The National, Thursday 30th May 2013
By ABIGAIL APINA
PEOPLE in West New Britain want stricter discipline in schools in the province.
They spoke through the West New Britain Professionals for Development (WNBPD) group seeking more discipline from students.
Those who voiced their concern said students openly chewed betel nuts, smoked, abused drugs and alcohol and very little was done to address it.
“Students smoke and chew in their respective uniforms,” WNBPD said.
The group said discipline appeared a problem in the schools and is calling for immediate action by the provincial education board and respective schools administration and boards.
“Teachers, the provincial education board and other stakeholders should see this as an indicator to do more,” the group said.
“The provincial education board should wake up.”
The group said parents also needed assistance because there was a breakdown in social services and governance.
“Home is where discipline, beliefs and values are created but the stress caused by bills, putting food on table and looking after the family and extended families have taken away or denied quality family time,” the group said.
WNBPD added that while schools in the province were urged to enforce ethics, they were overcrowded and teachers were rather helpless which compounded the problem.
While there is a great need for more schools to be established in the province to reduce student to teacher ratio and free education to reduce financial pressure on parents, discipline is an outstanding priority that needsto be addressed first, the group said.
“We can build more schools but if discipline remains a problem and authorities do not toughen or tighten up on it, we will never get good academic results,” it said.
“Everyone wants to do Grade 9 and authorities let everyone into the system when parents insist. This is a problem even though there are some guidelines
“Teachers are struggling to implement quality education when their attention is shared to a large class of students.”
The group felt education in WNB needed community support as well.