News Commentary On The Need To Curb Vandalism And Hooliganism in Schools
39 students of the Krobea Asante Technical and Vocational School at Effiduase Asokore in the Sekyere East District of the Ashanti Region have been remanded in custody by the Asokore-Mampong Magistrate Court for causing damage to the school and private properties. The school has also been shut down indefinitely after students went on a violent demonstration on Sunday, January 22, 2023.
According to the Management of the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Service, the decision to close down the school was upon the advice of the Sekyere East District Security Council and the Ashanti Regional Security Council.
This comes off the heels of the dismissal of eight female students of the Chiana Senior High School in the Upper East Region who were caught on video allegedly insulting President Akufo-Addo. They have been meanwhile recalled per the intervention of the President.
Not long ago, there were reported cases of student vandalism and destruction of school properties in Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School in the Ashanti Region and Ndewura Jakpa Senior High Technical in the Savanna Region. The demonstrations were allegedly caused by the strict supervision of the school authorities during the writing of the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). The Effiduase Magistrate Court in the Sekyere East District of the Ashanti Region in 2020 remanded four final-year students of Effiduase Senior High Commercial School (EFFISCO) over an allegation of gang-raping a form one female student.
The four student suspects, who are sitting the WASSCE exams, have to visit the examination centre under police guard to write their exams and after being taken back into police custody. It is also on record that some students of Bright Senior High School, a private SHS in Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region, were reported to have allegedly chased, hounded, pounced on and beaten a reporter of the Ghanaian Chronicle gone to the school to investigate alleged cases of examination malpractices with cudgels, sticks and knives.
Such cases of hooliganism and vandalism in our schools are endless and one would ask what sort of training students in Ghanaian schools are being offered for the adult life ahead of them. These in fact were not known some 20 years ago in basic schools. Much as it is common knowledge that the environments are not the same because of the drastic changes in social and technological advancement, methods of training must be adaptive to these changes to bring students in tune with moral discipline.
Our educational system must not only focus on knowledge and skill acquisition to the detriment of sound character building and moral development. Education has a major role to play in academic studies. This is understandable but one of the traits that character education teaches the students is the sense of responsibility and persistence which encourages the students to learn and maintain their focus on what’s important in life which is sound character. Behavioural problems in adolescence can make life difficult for adults. According to biologists it is normal and must be temporal but if not tackled properly, then it becomes cancer in society.
The need for adults of today to gain the trust of the young ones is paramount in every society. This is important if we want to help them with Behavioural issues. Talking to them and listening to what they have to say as well as helping to address their concerns must be a routine.
It is said that character building is based on six pillars — trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship and all of these can be filled in a child only through adequate education. Producing students with good grades is not enough for helping them lead a fruitful life. Traditionally, moral education is concerned with the interpretation and strategies one uses to understand the moral phenomenon and defines the moral person as a predominantly thinking entity, whereas character education emphasizes the development of habits and dispositions as a precondition for the moral person.
The basis of the nation’s moral fiber is fast deteriorating, and this is evidently clear at all levels of our society including the parliament. Something drastic and prompt must be done to halt the unpleasant development. This is because “honour is simply the morality of superior men. Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.”
By: Nana Sifa Twum, Media and Communications Consultant