The news is that in some schools, especially in Ogun state, students are beating their teachers.
Social media was replete with videos of what was reported as thugs hired by students (some even said by their parents as well) of Unity High School, Kajola, Ibooro, in Ogun state proceeded to roughen up their teachers.
In the last few weeks, four public secondary schools have been affected. Also, teachers in the state are threatening to sit at home should this kind of assault continue.
But before this; let me tell you a story my mother told me.
She said she was in Standard 2 at that time, back in the 50s, when some of the rascals in her class; the back benchers, rabble rousers (we all have these groups in every class) began to make fun of the teacher; (a female teacher) while she taught.
The teacher’s name was Ibidun, same name with a popular advert for a pain-relieving medicine. The chief rascal began to mimic the ad jingle to disrupt the class.
The ad goes thus:
“Ibidun, why are you so sad”
“I have a headache…”
“Ibidun, why don’t you take two tablets of xxx, you will be relieved in no time…”
This made the whole class roar with laughter.
The teacher didn’t find it funny as she considered the children rude and were disrupting her class. My mum was one of those laughing. In fact, she was labeled a “laughing gas” back in the day and this soon drew the teacher’s ire.
The teacher called out, “Georgie, you are going to get into trouble soon.”
And soon, Mum’s mum came by, she always visited her children’s schools unannounced. Mama came, the teacher reported her daughter’s laughter and right in front of everyone; mama picked up the teacher’s cane and gave her daughter a good beating. She punctuated each whipping with:
My mother said she never laughed in class after that!
I remember a particular teacher of mine, Mr. Ohagwam, who taught math. Much as I hated math, I wanted to pass for Mr. Ohagwam’s sake (I still failed it). He had this sad face every time he taught and a good number of us looked clueless.
“How did he arrive at X? Shouldn’t the answer be xy?”
He would start reworking the mathematical solutions on the board all over again. Unfortunately, he was redeployed to another class and the teacher who took up Math after him was a killjoy. He was only interested in teaching a handful of the students who were already geniuses; the rest of us just dozed off during his period.
But you see no matter how bad they were, nobody ever dreamt of beating them up.
Even university students never think of beating up lecturers who demand sex for grades. So, why would students in secondary schools become thugs no one can reason with?
When I read those reports of students in Ogun state beating up their teachers, I cringed. I wondered what their parents were doing. Were they supporting their rascals or waiting at home to teach them not to teach their teachers nonsense?
What is instructive here is that; it’s the public schools reported to have been engaged in these acts. Public schools back in the day used to be the centres where there was no partiality, no favouritism; a leveller where no one was treated special from the rest.
But those days are gone and we know those responsible for these.
The first culprits here for me, are the parents. Many parents are sleeping on their watch! They encourage bad behaviour from their wards; many times taking sides with their wards against the schools’ authorities.
Before, if a teacher threatened to report a student to their parents, that used to be enough to straighten any child. But these days, many parents go to schools to slap their children’s teachers for bad behaviour.
The second culprit is the school’s system.
There’s no discipline in many of these schools, be it public or private. Many parents have bought over their teachers/ schools’ systems because they are influential; rich or in positions of authority over the schools. Heads of schools are heavily compromised and so rules and regulations have gone to the dogs.
The final culprit is the government.
If year after year, regime after regime, these public schools are left to rot; dilapidated facilities are not replaced and students are taught in an environment fit only for pigs; what do you expect would come charging at you from the sty?
Well, here’s hoping something urgent is done to stop this tide of violence spreading around our secondary institutions; not just in Ogun state but nationwide.
We don’t want to raise a future full of swines, do we?