Mark Nicely, GUEST COLUMNIST
When will any government show the political will to curb the moral decay which is plunging our country into moral bankruptcy?
When I attended high school in the 1990s, I was exposed to tinted buses with speaker boxes pumping loud music which, in my view, did nothing to enhance our focus on education.
I recall, however, that at that time, some 20-plus years ago, there was public outcry about the negative impact the music in the buses was having on schoolchildren and the extent to which these buses negatively affected the acceptable norms and values of our society.
Additionally, the atmosphere of those state-sanctioned public modes of transportation were seen as an invasion of air space and noise pollution at best, distasteful and abusive, based on the content of the lyrics echoed at that time.
As a student attending St Andrew Technical High School, I was happy when the then political directorate banned tints and speaker boxes from public buses.
Fast-forward to 2013, nothing has changed. Both major political parties have conveniently spoken about the negative implications of these buses, but to date, it has been a perpetual case of 'a bag of mouth and very little action'.
The current responses are typical of what the nation can expect as it relates to issues of morals, values and attitudes which will rob the society of open vulgarity and the do-as-you-like culture. I would want to place on record, from experience, the effects of the phenomenon of these buses on our education system.
When a high-school student travels on one of these buses for half an hour or more, he or she becomes intoxicated with the message of violence or donmanship or a high desire for sexual interaction. Many, at the end of the journey, become very horny. Upon exiting these buses, they usually have to spend some time fixing their uniforms, which are usually in a state of disarray from the gyrating along the journey.
The horny student enters class with sex on his or her mind. The teacher now has the job of desensitising the student. This is a task for which the teacher is not trained and one which may or may not occur in that single or double session.
Even when desensitisation is achieved, the student, in the back of his or her mind, is cognisant of the fact that this same experience becomes available at the end of school and, in some cases, pine after a return from whence they came, again retarding the teaching-and-learning process.
It affects the students' interaction at school and in the community, as well as their thought processes and the quality of time they will spend focusing on academic affairs is significantly retarded.
The cancer of the negative effects of heavily tinted buses with loud music is robbing our country of quality human products and positioning young, bright students toward underperform and becoming the future idlers.
I call on Government and well-thinking Jamaicans, in the interest of preserving and restoring the moral fibre of our society, to act swiftly and decisively to rid the the country of this termite.
The Jamaica Teachers' Association theme for the 2013-2014 Conference Year is 'Advancing the Nation's Human Capital through Education'.
The time to act is now. Government must show the political will to preserve the moral fibre of our society. We again ask for action, not just talk.
The ball has been bowled. We wait with bated breath to see how the Government will play this one.
Mark Nicely is president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.