As various state and non-state education actors express disappointment with the negative culture of student indiscipline cropping up in secondary schools across the country, it equally saddens me watching our young and brilliant school children resort to acts of violence under the guise of airing their grievances.
This trend is a cause for alarm not only for the affected parents, schools and families but equally for the wider society.
Acts of this nature cannot only be condemned but should in equal measure be looked into seriously as they pose a threat to society’s moral and social values and virtues, which form the very foundation of our educational institutions.
It should worry anybody with a sound mind that the situation is putting our secondary schools under siege, and the earlier we find solutions to the problem, the better.
The trend is exposing parents and society as failures, so to say, since it seems we are hell-bent on bringing up a highly disconnected generation from the foundation of the African cultural and moral virtues meant for holistic growth and development of our children.
As parents, how can we help our children choose the right path in their life careers? There is only one way-ensure the children’s minds are filled with thoughts of love, kindness and justice.
Many parents in the present generation believe that the best way to teach and correct their children is only corporal punishment- to force them to obey. However, such an approach has often seen many children rebel and turn against their parents.
However, it is advisable to correct them with a cane occasionally, but it should be administered out of love and avoid doing it while in anger. This would facilitate bonding with the children after correcting them through whipping.
When parents force their children to do the right things by threats of whipping or scolding words, they will outwardly obey to follow their parents’ imposed right paths, but inwardly they will build rebellious traits. This rebellion will show itself as they grow up, and it will be too late in the day to correct them.
As parents, we have been entrusted with a noble duty to perform-building strong moral and social characters in our children’s lives during their formative childhood days.
How much as parents are we dedicated to our parental responsibilities? How often do we spare time and money to attend parental guidance and counselling clinics to sharpen and enhance our parental responsibility skills?
What about books on parenting? Do you have a home library of such books and other literature on parenting?
To that end, it is clear that the modern-day parents are under siege.
Unless they make it their priority number one to guide their children through the right career paths from their childhood days, they will naturally choose the wrong path that will finally impact the broader society negatively.
It is against this background that I strongly concur with various education management experts and professionals that it is most appropriate for education policymakers in the country to consider introducing Human Rights Clubs in our secondary schools.
This would back up the parental responsibility in stemming rampant indiscipline cases and unrest threatening to destroy not only the future careers of our young people but also the image of secondary schools in the country.
I am optimistic that the formation of Human Rights clubs in our secondary schools will mark a paradigm shift from the traditional way of handling students’ grievances to a more humane and inclusive approach that will nurture a culture of tolerance and respect among learners.
That would in turn discourage them from engaging in violent activities that in most cases result in wanton destruction of fellow students’ property and that of their schools, running into millions of shillings.
The constitution of Human Rights clubs may not only foster peaceful co-existence and harmony in schools, but to a more significant extent, they could assist in addressing other challenges facing our society today.
I strongly feel that respecting others’ Human Rights always starts with respecting one’s own Human Rights.
I find it unique to have such clubs in our schools since they will guarantee students a platform to brainstorm on issues affecting them and their respective school administrations instead of resorting to unlawful actions in the name of addressing their grievances.
The clubs, if well handled, will holistically educate and mold students into law-abiding citizens who will in turn apply the knowledge they have acquired in promoting respect for human rights among themselves and in their respective communities.
Students need to desist from the rogue culture of engaging in unrest and destroying school property since it amounts to a violation of other students’ human rights, depriving them of their right to quality education, among other fundamental human rights trampled upon during such unlawful incidents.
From the perspective of dispute and conflict resolution, the clubs will give students a human rights sense while handling and finding solutions to problems affecting them both within the school environment and outside.
In the long run, the students will be part and parcel of the solution to the problems facing them instead of multiplying the same through strikes and torching of their schools, passing the burden to their parents and those of other innocent students who did not take part in the destructions reported in such institutions.
The clubs would inculcate the culture of discipline and responsibility among students in whatever they do both within and outside the school, reminding themselves that the school is always and remains the proper foundation of any society.
Having been used as vehicles for respecting human rights among students, the clubs will be exploited as a tool for fostering peace, harmony and national unity among the Kenyan communities.
The Author is a Media and Communications practitioner based in Kisii. His contact: benoroko2000@benoroko
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