By Godfried K. Arhin-Kumi
(Advocate against cheating and of peaceful co-existence)
“Train a child the way he should go and when he grows up, he will not depart from it” – (Proverbs 22:6)
For quite a long time now, riotous behavior has become part of campus life. Nobody understands it. Indeed, the trend defies reason. This is, because, students, as future leaders, should know better.
Students should know that academic education alone cannot help them to achieve success in future. Such education should go side by side with moral ethics. Academic training will, indeed, place you in a lucrative position with a lot of fringe benefits.
With lack of moral ethics in your life, how are you going to stay peacefully with your co-workers? Are you not going to have arrogance as part of your administration, showing your staff “where power lies” at the least provocation?
Without moral ethics, you can mess up with funds in your custody and indulge in various acts of corruption, such as what is currently being witnessed among some of our highly-placed politicians with impressive educational backgrounds.
Now, how come that some students behave so violently that they usually leave in their trail massive destruction of government and private properties at the campus?
The answer is not far-fetched – LACK OF RESPONSIBLE UPBRINGING. Rich, indulgent parents are to be blamed. They pamper their children to the extent that in their adulthood, the children always want their desires and wishes fulfilled at all costs, wherever they may find themselves.
In school they are always arrogant, not law-abiding, thinking that if anything happens to them in school, their indulgent parents are there to support them.
Since student protests at campus disrupt academic work, every effort must be made to stop such acts of violence on campuses.
As the saying goes, “Charity begins at home”, therefore, parents and guardians should be guided by the biblical quotation above and bring up their words in a responsible way, so that the latter will not be found wanting when they leave school and take up national positions, or wherever they may find themselves.
The main mission of the Students Representative Council (SRC) is to see to the welfare of students. Aggrieved students should, therefore, be patient and allow their representatives to contact the authorities for the solution of their grievances, instead of taking the law into their own hands. What has the destruction of school and private properties got to do with their concerns? The two are miles apart.
Parents and guardians should be made to give an undertaking that their wards will be of good behaviour during the period of their study. The undertaking should include payment of the cost of properties destroyed should their words breach the promise and engage in any violent acts.
School authorities should act as responsible parents and give aggrieved students a hearing through the SRC, since there is no smoke without fire. They should not use their high positions to show the students “where power lies”.
When it becomes necessary for the police to be invited to maintain law and order on campus, the personnel must exercise maximum restraint and go about their mission professionally.
In conclusion, while commending the government, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene and Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and other stakeholders on their efforts at finding a permanent solution to the crisis on the campus, this column sincerely implores all students in the country to listen to the fatherly advice from the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), which urges them to “pursue their ambition and education without violating the law.”