OCTOBER 6, 2009: Dialogue Can Advert Violence in Schools

Dialogue Can Avert Strikes in Schools

SOURCE: New Vision


Kampala — THE minister for primary education, Kamanda Bataringaya, has warned that the Government will punish students who cause chaos and vandalise school property during strikes.

He said the Government had directed headteachers and the Police to deal with errant students by expelling, arresting and prosecuting them in courts of law.

Many times, school vehicles and buildings have been destroyed by students on strike and the minister's warning should be taken seriously. Students should realise that it is foolhardy to destroy school property and yet expect to continue attending that school.

Whenever such a thing happens it is the parents and the taxpayers who eventually pick the bill to rehabilitate the school. Besides, this wanton destruction has a direct and adverse effect on the students' education.

For example, burning down a classroom block might mean studying in a makeshift and congested facility unsuitable for a learning environment.

In effect, it is a classic example of someone cutting off his nose to spite his face. The students of today are the leaders of tomorrow and should be disciplined members of society. On the other hand, school administrators also need self-examination.

A strike takes weeks if not months to incubate and thus is one of the signs that the school's administrators are out of touch with the goings-on in the school. A strike does not always mean that the students are indisciplined...

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