Participants at the conference
The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) has proposed to the government to conduct broad stakeholder consultation with a sense of the Ghanaian cultural values to address the rising indiscipline in the senior high schools.
The call came at the back of the recent cases of indiscipline being recorded among students in some senior high schools (SHS) across the country.
Speaking at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region at the opening of the 59th Annual Conference of CHASS, Alhaji Yakub A.B. Abubakar, President of CHASS, explained that the issues of child rights and banning of corporal punishment had given rights to students, especially those in the SHS to misbehave and break school rules and regulations with impunity.
The conference was held on the theme, “Discipline in our schools and the child rights: The fate of the school head.”
In the year 2017, the Ghana Education Service banned corporal punishment in schools to promote the rights of school children.
He said CHASS was not against the banning of corporal punishment and the promotion of child rights, particularly among school children, but was expecting appropriate measures to be put in place to limit access to their rights and ensure discipline, compliance, and respect for authority.
“The level of student indiscipline in our schools is growing by the day and it is pervasive. From breaking common school rules, students are now involved in the use of hard drugs, pushing down school fence walls, and engaging in physical fights with implements like knives and cutlasses, inflicting serious cuts on their victims.
“Vandalising teachers’ properties like cars and farms are common occurrences, when teachers try o instill discipline and, in some instances, they engage in the destruction and burning of school properties like dormitories, furniture, and other buildings,” he said.
Alhaji Abubakar explained that the situation of students’ indiscipline was further compounded by child rights activists who were only concerned about the right of the child without taking into consideration the requirement that was needed to ensure responsible growth and development.
“CHASS observed with wonder how some child rights activists quickly jump into the arena of defending their conceived denial of child rights issues, perhaps without looking at the negative effects their defence or approach is bringing upon discipline in our educational systems,” he said.
Alhaji Abubakar explained that Ghana needed to develop its own disciplinary rules regarding students’ behaviour and desist from adopting policies of other jurisdictions which were not applicable in the country.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, noted that indiscipline among students continued to be a source of worry and needed a collective approach to address the issue.
He said the government would continue to boost the educational system in Ghana by providing the needed infrastructure and logistics, and urged the teachers to work to imbibe a sense of discipline and patriotism into the students for sustained development.