Child Rights International (CRI) yesterday urged stakeholders in education to refrain from resorting to punitive measures as the only means of reforming the child.
According to CRI, it was necessary for stakeholders to look at the underlying reasons for student’s misconduct which sometimes stems from a host of reasons.
The Executive Director of the CRI Bright Appiah said, “Without discovering these hidden causes, punishment will always be meted out without yielding the desired reformation we seek.”
Addressing the media in Accra, he said investigations by his outfit had revealed that some notable junior and senior high schools in the country were engaged in destructive conducts such as drugs, stealing and sexual immorality.
The event was aimed at discussing the expulsion of seven Ejisuman Senior High School girls from its boarding facility for using a mobile phone in school and uploading a video on social media where unprintable words bordering on sex were spewed out.
He stated that such students were found in both public and private schools and had observed that most schools in category ‘A’ and ‘B’ hardly showed these tendencies and that most of the videos were mostly from category ‘C’ schools.
He said though CRI condemned the conduct exhibited by the students and does not subscribe to any acts that would not promote discipline and orderliness in the educational system, the conduct of the girls indicated that urgent steps needed to be taken in the country’s educational system.
Mr Appiah said that punitive actions should not be tailored primarily to punish students caught indulging in acts of misconduct, but rather the Ghana Education Service (GES) should partner other stakeholders to establish programmes that address the social needs of students in senior high school.
He said most students in senior high schools go through internal and psychological conflicts that affect and damage their self worth, hence resorting to ill behaviours that made them feel better and cause others to recognise and accept them.
According to him, when children, irrespective of their background, felt protected and given some privileges, they would demonstrate good virtues, adding that the protection of children was ultimate no matter the condition of the child.
“As an organisation, we believe that punishment as a means of correction is not the solution. The solution to any social disorder lies in diagnoses and appropriate treatment to that disorder.
“What is required is to ensure that counselling services are made available to these students in order to take them through proper rehabilitation maintenance programmes,” Mr Appiah added.
The Executive Director of CRI called on the GES to open discussion on rules and regulations of the various schools to review it in conformity with new developments and everyday issues, whilst setting standards for all school heads to meet as a target in promotion of discipline.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU