A number of questions have arisen following the student unrest which took place at the Ghana SHS(Ghanasco) in Tamale and the Navrongo SHS (Navasco). Do senior high school students need mobile phones while in school? Are there alternative means of communication they can use? What impact does the use of mobile phones by students have on the orderliness, enforcement of discipline and the security of personal belongings.
Phone booth at Panest for student us
I hereby leave these questions rhetorical as we at Panest, especially at Sunyani Business Senior High School discuss the issue further at parent and staff meetings as well as at student forums.
However it is in the right direction that the Ghana EducationService has come out to clear the air by reiterating the ban on the use of mobile phones by students in SHSs. This should bring uniformity in the minds of students that they are not allowed to use mobile phones and that any measures taken by school authorities in respect thereof are not arbitrary but in compliance to the national regulation – as highlighted in the news item below by the Daily Graphic.
Confiscate Mobile Phones Of Recalcitrant Students
Authorities in Senior High Schools (SHSs) have the mandate to confiscate mobile phones of recalcitrant students under the ban on the use of mobile phones on school compounds, the Ghana Education Service(GES) has stated.
It reminded all students and parents of SHS students in the country that the ban was still in force and urged school authorities to strictly enforce it. The Head of the Public Regions Unit at the GES, Mr. Charles Parker Allotey, gave the reminder following the closure of two schools – the Ghana SHS (Ghanasco) in Tamale and the Navrongo SHS (Navasco) after violent demonstrations by students there.
He emphasized that no mobile phones were to be carried anywhere on the compound, adding, “That is why we have had Vodafone to provide phone booths in the schools.” Asked how students were expected to respond to emergencies in case they wanted to speak to their parents, he said they were to contact their heads of school.
Mr Parker Allotey said it would be in the interest of students to stop taking mobile phones to school, as they were expected to concentrate on their studies. After the Ghanasco students had embarked on a massive demonstration and destroyed bungalows and other school property, the decision to close down the school was arrived at after a meeting of the security committees of the Northern Region, The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly, the Ghana Education Service and the school authorizes.
The students were said to have embark on the rampage in reaction to the alleged seizure of their mobile phones. The rioters also smashed the windscreens of and dented a police light armoured vehicle, as well as the windscreens of the vehicle used by the Tamale Metropolitan Direction of Education and a taxi belonging to the husband of the female tutor.
Other property destroyed included two motorbikes, one of which was completely burnt. The students were also alleged to have broken into the office of the senior house master and took away the mobile phones which had been seized from the students.
What sparked the Navasco riot is however yet to be determined by a seven-member committee set up to investigate the riots. Mr. Parker Allotey advised students to desist from embarking on demonstrations and rather use existing structures to channel their grievances since they would lose in the long run.
Source: The Daily Graphic