THE story about unruly Grade 12 Mukobeko Secondary School pupils in Kabwe who set defiant rules that scared teachers from attending classes makes very sad reading indeed.
According to an article we carried in our sister paper the Sunday Times yesterday, the pupils, not too long ago, drafted rebellious rules and displayed them within the school precincts.
This prompted teachers to stay away from classes for fear of being victimised by the pupils.
The rules which the pupils stuck on the walls and trees around the school allow dodging and non-attendance, reporting late for classes, wearing bug jackets, boys sagging, stealing and fighting, mobile phones, smoking and use of abusive language.
Other rules abhor reporting early for classes and teachers from entering the classrooms at will as well as forbid punishing of Grade 12 pupils.
Despite knowing very well that these rules are detestable and contravene the school’s general governing principles, the insolent pupils still went ahead to moot the rules and displayed them with impunity.
Obviously no school on earth would allow such anarchy to be perpetuated within its premises, yet the audacity with which these youths carried out their despicable act is not only baffling but speaks volumes.
It’s only proper, therefore, that five of the pupils have since been suspended by school authorities pending investigations to establish other pupils behind such repulsive behaviour. Certainly, such acts cannot go unpunished.
We urge the school authorities to probe the matter thoroughly and ensure that all culprits receive befitting punishment to save as a deterrent measure to other pupils.
It is unfortunate that Grade 12 pupils who are supposed to lead by example and who are supposed to be future leaders, resorted to such lawlessness for no good reason at all.
How then can they take up the leadership mantle if they are already rebellious and engage in smoking and in other bad vices as evidenced from what happened?
Education, it has been proven, is the key to success, but this notion seems to be contrary to what the pupils believe in going by what happened at the Kabwe school.
Looking at the so-called rules penned by the pupils, it is conspicuously clear that they do not want to learn. In fact, it wouldn’t even be wrong to infer from the incident that the pupils don’t seem to value education in their lives.
Former President of South Africa and great statesman Nelson Mandela put it aptly when he said: “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of a farm worker can become the president of a great nation.”
The pupils will do well to learn from the late Nelson Mandela’s wise words by taking their education seriously if they want to become, doctors, teachers and engineers, among others, instead of resorting to anarchy.
Of course, we are aware that not all the pupils are involved in what happened but are mere victims of peer pressure from a few rotten eggs – the masterminds.
We therefore totally concur with Central Province Permanent Secretary Edwidge Mutale’s timely advice to the pupils to concentrate on their education instead of wasting time being rebellious.
We can’t agree more with Ms Mutale that the pupils should not cheat themselves into believing that they will succeed in life without education, far from it. They had better reform before it’s too late.
Judging by what happened at Mukobeko Secondary School, it is also abundantly clear that the levels of lawlessness in our schools leave much to be desired.
We believe that Mukobeko incident is only a tip of the iceberg and is a reflection of what’s happening in our schools, and goes to account for the bad results in these institutions of learning,
The onus is therefore on parents to inculcate high moral values in their children which will help shape them into better citizens who can’t easily succumb to peer pressure at any given time. Charity they say begins at home.