To instill sanity in public schools, the Akwa Ibom State government yesterday suspended 71 students of Etoi Secondary School indefinitely for indiscipline.
Due to the rampant rascality among schools in the Uyo, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien, had warned students, parents and principals against unruly behaviours, restating government’s zero tolerance for indiscipline.
Therefore, following a reported crisis at the affected learning institution in the capital city, the commissioner led the management staff of the ministry and other education stakeholders to assess first hand the situation with a view to proffering lasting solutions.
It was gathered that some senior students attempted to burn down the school building, the farm, and other properties after holding the principal hostage and fighting security personnel who were making efforts to douse the situation. Some of the troubleshooters were however apprehended.
The commissioner, who condemned the unruly behaviours, reiterated that the school belongs to all and must be protected.
Government, he stressed, would not fold its hands and allow hooligans to take over the institution, warning that the perpetrators and their backers would be severely punished.
Essien noted with dismay that some of the perpetrators of the violence were not bonafide students of the school but only impersonated.
He, therefore, sued for the cooperation of everyone, including the security agencies, to ensure that the bad eggs were weeded out.
Essien reeled out the names of 71 students of the institution to be suspended indefinitely for violent acts and insubordination except proven otherwise.
Some of the names he said were gotten from intelligence, stressing that further names will be revealed in due course.
He added that the measure was to sanitise the system and serve as a deterrent to others.
According to him, the final year students among those suspended would have their names removed from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) list to show the government’s anger for indiscipline.
The commissioner maintained that punctuality was of utmost importance and that the government was averse to loitering during school hours.
He advised students to take their studies seriously, maintain good conduct and go about their normal academic business without fear while expressing optimism that the school would make the state proud in the future.
Essien told the teachers and staff of the school that no student should be admitted without a transfer certificate from his/her previous school accompanied by a behaviour report.
Teachers, he said, shared blame in the ugly incident, as their conduct was also called to question.
The commissioner decried lateness among the teachers, stressing that serious action would be taken to correct the anomaly.
“As teachers, you share blame in this menace, as it is your job to instill discipline and forestall a breakdown of law and order in our schools. Any teacher who is accustomed to lateness, negligence of duty and other forms of misdemeanor will face serious sanctions,” he warned.