With the exception of a few lessons at school or at home, children today are not being taught good citizenship. Teachers and parents are not finding the time to teach children how to handle academic challenges, how to cope with exams, and the importance of a sense of civic responsibility and the difference it makes to the country and to their self-development. 

Civic responsibility is not limited to keeping public roads and public property clean but also encompasses obeying the law, respecting others’ opinions and knowing how to maintain decorum in public places. Individualism, vandalism, intolerance, racism, hate speech and road rage are all examples of a lack of civic responsibility. People are becoming less tolerant of each other. 

When one ignores or does not respect the law one is showing a lack of civic sense. Education needs to start at a young age. We need to realise that teaching civic responsibility is as important as teaching someone to beware of fire. We know that fire causes direct harm to the person while lack of awareness of civic responsibility leads to dire consequences for society. 

Some people are so busy trying to reach their personal goals that civic sense, in the sense of ethical behaviour, is the least of their priorities – it is almost an inconvenience for those who ignore. This attitude can do long term damage to society. This has never been the case before; we have never before lived in a culture of anything goes. Why is our civic sense eroding? I dare say that it may be down to egoism.  Some people could not care less about the needs of others. 

We can all agree that we all wish to see our children succeed in life, but many are not making the effort to bring them up as decent human beings.  If we do not make our children aware of social issues, they will not be able to make the right decisions when they are faced with a social problem. 

Good upbringing can provide a solid foundation upon which one could build a national culture of civic sense and sensibility;  it can make tomorrow’s citizens aware of the importance of social norms that should become part of everyday life. 

At the moment the public could be caught up in a system of false values based on a materialistic world. For some, becoming rich fast and having more wealth than they can spend, is the ultimate aim. The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said: “Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god”. 

A change for a better society is a prerequisite for the development of the nation and this can only be obtained through the formation of the right values.  The key to the formation of values is the ability to tell right from wrong and be able to choose right over wrong. 

With a well planned education system that encompasses effective training strategies and with collective effort we should be able to instil values in the younger generation so they become second nature.  The formation of values, as a determining factor of behaviour, is an important phenomenon that should not be ignored.