 1983, and the curriculum of study was expanded to include Arts, sciences and technological subjects. In the review, many subjects were introduced, and the teaching of CRS was upheld among others. The Federal Ministry of Education (FME) reviewed CRS curriculum with major focus on building human values, moral and attitudes. 

In the last 50 years juvenile delinquency has become a major concern to psychologists, sociologists, criminologists and the society at large. Juvenile delinquency has been on the increase since WW II among the industrialized and developed countries as well as the 3rd world countries. For example, while in Minnesota in U.S.A a teen shot dead nine people at Red Lake High School, in Kenya 67 students died at Kyanguli High School of arson from fellow students. Loeber et al (2003) says that data on child delinquents, shows that the number of children brought before American courts increased by a third between 1990 and 2000. The pattern is a cause for concern as these children are likely to become adult offenders. According to Siegel et a! (1997), delinquency is not only a deviation but a form of loss and desolation, combining all manifestations of depravity and moral decay. Juvenile delinquency refers to a broad range of behaviors from socially unacceptable behavior, to status offenses, to criminal acts. Criminal acts may range from robbery, aggravated assault, rape and homicide, while status offenses include truancy, underage drinking, sexual promiscuity and uncontrollability. These are performed by youth under specified age (in Kenya 18 years), which classifies them as juvenile offenses (Santrock, 2006).

umerous studies have confirmed that school related variables are more important contributing tactors to delinquent behavior than the effects of either the family or friends (Delbert, et al, 1974). This is because schools are responsible for educating virtually everyone during most of their formative years and also because so much of an adolescent’s time is spent in school. 1 Therefore there is a logical relationship between delinquent behavior and what is happening or not happening in classrooms throughout the world. The U.S Senate subcommittee on delinquency (1977) contends that many o f the underlying problems of delinquency as well as their prevention and control are intimately connected with the nature and quality of the school experiences. Thus most therapists agree that the educational system bears some responsibility for the high rate of juvenile crime. The school plays a significant role in shaping the values and norms of children in the society. In traditional societies, most children were socialized in the family but with the technological advancement and the global trend on compulsory public education, schooling has been made a legal obligation for everyone. The school has dierefore become the primary instrument for socialization, the basic conduit through which the community and adult influences enter into the lives of adolescents, (Polk et al, 1972). The school has also become the primary determinant of economic and social status in modem society. Education holds the key to a job that makes one labeled as ‘successful’ hence the important determinant of economic success. Thus schools are geared towards producing success in the form of academic achievement which provides the key to position and success in society. Students who do not conform to the educational standards choose to drop out of school, and those drop outs are more likely to continue offending into adulthood. Students’ behavior which may have roots in school experience may range from minor breaking of school rules such as noise making, loitering, name calling, lateness and rudeness to teachers, 2 to more serious crimes such as assault, arson, burglary, drug abuse, vandalism of school property etc. (Siegel, et al, 1997). With the crumbling of the traditional family units and with the little time modem parents have to spend with their children, much responsibility has been placed on the schools and teachers. This implies that schools have to take on responsibilities that are more concerned with the social welfare of the students than with merely classroom instruction. (Chepteting 2003) In a particular unit of instruction. Learning outcomes according to Obanya (2004) are statements that describe significant and essential learning which learners have acquired and can reliably demonstrate at the end of a course or program. The desired or expected learning outcomes of CRS study is on the attainment of ethical and moral behavior of school pupils, in other words, building up the moral character of an individual using example of Christian religion values rather than mere precepts. The main aim of including CRS into Nigerian education curriculum therefore is to advance Christian moral virtues in the lives of school pupils. Most often those desired outcomes do not manifest in some pupils’ behaviours judging from the rate of immorality observable in schools and the society at large.

Statement of the Problem

There are various school-related problems that lead to delinquent behavior. These are, for example the fear of failure, lack of a diversified and intensified curriculum, pressure to conform by peers, inability to see the need of education or the relevance to school, unfair punishment by leachers, bullying by the other students, discrimination and stigmatization by teachers and students, sexual harassment by other students, teachers and the support staff such as watchmen, cooks, bursars, cleaners etc. It is important therefore to understand the school related factors and the way they lead to juvenile delinquency so as to mitigate against them. School delinquency if not well handled, goes on into adulthood  There are many outcries against immorality in the Nigerian society today. The level of indiscipline and crime waves among the youths has seriously escalated in geometric progression. Moral delinquent  in the Nigerian society today is beyond sexual perversion. From general observations, the severity of immoral actions ranges from “simple cheating” at school to drug abuse, murder and the exhibition of other anti-social behaviours. The depth of the problem has reached a point where common decency can no longer be described as common. For instance, decent people are honest and behave in a way that most people approve of, but in our society today, honesty as a virtue most especially among our youths, is not as common as it was in years past and this in one way or the other, has affected the development of the society. Educational institutions have become comfortable dens for gangsters, cultists and prostitutes. Wearing of “decorated rags” and seductive attires has become a fad for ladies, and the virtue of virginity is becoming unthinkable and abominable. Examination 4 malpractice, which is aided by parents and teachers, has become common place in Nigerian schools.

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Updated: 12th March 2020 — 8:17 am

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