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It is rare to find a school or an institution void of social vices. This depicts that they are present in all educational centers – Primary, Secondary & Tertiary. Vice is a Latin word ‘vitium’ meaning defect or failing. It is defined as a bad habit or immoral activities. Vices are common among young males and females, examples include prostitution, indecent dressing, robbery, cultism, pocket picking, drug addiction, examination malpractice, hooliganism, thuggery, gambling, smoking, pre-marital sexual activities, and rape. Social vices are bad traits, unhealthy and negative behaviors that are against the morality of a society and frowned at by members of the society. (Read on how and ways of identifying a Cultist here)
Peer pressure is the major cause of youth involvement in social vices. Students spend more time with their friends at school or at home. Due to their weak nature and tender age, they can easily be influenced. Children have a high level of curiosity to learn, to have fun and practice new things thus making them smoke, drink, have sexual intercourse (read more about the sexually transmitted diseases here) and so on. A proverb that says “show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are” shows the significance of friends and how they influence lives. A child tends to behave like his or her friends so as not to be labeled as cowards, JJCs, uncivilized or crude. A child who moves with children with poor academic performance can be like them in no time and will be lured to the shortcuts to success such as examination malpractice. Being a virgin, which was once a thing of pride has now turned into an object of ridicule among students now. An innocent girl will want to experiment what her friends discuss always and may be pushed into sexual activities in tender age.Peer pressure is a major cause of vices in the society Another cause of social vices is negligence by the parents or a broken home. Most children that engage themselves in vices are from broken homes. Lack of parental care, supervision and attention can make a child engage in social vices. Children from the permissive and uninvolved parenting styles fall mostly into these traps (Read about parenting styles here). They move with wrong people, their movements are not queried; their academic progress is not being followed up. Freedom to do anything without been probe affect children negatively. Negligence of parents can make the wards turn to their friends for love, emotions, care, advice who can lure them into deadly acts. An abandoned girl can look up to an opposite sex for love and affection. Some maids, house helps, family members who are always around children in the absence of parents can introduce these vices to them. Some may even violate the children sexually, warn and threatened them not to tell anyone. Even if the bold ones are determined to confide in their parents, they may be too busy or occupied to listen and see through things. Many parents have spoilt the lives of their children without them knowing. Social vices affect the society as a whole and the individual in particular. The mental, physical, academic, moral aspects of an individual are negatively affected. Students divert their time to these vices instead of being serious with academic works. There is wastage of time which leads to poor academic performance. Deadly diseases that can lead to the termination of lives and career can be contacted. A pregnant lady will face emotional, psychological trauma which will make her lose focus and attention on her studies. She might eventually stop schooling, get expelled or quit for some period of time. If she is lucky, she may return to school but her mates will be far ahead of her. Dangerous acts like cultism are rampant in schools. A secret cult is an organization of some people who engage in some activities that are secret. Some students are lured while some are forced to join a cult. It is found out that most members of these secret associations are from rich homes. Greater attention is given to the cult to the detriment of academics. Much demand is expected from members. The cult is their priority while any other things including their studies are secondary. They forget their primary assignment in school by focusing on meeting the needs of other members, fighting, and initiation of innocent students. Being in a secret cult expose a child to other forms of illegal acts such as smoking, alcoholism, rape, taking of illegal substances, hooliganism, thuggery, and others. They may lose their lives in fights or when there is a clash with an opposing cult(s) and some may be rusticated from schools. They might even progress to higher crimes such as highway and bank robbery. A high rate of social vices can tarnish the image of a family and a country. It can destabilize a home and rumple the peace of a household. Parents blame each other for their wayward child(ren) which could lead to separation, broken homes and divorce. The health of parents with wayward attitudes are threatened which can further lead to anxiety, depression ( how to be free from depression), high blood pressure, stroke, and death. The absence of a parent or both parents will further implicate matters and will not help in the rehabilitation of the children. The image of a country is reduced by the high number of vices. Other countries look down on such a country as being weak, corrupt and deadly. They sometimes disallow migration to their countries and even if they allow, strict screening exercises are put in place. Investors, both foreigners, and citizens will be scared to invest in a corrupt country. This will lead to fewer industries and companies that should have provided employment to the citizens, thus leading to the high unemployment rate and inhibition of national growth and development. Illicit drugs, smoking, alcoholism deteriorate the health of the users. They can also lead to the boldness of going for higher crimes. Many lives are lost to cancer and mental disorder. Many of the students, especially the addicted ones squander their pocket money on drugs and result to theft when they are broke. Rapists and their victims are exposed to sexual diseases like AIDS and other related STD. Female students might stop education due to early pregnancy. High numbers of student who engage in evil acts in a school reduce the morality and standard of the school. Parents tend to withdraw their wards from such schools and the change of institution might have negative effects on students.
Social vices need to be curbed. Youths that engage in these dangerous acts need help advice and rehabilitation for the addicted ones. Parents need to know their children’s friends, status, and their academic performances. This is majorly the role of our mothers. Mothers should be close to their children. Close monitoring and time should be given to children by parents. Children should be taught the moral values and the word of God, this might help as a solution. Another solution is that the government should organize forums that will enlighten the students about the dangers associated with social vices. Police must be active and be on alert. Schools should have a high level of discipline. Any student seen as a threat to others should be cautioned and rehabilitated. All hands must be on deck to combat the social menace common to students.