The youths, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, made the call against the background of the 2013 Children’s Day celebration.
They said it was a day to reminiscent on what went wrong to make some children grow into terrorists, robbers and all sorts of criminals now destroying the country.
“Parents these days do not lead by example, but the best way to instill morals in children is to act what you teach.
“Our parents unfortunately want to theorise morals and not practicalise what they preach.
“It is very difficult for a child to remember what they hear, but it is simple for them to act what they see,’’ a 24-year old student, Fanon Kelly, told NAN.
Kelly said those who are saddled with the responsibility of teaching should be those that are disciplined and who are in love with teaching and children.
“It is unfortunate that what is currently obtainable in the teaching profession is that there are no longer people who have genuine interest in teaching.
“In the profession nowadays, we have those who fell back to teaching in the absence of the career they desired,’’ Kelly said.
The civil engineering undergraduate of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi also urged government to make teaching more attractive for the sake of the country’s future.
Another student, 23-year-old Ruth Dangana, said parents had deviated from their role of parenting and had left their children to learn from others with negative influence.
Dangana said many children lacked basic moral training and religious upbringing which had led to the current moral decadence in the society.
“Our youths now imitate the Western way of living because that is what they see on television and the Internet.
“They do not have the opportunity to be tutored by the ever-busy parents who believe that they must struggle to pay the child school fees and forget the basic ingredient of an upright child, which is discipline,’’ she said.
Teachers on the other hand, Dangana added, were only interested in making a living by “managing’’ the teaching job.
She said they did not always make out time to understand the child and correct them when the need arose.
Miss Ajemina Fiyigon, a nine-year-old primary four pupil, told NAN that children always looked up to their parents and teachers as role models.
According to Fiyigon, what her parents, teachers and Sunday school teacher told her is what she keeps in mind and practises.
“I want to grow up and be useful to my society. So, I learn every minute from my parents and teachers and drop every bad thing I see around me,’’ she said.