Authorities in upper east take steps to end student riots
A day’s meeting to deliberate on how to curtail the recent students’ riots on a number of Senior High/Technical School campuses as well as instituting measures to forestall any future occurrences has ended in Bolgatanga.

Date Created : 8/7/2019 4:13:07 AM : Story Author : Peter Atogewe Wedam/

The Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. Paulina Patience Abayage called and presided over the meeting following these ugly pieces of incidence in as many as eight schools across the region with at least,one leading to the death of a student at the Sandema Senior High Technical School about a week ago. Also fresh on their minds of the region’s people, was the latest riots at Kongo Senior High that took a tribal dimension and police personnel had to be called in to control the situation and the school, since closed down.

Heads of all second cycle schools region-wide, attended the meeting and actively participated in the deliberations proposing several ideas to mitigate the fast-creeping phenomenon.The Regional Minister stated that the region was already grappling with a host of challenges and thus did not need any such backward behaviours especially coming from its youth. She remarked “considering the fact that our region is already a challenged region, in terms of infrastructural development, economic development and educational development, we are indeed challenged and so it is sad for students to go on such destructive riots at the least provocation”.

She said it was therefore imperative as educationists and other link-minded stakeholders to have such a meeting to immediately fashion out ways and means to stem it.

Addressing the media at the end of the meeting, Hon. Abayage read out a resolution which among other things noted that, a good number of the schools that experienced these riots lacked residential facilities for teachers to live on campus so as to be able to monitor students and so left behind alone, the bad nuts were able to meet and planned what happened. The resolution also held that, school cadet corps should not be used to supervise students as in the case of Sandema Senior High as some times, brute force and equal resistance often occurs with its resultant nasty effects. Rather it stated that, the duly elected school prefects who are more civil, should lead in such instances.

Additionally, the resolution charged heads of second cycle institutions to be on the beat and intensify their oversight roles over both the student body and teaching staff such as house masters, form masters and so on. Heads of these institutions were further asked to operate a very approachable and open-door administration in order to allow for teachers and students alike to walk in and be able to engage authorities on simmering issues before they get out of control and erupt into violent demonstrations.

Meanwhile, it noted that every school had its own set of rules and regulations which new entrants ought to sign on to during admission into the schools and that, these must be made to bit very hard whenever they are breaches by a student or group of students so as to deter others from acting same.A note was also made that the schools’ Code of Conduct had not been revised for over 15 years though a lot had changed with the passing time as far student behavior was concerned. It thus called for a relook at this code in order to bring it into conformity with modern trends of administering second cycle institutions in the region.

Furthermore, the resolution proposed the creation of a pre-emptive campus intelligence gathering network that will enable authorities to filter schemes and or plots in order to neutralize them immediately at the gestation stage. Added to this, heads of schools were directed to be firm and fair at all times so that some offenders would not feel victimised whilst others walk free from similar infractions.

Upper East Regional Director of Education, Mr. Augustine Ayirezang who also addressed the meeting called on school authorities to attach urgency to issues among parties be it students or teachers as a speedy resolution of grievances will put things in the right perspective for peace to prevail.

Mr. Ayirezang also sent a passionate appeal to school chaplains and staff of the guidance and counselling units to redouble their efforts as the proper education on morals could also forestall some of these nuisance riots on the various campuses. He also called for regular holding of open forum sessions which will allow for the frank discussion of nagging issues and for all to freely share ideas regardless of their status.