NEWS COMMENTARY FOCUSES ON THE MISBEHAVIOUR OF FINAL SHS STUDENTS AFTER THE INTEGRATED SCIENCE PAPER
Some final year WASSCE students abused the investment made in them by government under the free SHS programme by going on the rampage destroying school property and airing unprintable language on government official especially the President because things did not work out well for them in their first written paper. According to the irate students’ past questions procured for them to study became a mirage as none of the expected questions dropped in the examination. They went to the extent of attacking their teachers and invigilators because, according to students, they were too strict on them and never compromised in letting them cut corners. This is indeed reprehensible because Ghana is known to be a very law-abiding country as far as the West Africa Examination Council, WAEC is concerned. Past students who have either taken any of the WAEC examinations including the BECE, WASSCE and perhaps the private students’ examinations have come out with flying colours without resorting to what has come to be known as ‘Apor’.
As the first batch of the free SHS students also known as Akufo-Addo graduates, one expected them to be role models to encourage the authorities to invest more in them but lo and behold they disappointed everybody. It is early days yet to despair as there are more papers to be written. We expect the candidates to recompose themselves and work hard to face the hurdles head-on. One thing the students failed to appreciate is that life is never smooth. One time you are high another time you are low. They should never disgrace their teachers and by extension their schools. There is nothing that a determined person cannot do. It is good the misbehavior by the children has met utter condemnation from most Ghanaians. We therefore expect them to turn over a new leaf to justify the confidence reposed in them by government. The action of the students teaches us a lesson that is we need to work on the moral fiber on the youth. It is sad to note the length to which children nowadays go to disrespect authorities. Our churches and indeed parents have an onerous responsibility to train the youth in the way they should go. It is commendable that Ghana Education Service, GES, has instructed Directors to take disciplinary action against the culprits. This will help deter others from indulging in similar unfortunate acts in future. The misbehavior of the students should in no way discourage the school authorities and WAEC officials to low down their guards. They must carry out their legitimate duties without let or favour.
After all it is in the interest of the students that they are being supervised rigidly. As students they should know that their teachers as well as Ghanaians mean well for them. Therefore, they will not do anything to frustrate them in the examination. Whatever government and the school authorities are doing is to ensure the children become responsible in future. The country is aware under which circumstances the children are writing the examination and sympathize with them but that should not warrant the behaviour they exhibited after the first paper. It is about time the students were prepared wholly for the examinations with more attention given to moral education to avoid the recurrence of this unfortunate incident. This brings to the fore the need for the country to have a discussion on the moral decadence of the youth and how this can be dealt with before it escalates. Although there are a lot of programmes in place to engage the youth in productive ventures, some of them are rather involved in nefarious activities. It was based on this that the President introduced the free SHS policy to ensure that more children have access to secondary education to assure them of a bright future. Let us at this moment consider pleas from the students since they have shown remorse. Our only hope is that similar situations will not recur.
By: Ernest Obeng-Amin, A Journalist.