The Violence In Schools Must Stop!

What should have been a harmless intervention by school authorities, to reverse the poor academic performance of students of the St. John’s Senior High School at Nandom, in the Upper West Region, has left the school in ruins, after the students set the administration block on fire.

As reported by the Times on Saturday, the school authorities decided to organise mock exams for the students, and register only those who performed well for next year’s WASSCE, because of the student’s poor performance at the 2013/2014 examinations, but this did not go down well with them.

According to the report, with the backing of some of the teachers, the students went on the rampage, destroyed school property and set the administration block ablaze.

Similarly, students of the Bolgatanga Senior High School, went on the rampage last Monday, and destroyed school property, following the death of one of their colleagues in an accident, on campus.

The student was said to be among a group of students who were escaping from a House Master, and was said to have tripped and fallen, resulting unfortunately in his death, later.

Property destroyed included the House Master’s car and a container shop belonging to his wife.

The Times sympathises with the family of Master Emmanuel Bawa, and the school for the untimely death, but condemns the vandalism at both St John’s Nandom, and Bolgatanga Senior High.

Student demonstrations and riots, have been with us for some time, and often leads to destruction of property and sometimes the loss of lives, and eventually, the closing down of the schools.

Apart from imposing financial burdens on such schools, and disrupting the academic calendar, students also bear some of the consequences, as they return to their homes to become financial liabilities, to their parents

The violent demonstrations are not in anybody’s interest, and must therefore not be encouraged.

For students and school authorities, the use of dialogue can prevent the destruction of property and loss of lives.

It is important to point out that, it is unhelpful for school authorities to take unilateral decisions and force them on students. Dialogue can easily make students to understand how important a decision is, for themselves and the entire school

After all, school authorities mean well, and do what they have to, in the best interest of students.

We are certain that at both St. John’s and Bolga Senior High, and elsewhere, the school authorities meant well, but without engaging the students, their action might have been misunderstood, hence, the violent reactions from the students.

All other challenges notwithstanding, the violence in the schools must stop, in the interest of all.

 

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