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The present dispensation has witnessed an increasing rate of moral decadence all over the world, especially in Nigeria. Many people have at various occasions expressed serious concern over the high level of immoral behaviours and juvenile delinquencies that are prevalent in our time. ‘In many parts of our society, immoral behavours such as laxity, lack of respect for authority figures, dishonesty and general indiscipline have become so prevalent that no one seems to know the way out” (Ekoja, 2006:160).
Youths experience different crises at different stages of life. There are crises of value conflicts, sexual identity, dependency issues, conflict with constituted authority and self discipline. This adolescence stage is a delicate period in life. A period of confusion and decision making which either builds or mars one’s future.
Unfortunately, most individuals, groups and institutions that should offer help to these youths at this crises stage fail to play their roles. Youths are left uninformed by the experienced, and misinformed by the inexperienced. The
closeness of adults and the experienced becomes very vital at this stage. Ebuara (2006), asserts that, at this stage, there is the need to establish a genuine and emphatic relationship with them to win their confidences and resolution of crises situation.
Therefore, the focus of this paper is to challenge and raise individuals, groups and institutions for effective guidance and counseling among youths in Nigeria. It is hoped that this will raise the moral standard of the nation.
The researcher uses narrative analysis in this work. In other words, the story and experience of Amnon, Tamar and Jonadab in 2 Samuel 13 will be used as illustrative tool in conveying the massage to the audience.
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The problems that this research work wants to address are:
i. There is an increase in the rate of moral decadence and youth delinquencies in the world especially in Nigeria. For instance, armed robbery, kidnapping, immorality, cultism, examination malpractice, rape, child trafficking, religious
violence, and mass bombing by Boko Haram group. They have become the order of the day.
ii. A good number of youths in their developmental stages are not given adequate attention by their parents and the experienced or adult ones. There is a parental gap and flaws in parenting resulting to serious havoc to many
homes and the society in general. Moreover, schools, churches and governments do not provide adequate guidance and counselling programmes and service to our youths. Consequently, they are being misinformed by the inexperienced and uncultured fellows.
1.2 AIMS OF THE STUDY
Having seen the problems facing the youths and the nation, Nigeria, this research work aims at achieving the following:
i. To investigate the problem facing the youths
ii. To find out the reasons behind parental gap in parenting, nonchalant attitude of individual, groups and institutions in guiding our youths.
iii. To examine and interpreter 2 Samuel 13 using it to challenge individuals, parents, communities, schools,
religious bodies, non-governmental organizations and government of all levels to provide effective guidance and counselling services and programmes for the youths in Nigeria.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is often said that “youths are the leaders of tomorrow”. Obviously, the work would create awareness to the readers challenging them to see the need and urgency for joint effort in provision of guidance and counselling services to our youths which directly or indirectly would go a long way to reducing social vices and youth’s delinquencies and to increasing moral standard of the nation. This perhaps will provide atmosphere for security of the nation.
Moreover, the research work probably will serve as a stepping stone to other students who would want to do further research on guidance and counselling among the youths.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The work does not attempt to establish that social vices and moral decadences are only products of youths’ actions, nor advocates that it is only youths that need the services of guidance and counselling.
Although, it is obvious that both children and adults contribute a lot to moral decadence in the nation which also calls for orientation and re-orientation through the services of guidance and counsellors. This work will only be focused and concentrated on the youths which cut across students in secondary and tertiary institutions. It is not also restricted to one local cultural zone but to all the youths in Nigeria.
1.5 THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The researcher uses both primary and secondary methods of data collections. The primary method includes observation and questionnaire. The secondary method includes review of available related and relevant literature, periodicals, and journals.
Furthermore, since the research is done with reference to 2 Samuel 13, the researcher adopts narrative criticism in analyzing the text. In other words, the narrative story of 2 Samuel 13 will be used in conveying the message to the audience.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the sake of clarity and avoidance of ambiguity, it becomes vital to define some key words which obviously would
enhance the understanding of the work. Perhaps, the words might be of diverse meaning connotatively and denotatively. In this work, it would be contextualized.
1. Guidance: Okobiah and Okorodudu (2004) define guidance as a programme of services to individuals based on their needs and the influences of environmental factors. Guidance “is a help or advice that is given to somebody especially by somebody older or with more experience” (Hornby, 2010:666).
From the definition above one may concluded that guidance is a conscious articulated services provided by the experienced for the inexperienced to prevent them from taking a wrong decision which may mar their future, and help them in taking
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