An academic and legal practitioner has condemned bullying in schools, saying it should be discouraged because it destroys the future of students.
“Bullying demoralises students and destroys the ego and confidence of others. The scars of bullying have been physically written on some and psychologically imprinted on the minds of others,” Ernest Kofi Abotsi, said.
Mr Abotsi, who is also the Managing Partner of Axis Legal Solutions, was speaking in Accra on Wednesday, August 28, at the 90th anniversary lecture of the St Augustine’s College, Cape Coast.
The lecture was on the theme: “Developing the school environment for effective education: Whither St Augustine’s College?”
Mr Abotsi, who is also an old student of the school, spoke on education as a product of management, infrastructure, philosophy and education as a resource and a commodity.
“While acts of solidarity are good, bullying, especially the blatant ones, is bad and must be prohibited,” he insisted.
He prescribed that in place of bullying, “let’s promote a system of mentorship in which role models are grown to be copied by others.”
Mr Abotsi said managers of schools inspired leadership in students and synchronised the efforts of teachers, administrators and students.
“Management makes a school by driving an agenda of education and human development. It is management that steers that ship of many parts to the common goal,” he explained.
He stated that the issue of bullying was of a much bigger dimension than what was being seen, saying “mine is a passionate plea for Ghana to join the rest of the world and treat bullying in schools with more seriousness than we are currently doing.”
Speaking on a wide range of issues on education in the school environment, Mr Abotsi explained that bullying (popularly referred to as ‘homoing’) emerged as an offshoot of school solidarity acts, which were originally designed to ensure intra-student discipline.
On infrastructure, he observed that while the population of students had grown over the years, facilities and resources had not kept up with the pace.
Referring to the situation at St Augustine’s, he said the “pressure has resulted in decay and collapse of some existing facilities,” adding that “but for the support of old boys in recent times, the story could not be told.”
Managing mission schools
During question and answer time, participants urged managers of education in the country to recognise the crucial role old students played in the running of schools.
They said since old students contributed so much towards the maintenance and development of their alma mater, their children should be considered during admissions.
Others also spoke on the need to reverse the management of faith-based schools to the churches for discipline and good moral training.