Residents of Dar es Salaam, East Africa’s biggest urban setting hosting about ten per cent of the Tanzania population, have been blamed for being the hot bed of deteriorating morality among the youth and in society as a whole.
“I am a teacher on retirement but still active. I am new to this city. I came from Mbeya. But, I dare say that parents and guardians based in Dar es Salaam constitute the worst lot in Tanzania when it comes to raising a decent family.”
A Catholic nun, who identified herself by one name of Sister Immaculata, made this charge during discussion at a one-day conference called at the Mzimbazi Centre in Dar es Salaam by the Catholic Professionals of Tanzania (CPT) to mark two decades of Mwl. Julius Nyerere’s death. Ethics and Economy was the conference theme.
“Dar es Salaam parents are ever busy. In search of help, they will bring to you a child they have failed to bring up properly. But Alas! Dar es Salaam children are never touch. The moment you do it, parents rise up in arms against you. There is no cooperation. Children no longer belong to society.”
Sr. Immaculata called for a change in this parenting approach insisting on the fact that discipline starts at home. There is no substitute for it. “We have a school dress code. Now, what do you do when a mother brings her child (to school) when, herself, is almost topless?”She asked.
Another contributor, who identified herself as Dr. Blandina, said that education does not end with one taking a child to a school for being taught. There is need to appreciate the fact that problems arising in the homes affect the performance of every other sector. Change is imminent. So, what is important is to manage it before it changes us.
“Indeed people should not find themselves in insurmountable problems due to lack of knowledge. But let’s face it. We are poor not because of lack of money. It’s mainly because of non-adherence to ethics. Development derives its source more from disciple. We should take the right approach. Let’s not give our children money. It corrupts.“
This was the view presented by a contributor identified as Fr. Florence, who also reminded the conference of Mwl. Nyerere’s words that development depends on the people, land, good politics and quality leadership.
Fr. Florence called on the government to take a stronger view on ensuring that religious instruction takes its right place in the education system delivery. Because religion is a subject, remuneration of those who deliver it should be on the payroll. Education mix that addresses needs of the current and hereafter is the right solution, he argued.
Prof. Herme Joseph Mosha decried what he called declining ethics in the education sector. He equated improved education devoid of ethics to the Alinacha Dreams that Third Phase President Benjamin Mkapa was fond of referring to. Ethics and human dignity should come first.
He said while the family is the first school, religion remains the big school of faith. He wondered why religious studies were being looked down upon in schools --even by those who should be enhancing it.
“The Ten Commandments handed over to Moses are not for Catholics alone. They are for all believers and non-believers. They teach us respect for humanity. But today, somebody dies and we buy ten tons of flowers! Science and technology development has its pros and cons. If not looked at critically, it can lead to technological madness,” Prof. Mosha warned.