- Ironically, it is interesting to note that our school authorities were once upon a time students themselves so it behoves on authorities to create a friendly conducive, peaceful atmosphere and continue to ...
Written By Rev'd Major Yaw Boateng - Ghana has been experiencing student rioting and indiscipline in recent times. Reports of students misbehaving and causing damage to properties of the schools is not a welcoming news. Students pursue education to be well educated spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially in society. This will make them law abiding citizens and to become great assets to the nation and the world at large. It is regrettable that most students deviate from this goal and aim of education and resort to vandalism and negative attitudes of peer pressure.
There is a school of thought that believes that students rioting and indiscipline have both remote and immediate causes. In cases where there are surmounting tensions among the teaching staff on students it becomes fertile grounds for an escalation and disturbances leading to students rioting in a blatant disrespect for school authority. The school environment should be very peaceful and conducive for effective teaching and learning. The teaching staff should have very cordial relationship with students.
Students are more likely to be law abiding when the relationship between them and staff are friendly, cordially and not antagonist in nature. The authorities in schools should be able to explain the rules and regulations and conduct that is expected of every student in very clear language. Most times, students see rules and regulations are punitive and infringe on their freedom. Where students are very clear and own the rules and regulations and know that these rules are to assist them achieve their goals or aim of education that is to be upright in society and to be great assets, civil and equipped for life, they wholeheartedly apply themselves diligently to obeying them.
Another way in curbing students rioting and indiscipline is for school authorities to constantly engage students by creating periodic or regular platforms for students to air their grievances and for the staff to assure them that their grievances will be resolved. This builds confidence, trust and establishes a good rapport between the staff and students. Building of platforms are used in many sectors or institutions.
The government holds regular briefings to update citizens on government projects and programs and also listen to grievances of its citizens to dispel rumors and fake news. The military and other security agencies also use such engagement platforms ie.weekly briefings publication of upcoming events, monthly durbars where commanders at all levels meet and engage with officers, the men and civilian employees to deliberate, clear doubts, rumors, fake news and establish a cordial and peaceful atmosphere.
Some churches like the Methodist church also use this approach of engagement by holding society meetings, quarterly meetings etc.to seek the views of its members, to create transparency and to build rapport.
The school settings should regularly create such platforms of engagement between the staff and students. School authorities should also provide suggestion boxes and place them at vantage places in the school and encourage students to put in their grievances for solutions. Past students should be invited by school authorities to engage student regularly. This is a very helpful measure which most schools have adopted in curtailing student rioting and indiscipline.
School authorities must also identify students ring readers or peer heroes and engage them in meaningful dialogue and assign them some roles to perform. Student leaders or peer heroes must not be victimize by authorities but rather assist, mould and shape them to become responsible students. All said and done, our students should be seen as our dear children and very human thus if school authorities constantly insult, abuse and punish them indiscriminately it leads to tension and the outcome becomes very soar.
Ironically, it is interesting to note that our school authorities were once upon a time students themselves so it behoves on authorities to create a friendly conducive, peaceful atmosphere and continue to create school clubs ie. debating clubs, drama and theatre club.etc. organize inter house quizzes, football and netball and other indoor games that will engage students and the staff there by making the school environment very cordial and peaceful.
Student rioting and indiscipline should be a thing of the past. School authorities and students should live in harmony and the blessings of the Almighty God will continue to be with us as a nation and make us great and strong.
NEWS COMMENTARY ON WAYS TO CURB OR MITIGATE STUDENTS RIOTING AND INDISCIPLINE
BY VERY REV’D MAJOR YAW BOATENG. METHODIST CHURCH KUMASI – DIOCESE