Classes in public schools opened Monday.
This year, the K to 12 plan—kindergarten plus Grades 1 to 7 in elementary and five years in high school—will finally be implemented.
The knowledge students learn from mathematics, science, history and languages will amount to nothing if schools do not teach them moral values and respect for the rights of others as well.
Moral values, or ethics and respect for others, should be a major subject from kindergarten up to the college level.
Moral values involve the principles of knowing right from wrong, while respect for the rights of others is self-explanatory.
Children, who are the country’s future leaders and followers, should learn moral values and respect the rights of others early.
This is more important than accumulating knowledge since having moral values and respect for others forms the basis of a child’s future behavior.
We’re not talking religion here, we’re talking about discipline as a way of life.
A disciplined citizenry makes for a prosperous nation.
First World nations, like Japan, have disciplined citizens.
The Philippines is a Third World country because most of its people are undisciplined.
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Examples of the lack of moral values and disrespect for the rights of others are easy to spot in our streets.
Drivers and motorists cross a red light when there are no cops around (lack of moral values), and do not slow down or stop when approaching a pedestrian lane even when a pedestrian is crossing (disrespect for the rights of others).
I’ve been a witness to many near-accidents when cars, taxicabs, buses and jeepneys maintain their speed even while people cross a pedestrian lane.
I’ve also seen police cars—yes, police cars—beating a red light when their flashers are not on, meaning they’re not answering an emergency call.
The policemen riding in those police cars that violated traffic rules wanted to feel important.
Ordinary citizens who see cops violate traffic rules also do the same because the small monkey imitates the actions of the big monkey.
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On a grander scale, a lowly City Hall employee demands small bribes from citizens transacting business in his office because he knows that the mayor accepts or demands bigger bribes.
And since the mayor is himself or herself corrupt, he or she doesn’t have the moral ascendancy to tell his/her subordinates to be honest.
If the mayor does tell them to be honest, his orders fall on deaf ears because his subordinates know he’s not serious in giving the orders.
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Insp. Gerome Sherwin Gonsadan of the Special Action Force (SAF) is being rewarded by being sent to school by the Philippine National Police, thus ensuring his promotion when he should have been dismissed.
Gonsadan shot dead Bander Faisal Davoc, a waiter, on Feb. 4, 2012, in Baguio City.
The police lieutenant had “bulalo” (beef chunks) soup at the restaurant where Davoc worked.
Gonsadan allegedly resented being presented a bill for his order.