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Students on rampage: Matters arising

Bright SHS Students Attack Invigilator File photo

Thu, 13 Aug 2020 Source: Paul O Aduening

Humans, reflexively turn to look around them, when something unusual happens. Indeed, Ghanaians. witnessed a spectacle last week in her streets, when some Senior High School students went on rampage. They indeed flagrantly went on the offensive, cursing, insulting and assaulting people in authority. The President was disrespected.

Now, let's turn round and ask: what went wrong and who was to blame? Was it the students, WAEC officials, Ministry of Education, Schools administrators or the Government?

GOVERNMENT?

The government is believed to have accomplished what seemed impossible, rolling out a fee free SHS program to bail out students who would have ended their education at the JSS level.

Obviously, SHS education has ceased to be the "White Elephant" many thought it was.

In terms of the rampage, the whole nation exonerates the President, for he never caused a thing, apart from making things possible for all students from poor homes.

If students had issues concerning the Examination, the President was not the immidiate person to address, or consult.

DELINQUENCY:

That there are delinquent students in Ghanaian schools including the SHS system is a fact. However, looking critically at the situation, it could be deduced without any doubt that the Ministry of Education seemingly played tricks on the students by offering them past questions(PASCO) which never helped them.

Viewing the circumstances the students had been shuffled through in various schools, including the popular "Double Traffic" system. Anybody would have fallen for any help offered freely like this under reference, despite its irregularity. Seeking help in answering Exam questions raise eye brows, and is also considered cheating and dishonest. So, why did the Ministry get involved?

The Ministry of Education pushed students beyond reasonable limits and almost disabled them from thinking rationally as they should have.

The adduced reasons notwitsanding, the fact remains that, the students acted impulsively, disregarding the fact that their behavior could attract heavier penalty that could hurt their careers or future.

APPLAUD :

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, deserves to be applauded, for not using his office to punish the students for their gross insurbodination.

Besides pardoning the students, the President further pleaded with the Ghana Education Service Council to allow the Fourteen students known to have been found culpable for the deviant behavior and assault on innocent public officials to write their exams without barring them from the Exam room or halls.

NOTE THESE:

1. Students should come to terms with the huge burden the President has lifted off their backs and their parents too. At least, he has made SHS Education affordable, irrespective of people's economic status.

2. Students owe both the government and their families, the responsibility to seize the opportunity offered them by removing money as leverage to access secondary education.

3. Students should by now be more conversant with the significance of examinations, viewed against the backdrop of their careers, future and relevance in society.

4. The Ministry of Educatuon, Ghana Education Service and other stake holders should let students be aware of preparation processes before seeking to write an exam, factoring in discipline as very important component of the Examination process.

5. Indiscipline in schools should be given a fresh look, with a view to producing the right crop of leaders for Ghana's future wellbeing.

6. By now students should have learned their lessons, and have resolved never to drop the ball again.

7. Vigilance in all aspects of our national lives does not only protect the person in the street but teachers in the classroom as well as ladies in offices and markets. Vigilance means being each others keeper, or boosting the morale of men and women in uniform,6 to patrol our borders or defend the nation with dedication and resolve. In either case, Ghana's collective security is assured and remains paramount.

Columnist: Paul O Aduening