Some primary and secondary school teachers have complained of unruly behaviour and acts of indiscipline on the part of their pupils who returned to school for the 2018/2019 academic session only a few days ago. Most of the teachers, who spoke to our correspondent, blamed parents and guardians for not preparing their children and wards well enough for the new academic year.
The teachers, who also mentioned unpaid salary arrears and poor wages as some of the challenges they have to contend with, claimed that many parents had failed to provide the basic stationery required and to revise the previous term’s work with the pupils, ahead of the transition from the long holidays to the new session.
A Business Studies, Social Studies and Security Education teacher in Ejigbo, Lagos, Miss Feyisetan, said that the JSS1 pupils had proved a hard nut to crack so far. She said, “Having been at home for seven weeks, the pupils have relaxed. Bringing them into the system now feels like we are forcing them to do something they do not want to do. Even simple tasks, such as writing notes and doing homework, have become a battle. Some of them have even forgotten their simple definitions of terms. So it is as if we are starting all over again.”
Although she understood that the pupils would need some time to adjust to the secondary school environment, Feyisetan accused their parents of not playing their part. “Parents are not helping matters. They should have prepared their children for the new session. Their children don’t have notebooks, school uniforms and writing materials.
“The seven weeks should not just have been for relaxation. Yes, we said pupils should also be exposed to activities that are informative outside the four walls of a classroom, but that did not mean they should forget the book work or neglect their personal reading timetables. Even if they allow the children to watch television, it should be educative programmes like documentaries.”
Mr Oluwaseun, who has been teaching English in a school located in the Lekki area of Lagos State for the past five years, also complained of pupils getting out of control. “They are restless, I have just 18 of them, yet they are unruly. They do not follow instructions.”
He, however, blamed his inability to get the pupils under control on the school’s no-spanking policy. “The school does not allow us to spank the child. You can only advise and shout, but this has not been effective. I am a traditional teacher and believe in the traditional way of teaching. Spare the rod and spoil the child.
“When I start having children in the future, I will enroll them in a school where they can be spanked when they misbehave. This is because I know the importance. You cannot separate moral instruction from education because it is an integral part of it. But when teaching lacks discipline, it will not be effective,” he said.
On getting the pupils back in the groove for school before resumption, an Economics teacher in Ikorodu, Mr Oluwafemi Fakolade, urged teachers to adopt the resumption test strategy. “There is something we call resumption test. In most of the public schools where they do this, the pupils already know they are resuming to do a test so, during the long holiday, when schools are about to open, they begin to revise against their resumption. It is to remind them that they are back to the academic environment. Schools can adapt this so that the pupils transition easily,” he said.