Stop school fights

Editorial

And it seems that at the start of every school year, or towards the term holidays or at the end of the school year, school rivalry rears its ugly head. Students find it a good opportunity to let off steam so to speak.
This irresponsible conduct by young people needs to be nipped in the bud if we are to expect law-abiding and well-behaved children coming out of schools.
There are many reasons as to why school fights are occurring. Whatever the reasons, the fights caused by aggrieved persons who are not happy over something can spill over to affect their peers and put them at risk of breaking the law.
Such dangerous behaviour can be harmful and life-threatening.
And already that clearly demonstrates a fundamental cause that the common order of addressing grief has failed or is not in existence.
Therefore, almost everyone is now taking the law into their own hands.
If the law enforcement agencies were effective and functional, there will rarely be experiences as such because the students will fear retribution, that maybe tragic or costly.
It is the negative effects of a corrupt and lawless state that needs resuscitation.
So we ask: Are there no better ways of addressing the problem of school fights in PNG?
Before we find ways, let’s define the main role of the Department of Education. The department, through the schools, aims to prepare our young people to be literate, skilled and healthy citizens.
At the same time, they develop each individual’s personal viability and character to ensure that they are able to contribute to the peace and prosperity of our nation.
And most importantly, schools, communities and parents have a responsibility to collectively educate young people to respect one another.
One cause of school fights has been attributed to the cult system that has now gone down to primary school students.
It is affecting many lives and bringing all sorts of disturbances and problems to the parents and communities.
Amicable and long-term preventive measures are needed to fully eliminate the on-going battles between schools or within school.
Now the blame goes to the parents and school administrators who have failed overtime to lesson and counsel the children.
But before that, it is every parent’s responsibility to provide direction and discipline their sons and daughters at home to respect each other and property.
This will reflect outside in schools or work in interacting with other people.
Parents must look after and manage their child well as they are the number one teachers.
Today, most parents tend to push this responsibility to teachers which is not right because teachers are there to educate them daily. Parents who do not look after their children properly will be have a troublesome child.
It is not a good sign when we see primary school kids smoking and chewing betel nut and taking alcohol.
Many parents could not careless what their kids are doing. Maybe we should jail parents whose under-aged kids are doing that.
The parents whose children walk to school should take the responsibility of conducting their own investigation and finding out if their children are really in school.
You see some leave the house but you are not sure whether they made it to school.
For some of these children, one can easily see the no-care attitude in their movement. In Port Moresby, some attending a school in Gerehu and yet laughing and taking their good old time at a bus-stop in Boroko around 7.30am.
In today’s society, applying tough penalties on students in some schools has seen more complications come out of it.
Students and parents are retaliating against teachers.
And corporal punishment will not work.
Tactics that were applied in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s will not work in 2017 because society and attitudes have changed.
Corrective measures starts at home. But what we are experiencing doesn’t speak much about it.
Existing laws need to be re-visited. Any student found to be guilty of involving in any school fights or cult practices must be sent directly without bail to jail. They must be treated as criminals.
Tougher penalties should be applied to those who waste their young years being involved in irresponsible and to some extent illegal conduct.
They deserve to be taught a lesson.

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