Have schools become theatres of violence?

EDITORIAL 28 Jan 2020
Have schools become  theatres of violence?

A strange culture of violence in schools is quietly creeping into our system. We say a strange culture because the underlying philosophy of learning acknowledges discipline as fundamental in the whole process of building a society to be governed by rules and norms. Most recently, there have been reported incidents of violence in a number of institutions of learning. Perhaps the most tragic and regrettable being the one in which a student mustered every courage to stab his teacher to death.
Other reported cases include one in which, in the northern part of the country, an overzealous student lover, who could not believe what her co-student boy-friend was telling her, that their love affair was over, she decided to pull out a knife and cut off his finger. While it is obvious that the list of such incidents is long and seems to be growing by the day, we shall stop at nothing in condemning this bloody trend that is simply adding more stain on a society that is already dotted with stains of all sorts.
That, we have degenerated to this level is indeed strange, considering the age-old well defined cordial relationship that is known to have existed between the student and the teacher, as a source of projecting the very essence of learning. Of old, the teacher was considered in society as a super-Human Being. He deserved every measure of respect. To his pupil or students, he was feared and adored because, they recognised him as the one on whom their future rested. They indeed recognised him as the one who opened their eyes into a world they are bound to discover better in the course of time
But that, today, the teacher has become the direct target of the student, is an unfortunate departure from the reality of a society that is looking forward towards its own good. Recent developments such as the violence we are experiencing in our institutions of learning are convincing enough that, they are a reflection of the wider society which seems to have fallen in love with a system that can only be recognised as such that condones evil, instead of condemning it.
Let us at one point or the other try to be honest to ourselves. For the past few years, this country has been plunged in violence in all forms. We have witnessed cases of violent armed robberies, extra judicial killings, others through various methods. Even pronounced investigations into these acts hardly produce results.
Added to this is the breakout of the Anglophone war, which now bears the emblem of master violence, of which very little is being done to resort to peace in the two Anglophone regions of the country. It can only be interpreted that violence has become our latest culture. Why then can it not grow seeds on the fertile grounds of campuses, which are branches of the overall society? What is happening in school premises is therefore an extension of a culture of violence which we have embraced. We are therefore not surprised that things have gotten so far and the student community in our institutions of learning are picking up fast and well.
We in this Newspaper condemn this trend as unfortunate and we call on government to take strict measures to check this plague before it spreads farther than that. This brings us to the question, how and why all this while no one has been able to detect that students carry deadly weapons such as knives, right into school premises without being discovered. This can only explain the security loopholes that abound in our institutions of learning, which blame of-course, must be put on the door steps of the school administration and by extension, the various delegations of the ministries of education. If in the past it was seen as a non event, it is now time to take positive action to avert further damages.
We may equally look into some arguments that the lack of moral or religious teachings in some of our institutions may be contributing to such acts of violence, because children grow up without the moral perception of life. In such children there are certain scriptural values relating to the existence of man, and man’s relationship with his creator, which such children miss. This is arguable, but we think it makes some sense because the Bible already tells us that the “Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” Which other wisdom surpasses the love of fellow man?

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