The Heads of Senior High and Technical Schools in the Upper East Region at an emergency meeting have agreed to come out with a framework to avert and mitigate students’ disturbances in schools following the closure of three Senior High Schools as a result of students’ riot and clashes.
The framework identified possible triggers of students riots and strict implementation of appropriate sanctions and intelligence gathering as a proactive means of ending student’s disturbance in second cycle schools in the region.
The Sandema Senior High Technical School in the Builsa North District, St. Benedict Technical Institute in the Navrongo Municipality, and the Kongo Senior High in the Nabdam District have been closed down for rioting within this month.
Apart from Sandema Senior High Technical School, where students are expected to return on July, 30, it is unclear when students of Kongo Senior High and St. Benedict Technical Institute will be recalled.
School properties have been damaged as a result of these riots while some students were also left with injuries.
In the case of Sandema Senior High Technical School, a first-year student actually lost his life, allegedly from a stray bullet when the police were called in to restore order.
Addressing the media after an emergency meeting with all headteachers of secondary and technical schools, to avert future occurrences of these disturbances, Upper East Regional Minister, Patience Paulina Abayage, outlined the roadmap agreed upon to address the students’ unrest in the region.
“We have agreed that, no school shall use the ‘cadet’ to supervise their colleague students and hence, school prefects and teachers should be used. We have identified that, restricted or lack of communication between school authorities and students and the lack of intelligence gathering as a cause of some of the disturbances.
School authorities should run an open-door policy by discussing challenges and prospects of their schools with their students and device intelligence-gathering strategies as a proactive way of addressing students’ concerns”.
Madam Abayage, reiterated that, students who violate schools’ rules and regulations should be punished accordingly while teachers caught inciting students to riot also be sanctioned.
She directed all headteachers to immediately hold emergency meetings in their schools to identify possible teachers-students concerns for redress.
She indicated that, a request will be made immediately to the Ministry of education for teacher’s bungalows in needy schools for students monitoring and supervision.
The Regional Director of Education, Augustine Ayirezang asked heads of schools to organize forums to hear the concerns of students as proactive strategy to avert students’ disturbances.
All headteachers should organize students career fairs and open forums and let students have their voices heard, air their grievances and solutions proffered.
“School libraries should be opened for students on Saturdays in secondary schools in the region. Schools should have award schemes for well-behaved student of the week and month and adopt year-group leadership style to reduce unruly behaviour among students”.