The Kumasi Technical Institute (KTI) has suspended about 500 students who staged a protest on campus and vandalised properties in an alleged disagreement with school authorities. According to media reports, the students went on a rampage after being prevented by school authorities from going out to watch a football match.
Others were also said to have sneaked out of campus to attend inter-school athletic competitions, thereby missing classes for almost three weeks.
Based on these scenarios, the school disciplinary committee set up to investigate the issues concluded that the errant students should be suspended until further notice.
Parents of the affected students are on their knees pleading with the school authorities to be considerate and to tamper justice with mercy.
Although parents cannot be faulted for the uncultured behaviours of their wards, it is also important for them to assist the school in adopting disciplinary measures that would deter other students from doing likewise. We expect the parents of the students to rather err on the side of caution by supporting the disciplinary measures meted out to their wards.
Teachers in schools use punishment as one of the most important tool for controlling student’s behavior. One of the main goals of punishment is to invoke fear in the student, so that the behavior does not occur again. In the school, teachers punish students for being late to school, for not following the school rules, for not doing classroom assignment or for failure to perform better in tests and examinations. It will, therefore, sound weird for the parent to interfere in the teacher’s work.
While students’ radicalism is nothing new to the country’s history, The Chronicle strongly believes that acting extreme without just cause breeds derision and scorn for the whole social and cultural structure of society. This is because protest in its larger sense must serve a good course for checking and fixing broken systems, as well as be a wakeup call to those in authority through the expression of opinion.
We have seen students stage protests against university authorities or government policy in a non-violent way, and at the end of the day they are able to achieve their aim in a win-win situation.
Usually, senior high school students are filled with youthful exuberance and often do the opposite in most instances. The paper understands the difficulties of second-cycle students because being a teenager is one of the most confusing stages of life, due to the complexities of making certain informed decisions.
The Chronicle also agrees that conditions in our second-cycle schools are not the best but the students too cannot make them worse or destroy them.
We want to appeal to the youth that the law is no respecter of persons and crime has no expiry date, so whatever action they take today may have future repercussions. In fact, there are young offenders being tried for various crimes at the court and others have been jailed as well.
Our advice to the youth is that there are more football matches to be played or watched and they should not let curiosity, fame and radicalism take the better part of them, at the expense of their books.