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Parents should shoulder blame for arson in schools

By Wesonga Inviolatah | June 29th 2016

The media have been awash with stories of secondary school students torching dormitories.

The chief cause of the behaviour can't be established and if it is, then it doesn't justify  the destructive action of bringing schools to their knees.

Some of the causes of the strikes are poorly prepared food, restraining the students from entertainment and maladministration by teachers.

Formal education is central to the development of a nation.

It helps deal with the very issues that threaten the fabric that holds a society together. Formal education is not only used to equip citizens with basic functional skills, but it also trains them to become responsible and capable members of the society.

However, disruption in the classroom prevents students from achieving their dreams. Maintaining discipline in schools is essential in creating an effective learning environment.

A more holistic approach should be adopted to alleviate the social upheavals blotting secondary schools.

To instil the values of integrity, moral leadership and ethics, schools should consider increasing parental involvement and enforce discipline.

Parents can't escape blame, as some are too busy striving to earn a living and in turn they have literally dumped their children in secondary schools, leaving the burden of shaping up the children's character on already overworked teachers.

Therefore, parents should be encouraged to be closer to their children and to listen to them.

They should be more involved in their children's lives, which I believe makes a huge impact in their lives.

The more involved parents are, the more comfortable students feel to report something when they see it.

As the old adage goes, spare the rod and spoil the child. Discipline among students is mandatory.

Teachers and parents should learn ways of correcting unwanted behaviour in children and teach positive behaviour using discipline strategies rather than punishment.

It's a loving, respectful and effective way to help them.

If they relax on discipline, this will become apparent over time and bad behaviour will increase.

The school managers are of major importance in fostering an academically focused school environment.

They can give training to teachers on how to create a friendly and helpful environment in the classroom and school so that students do not get involved in these types of activities.

Some of the areas in which we can train our teachers are anger and conflict management, how to give guidance to students and how to create a conducive environment for the students to perform well in studies.

School administrators, counsellors, teachers and parents must set high expectations in both academic achievement and behaviour.

These expectations entail messages of encouragement and awards to well-behaved students.

Schools that foster high self-esteem and promote social and scholastic success reduce the likelihood of emotional and behavioural disturbance.

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