Culture of bullying in secondary schools – Part 2
Continued from yesterday
The invariable outcome is the encouragement of moral turpitude as every youth fostered in such an environment would prefer the laxity and latitude to a strict regime of moral control. It is therefore no news in recent times when students beat up teachers.
The government has not helped the situation as public schools under government control have become a platform for raising unruly and wayward children. Government officials in charge of educational institutions’ supervision have become mere accomplices in instilling moral laxity while our institutions rot away. Today, we have challenges that are becoming daily impossible to rein in.
A young boy, the future of his parents, the glory of the country has been allegedly snuffed out of existence by fellow students whose only responsibility ought to be focusing on their own academic careers but have chosen to assume the status of terrorists whose duties include inflicting pain on their fellow students. It is Dowen College today. Who knows the next? The crisis of loss of moral values is not a permanent resident of a particular area, except where authorities have taken on the responsibility of discipline as a sacred duty. This is only required to be carried out to correct errant behaviour in young ones and not to demonize an otherwise undisciplined youth. That is why United Action for Change, aka “Change Nigeria,” had planned its quarterly roundtable discussion for Saturday, December 11, 2021, with the theme Parental Failure and Decline in Societal Values.
This has been in the offing for more than four months without a premonition of loss of the young Oromoni to the decline we so much complain about. In this respect, there are heavy responsibilities on parents to foster children that would not constitute a danger to society. We must instil discipline at home and allow teachers to do their work. An urgent restoration of our morals, values and virtues is more than ever before compelling. Some school authorities, who take raising disciplined and godly children seriously, do not allow any student who cannot be disciplined in their schools. The result is that such morally decadent parents would take their wards to other schools where indiscipline ranks supreme.
These are parents who did not die in their own parents’ hands for being beaten or disciplined but think their own children are eggshells that should not be broken. Our campaign for child rights has become so completely twisted that many parents think the modern way of training children is to avoid discipline and allow them to be exposed to whatever social media or the Internet has to offer.
Some children learn waywardness, thuggery and violence through things they watch online. These contents are supposed to be supervised by parents to ensure that children they laboured to have are not allowed to lose track of the lunacy that would destroy their future. School authorities, on the other hand, should enforce discipline in schools.
It is a dereliction of duty for housemasters to abandon boarding students to their affairs while all sorts of evil practices going on in their rooms. Why would school authorities keep mum on errant students and refuse to disclose what they did to their fellow students? Why would persons who stand in loco parenti choose to allow one student to inflict bloody and grievous harm on another without frowning at the dangerous practice? Why would the authorities shield such a child from being seen by people? Parents who come to complain of bullying of their wards are prevented from meeting the bully or his parents while the authorities shrug off the annoying practice. Many young ones are said to have changed schools when bullies have made them lose appetite for learning in their previous schools. School authorities must not worship money to the detriment of our future. Students who go into cultism in secondary schools can never see anything wrong in becoming Capones while in their university days.
The government has a greater role to play in all these. It is not enough to close down Dowen College. There are so many other Dowen Colleges that allow this evil practice to go on unchecked. It is important to look into the roots of it all. Investigation should not be centered on who killed the young Sylvester alone. The root of the evil practice must be traced while we make concerted efforts to uproot it completely. If it is agreed that there is cultism in our secondary schools, we must work to identify the cultist groups and their members. We must seek to know how these cult groups were introduced into the schools. Could teachers be the ones who brought these evil bodies into the innocent souls of our youngsters? What are other negative practices going on in our schools that we will only live to regret if we do not act now?
Notorious consumption of illicit drugs has taken over not only our campuses but our secondary schools. Many dastardly acts cannot be perpetrated by youths except under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The culture of the communal upbringing of children is becoming imperative. We must work harder to save the future as the present we enjoy was preserved for us by our no-nonsense parents and authorities. To proffer solutions to all these, the United Action for congress roundtable was held on Saturday, December 11, 2021, and discussed Parental Failure and Decline in Societal Values. The young Sylvester Oromoni must not die in vain. Adieu, Sylvester.
Dr. Banire is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).