Education is a birth right of all human beings; very importantly, secondary education plays a major and fundamental role in any child’s life. It plays a complex role in shaping the child’s personality and career.
It is the time when they are exposed to the outside world and start making decisions on their own.
Education is the deliberate and systematic influence exerted by the mature person on the immature through instruction and discipline. It means the harmonious development of all the powers of the human being- physical, social, intellectual, emotional, aesthetic and spiritual.
It is the process through which the experience of the race, ie. knowledge, skills and attitude are transmitted to the members of the community. Education is the process of helping the child to adjust to this changing world.
Specifically, education is said to be the modification of behaviour.
With a recent surge in disciplinary problem among the youths in our secondary schools, particularly Ogun State, parents, government and other stakeholders need to devise a way to redress the situation. Obviously, many of these students now pose a serious threat to the society with negative dispositions and attacks on their teachers.
Teachers are so invaluable and they should never be treated with disdain. Their relevance in preparing students for the future and guiding them on problem-solving skills cannot be over-emphasised.
As life coaches, teachers assist students in critical thinking as they impact knowledge in different subjects. They help students during their formative years by fostering the intellectual and social development, providing them with life experiences.
Of a truth, pervasive indiscipline among secondary school students is now a subject of concern to almost every member of the Nigerian society.
Discipline where art thou?
Many will believe with me that students’ disciplinary problem in our secondary schools today has become so worrisome. It has become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the educational system and it seems the authorities can no longer handle it to bring sanity back to our secondary schools.The problem stems from homes.
Reports of students’ occultic demonic behaviours have now become a daily meals served in news reports in the Nigerian media.
Sadly, acts of utter vandalism, destruction of school property, drug addiction, truancy and delinquent behaviours and in the recent times, attack on teachers, drug addiction even in the class and the school promises, have now become the order of the day in our secondary schools.
These problems in many of our secondary schools have reached such an apogee that they have become perpetual problems, dominating a lot of discussion.
A lot has been said about students’ bad conduct at the secondary school level at various schools and colleges, at seminars, conferences and symposia but it is surprising that all is to no avail.Is it that stakeholders are not doing enough or peer pressure has taken over completely?
In fact, alarming proportion of rioting, drug-taking, teachers’ molestation and other maladaptive behaviours among secondary school students in Nigeria continue to be on the rise.
To reflect how bad the situation is, a friend of mine who teaches in one of the secondary schools narrated how he asked his students to write a composition on what they would like to become in the future and some of them wrote, “Yahoo yahoo”, “Babalawo” and “Olosho”. He was so surprised but was unable to report the feedback to the school authorities for the fear of being brutalised by the so- called students.
The situation has become so worrisome to the extent that teachers can no longer concentrate in the class and are beginning to lose interest in the profession as there’s nothing that guarantees their safety in case of the unexpected. But kudos to some security personnel that have stood their ground to restore sanity to our secondary schools.
What shall we say about many of our secondary school girls who have now become night workers? They know all forms of contraceptive drugs; they do the unimaginable.
Just in two months, it was in the news that parents invaded a school with thugs to molest teachers. For instance, a viral video on the internet shows the moment a woman stormed the Jericho High school with thugs to attack a teacher who had ”disciplined” her child.
Also, according to a report in Vanguard newspaper, a student of Oduduwa Secondary School, Ile-Ife, Osun State, in collaboration with some thugs, beat up a principal, Sanusi Ademola, in the school, to stupor.
It was gathered that the student, Adeyeni Adejuwon, 19, was scolded for not dressing properly in the morning, only to return to the school with his father and thugs to unleash mayhem on the principal.
Punch newspaper also reported that a teacher of the Itori Comprehensive High School, Ogun State, was beaten to stupor by a student.
The Mathematics teacher, identified simply as Owolabi, was reportedly beaten by one of his students after the teacher asked him to stop beating a girl. These are among many more stories and happenings in secondary schools that sadden one’s heart.
Contrarily, it was also reported that many teachers take advantage of these students and treat them anyhow in a way they cannot treat their own children. A report from online sources has it that a 13-year-old student of the Federal Government College, Kwali, in the Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Yahaya Aliyu, also died after being allegedly flogged by his teacher for failing to do his assignment.
Maybe these among many other unprofessional practices by our secondary school teachers have brought about the abolishment of the so- called corporal punishment.
Many parents are not also helping the matter as they also encourage and celebrate this bad behaviour of their children. Many of them are already game masters in ‘yahoo yahoo’, controlling millions of Naira in their accounts; they already know that they are richer than their teachers, hence they place no value on their teachers.
Don’t forget, once these students begin to make money from cyber crimes, and they begin to give their parents some cash, buy phones for them and even celebrate their birthdays elaborately and wastefully, they won’t even bother to ask them where they are making such money. Little wonder, many youths die in their young while some go mad suddenly.
Like Racheal Abaire, an educationist, said, “The indiscipline among the children of secondary has become so alarming and you as a teacher will be scared to beat them because you wouldn’t want to discipline them and get beaten by them.
“Many of them are into different secret societies, which are not known to their parents. Many of them would have even taken a lot of hard substances before coming to school.
“Many parents are not even modeling good behaviours. How on earth do you now expect many of them to have good morals?”
Racheal, however, suggested the employment of counselors in schools so as to help curtail the acts of indiscipline among students.
This decaying morality has been blamed on teachers, students, parents, education authorities, government and others.
Although it is very difficult to blame a particular section of the society for this mayhem, the obvious facts remain that the standard of behaviour among secondary school students in Nigeria has now become so scary, demanding urgent attention before things totally fall apart.