A man is known by his social and moral values and these values define whether each person or a group of people belong to a civilized society or an uncivilized society. (See web link No 1) From time to time, these values are shapedby an inherent understanding of right and wrong, as well as important influences such as peer pressure in every nation.The influence exerted by a peer group is encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms. If one person is associated with good and educated people, he or she will also be or become a good person with morality. If that person is associated with bad people, he or she will get negative influences from them, leading to the decline of morality because of criminal activities. It characterized as reduced adherence to culture, social norms and values in ethical behavior in the society. Clear examples can be drawn from Cambodia context in which we spend our lives, moral values are declining very rapidly and are plunged into immeasurable depth.So what drives high rates of moral decline in Cambodia? Based on our perspectives,there are four factors leading to the decline of morality.
First,thesevere povertyin Cambodia has contributed to an increase of moral decline.Poverty becomes an important indication of the collapse of moral value for many reasons. Firstly, Cambodian people suffer from shortage financial support. As a result of inadequate income and resources people may be excluded and marginalized from participating effectively in activities which are considered as the norm and morality of society. They have spent their time in earning money rather than learning as they hold idea of “stomach is the priority”. Second, poverty is a kind of hole, which makes the entire area into a cesspool of degradation, drugs, prostitution, domestic violence and crime, which can be very hard to reverse. For instant, people then begin to choose the life of a gang member or criminal in order to earn money more easily and quickly. Moreover, some families sell their children for money which is against social morality. Finally, the poor are living in poor condition and morality, so their next generation is doing so. Therefore, morality is transmitted less and less from one generation to another. It will decline gradually in the future. Thus, poverty is moral issue which damages humanity and whole society. In addition, it is also the main obstacle for developing Cambodia, so we all have to participate in poverty alleviation as much as possible.
Second, the decline of morality can be found in a country where there is poor education system or the lack of good education. Education is a main factor to improve our capacity to be aware what is right or wrong. We divide two educations which are formal education referring to school teaching with particular curriculum and non-formal education getting knowledge from everywhere. If we talk about the non-formal education, mostly we focus on parents teaching. In fact, parents are the first teacher of their children because they spent their beginning time of their lives with. After the children were born, it’s time to launch learning everything surrounding them in order to adapt them into that environment. Generally, their parents will socialize the children to be members of their society. Firstly, they have taught fundamental activities like how to walk, speak, eat, sleep, and so on. What they have taught follow the social norm and morality, so their children have taken it for granted and practiced those activities without question. However, in order to make sure the children be able to respect the social morality, parents have to provide accurately the morality and should be educated parents. Looking back to Khmer history, we noticed that over 30 years ago there was a civil war killing well educated people and eliminating educating. During their childhood, they were absent to get a fulfill education, or the morality was not applied in that society. As a consequence, nowadays those people have become parents, so they can’t transfer good morality to their children due to their unawareness. Another education that is a main cause is poor school teaching providing. Sadly, even though the educated people number has been increasing gradually, the morality falls sharply owing to the lack quality of teaching. School curriculum and teachers are not good enough to teach students how to act properly in the society and respect the social norm. Because of low living standard of teachers, they can’t spend their time to prepare ether lesson plans or searching more information of their lesson. In the class, the teachers have taught old sources and have not had much attention with their teaching. When parents sent their children to school, they hope positively that the school will offer the children the knowledge as well as morality to be a good human resource for the country.
Third, Concerning to the moral values decline in Cambodia, family, one of the social institution nowadays, has been seen as one of the main factors to be paid more attention to as parents significantly do not contribute much to their children’s morality development. Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_development”development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Nowadays, parents are working parents in a family. Due to financial problems, fathers and mothers need to work hard in many hours and days to support family. They have to earn as much money as they can to assure family well-being. In some families, both spouses have to go work and leave children with other relatives to take care of. Parents in Phnom Penh, for example, are labeled as working parents by economists because mostly both parents go to work. Consequently, spending time with and giving care to their children become almost impossible. They don’t have time to teach their children how to behave morally right. Moreover, sometimes those children get pressure from friends and other people they are left with, so they innocently act in negative way. More importantly, parents tend to gradually depend entirely on school to carry on responsibility of educating their children. Children are sent to kindergarten since they’re only two or three years old and kept at school till their parents come to pick up at evening. Even though they are not busy at home, parents are still keen to let their little children to stay at school with other kids. School is considered to be the best place to educate, but some moral lesson can’t be taught by teachers and need parents to take care of it. Of course, this wrong belief of parents brings some problems to society. According to some research saying that Cambodian students grow more aggressive and act fiercely towards others. They start to less listen to their own parents and argue back. By spending time much more time with friend than parents, they willingly follow their peers to participate in extreme activities like committing sexual-related activities, fighting with other gangs, and dressing weirdly which are against society moral values. Last but not least, freedom parents give to children is too much. Parents talk less but allow children to do whatever they want. As seen in Cambodia society, parents give everything their children ask, allow them to go whenever and wherever they like without bothering to ask for reason or think whether they’re old enough to get such permission. To sum up, parents nowadays deserve to be blamed for their careless mistakes. They are supposed to take well care of their kids since they are young.
Last, misused technology is also the factor thatcreates the decline of moral values in Cambodia. As we can see in our everyday life, most of adultsare spending their time on the new technology especially internet, the popular sources withouttaking care much about the problems that may result many negative impacts to their future. If we look deeply through the trend of using internet in our society, the misuse of internet is still our concerning, for instance, they use it to entertain themselves by playing online game to relax or release their steam, but some games make people to get addicted to it contributing to the waste of the time by not attending school and ignoring social activities. Moreover, the most extreme fear is that adults are more likely to play violence game related to murdering, raping, or committingall type of crimes. This means that they control the character in the game to represent themselves to do such bad things. Meanwhile, when they are encountering with the problems, they may, experienced from playing game, imitate or solve these problems from the game leading to the increase of crime rate.
All in all, as we are living in the complex society, the root of the decline of the moral value does not only come from one sector or one factor but also from other inter-related reasons that we have never been aware of. People need to go to school so they can get well educated on how to become a good citizen and what a certain obligation they should take into action in the society. The government should try to push all private and public sectors especially mass media, the very influential institution, to broadcast about moral education. The inflow of any foreign cultures which give negative impacts to our society should be banned by the government.Being good citizens in such a civilized society, we should avoid getting addicted in drugs and doing anything that harms ourselves, everybody and our beloved nation.Helping our society means helping ourselves.