Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) was really aimed at shaping the character of young children into better citizens of the country. It is so heartwarming that the Department of Education (DepEd) has decided to include GMRC for the early grades in the school curriculum.
“Building character” is one of the goals of a local private school in the pursuit of education. Indeed, it should be, because once our children, the youth are founded on strong character, they shall become the solid foundation for nation-building. The wisdom of the old, in tandem with the energy of the young, becomes an invincible fortress of moral and spiritual values in society.
When I see parents being bullied by their children and grandparents by their grandchildren, I see foreboding horizons for these young souls who have no regard for their own future. Be that as it may, parents and grandparents are guilty of lack of discipline these days. They tolerate the unruly behavior of young people and violate the biblical standard of “spare the rod and spoil the child.” Grown trees are never appropriate for bending, or they crack with the weight of forced bending. Yes, they are suited for discipline when in their sapling stage.
As a priest would say, “never discipline your child when you are angry;” he was empathic about discipline with the right emotional set-up. Or nothing comes out positive from well-intentioned parental discipline or even worse. The purpose of discipline could come out in violation of the law against child abuse.
The home is the first school for the formation of good character. And the school is supposed to be the extension of the home; the teachers are the children’s second parents. What the children experience in their home, they normally expect from their school, and their teachers.
What is terribly lacking these days is the absence of authority. Children expect to look up to elders to restrain them when they are wrong, and push them when they should advance when they are right. These young souls should know right from wrong from their age of reason. Or adults will find themselves useless to children in this age of sophisticated technology.
GMRC shall be most significant in guiding children to the right path in the right place and time.
So many of our children are now spoiled brats losing the courtesy of greeting elders with courteous behavior in family and clan reunions.
Violence in cellphone games and television screens drives them to character violence, indifference to authority and wanton disregard of what is right and wrong.
GMRC’s return to school curriculum is a return to basics in child upbringing and strong character formation.
Strong character in its citizens makes a nation equally strong and formidable amid societies countless challenges in these times of crises and conflicts.
Good manners and right conduct shall be the clarion call from parents, grandparents, teachers and mentors in our time.
By Joe Mancera