Worrying trends in our SHSs

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Truancy among students of senior high schools (SHSs) in the country is on the ascendancy.

Last week, 85 final-year students of the Keta Business College and the Abor SHS were withdrawn from the boarding house for acts of vandalism that threatened the safety of their mates in the schools.

Since then, the authorities of the Kumasi Girls’ SHS and the Northern School of Business in Tamale have suspended 400 final-year boarding students for gross acts of indiscipline.

The actions of these students raise questions about the effectiveness of the system of discipline in our schools.

We know that however stringent school rules are, a few recalcitrant students still find the opportunity to break them. The fact that the authorities in these schools have taken swift action against indisciplined students is commendable, but it does not mean other bad lots will not follow their footsteps.

The Daily Graphic is, however, worried about the extremely large number of students involved in these acts of indiscipline, with the trend giving the impression that discipline has broken down in our schools.

The growing indiscipline among students is also worrying because of the timing, which coincides with the conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination  (WASSCE).

We are alarmed at the development, because while the stakeholders, including the government, teachers and parents, are working hard to resolve the challenges facing this year’s WASSCE, some of the students appear not to be concerned about their future.

The Ghana Education Service, school authorities, teachers and parents have been having sleepless nights over how to conduct a hitch-free WASSCE, especially for this year when the first batch of three-year and the last batch of four-year students are writing the same examination.

Certainly, these are not normal times and the period requires that we adopt unorthodox means to address the challenges. It also requires that our children in SHSs agree to the stringent measures put in place to form their characters, so that they can become responsible adults in the future.

The WASSCE is just four days away and it is important for all candidates, with the support of their teachers, to finish ‘hard’ their revision for the examination.

The Daily Graphic reminds the students that success does not come one’s way without hard work. We, therefore, encourage them to do away with indisciplined acts and concentrate on their books.

With a few days to the examination, all kinds of characters will parade the schools with possible questions, otherwise called ‘apo’, just to mislead them.

The Daily Graphic assures all the candidates that questions will only be asked from the syllabus and any student who keeps to his or her books will come out with flying colours.

There is no shortcut to success and the only road to good performance in the WASSCE will be by dint of hard work. Any alternative route will lead to doom.

The Daily Graphic urges school authorities to be firm in their efforts to instil discipline in the students under their care.

The future and, indeed, the present belong to our youth, for which reason no effort should be spared in moulding them into responsible citizens.

The Daily Graphic wishes all WASSCE candidates success in the examination. But they must avoid examination malpractice and just keep to their books.