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Exam phobia: How Edo students assaulted principal, teachers

Examination is a formal test of a person’s knowledge or proficiency in a subject or skill. It is an evaluation instrument used by teachers to…

Examination is a formal test of a person’s knowledge or proficiency in a subject or skill. It is an evaluation instrument used by teachers to test their students and to confirm their understanding. 

Though it instills fright and tension in some students, others are delighted in writing exams to confirm their learning rate, skills and abilities.

Daily Trust Saturday gathered that at Idogbo Secondary School in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, some students, particularly the senior ones,  have made examination period a time of chaos, perhaps due to phobia, lack of preparation or certain influence.

Our correspondent gathered that they have developed penchant to disrupt the exercise through riot whenever it is organised by the school to avoid participation.

Determined to forestall such misdemeanour and conduct the exercise, the school authority, our correspondent gathered, usually invites the police and other security personnel to the school to maintain law and order during the exercise.

But last Friday, some senior students whom sources described as recalcitrant and incorrigible defied the security personnel’s presence and carried out some attacks on the school principal, Mr Sunday Osaretin, as well as teachers when the school was conducting its first term examinations.

They also destroyed property worth millions of naira. Not only did they assault the principal and the teachers, they also chased them out of the school during the rampage.

Daily Trust Saturday reports that a video of the incident went viral, showing students of the school on a rampage attacking teachers, police officers and destroying cars and property.

“Last week Friday, the  students who were billed to write first term examinations went berserk and  disrupted the examination as they assaulted the principal, teachers and police officers. They also destroyed cars, offices, and furniture,” an insider who preferred anonymity told our correspondent.

“Days before the exams started, we had been battling with students throwing bangers and other explosives at the premises.

“So, when the exams started on Friday, 3rd December, we invited some policemen and vigilante groups to forestall crisis. The first set of policemen came, while we waited for other officers to join them.

“One of the officers on duty was on patrol on the school compound when we discovered that some students were chasing him. But some of his colleagues came and rescued him.

“The rampaging students also started throwing stones and other weapons and  became uncontrollable. They beat teachers and destroyed everything on sight,” he added.

The source also said that the police called for reinforcement and  had to invite the DSS officers who came and fired  gunshots into the air to scare them.

He said the police and  DSS personnel later arrested about 49 of the students who were hiding in the bush around the school.

The principal who gave a vivid account of all that transpired said that some students as well as unknown hoodlums invaded the school premises and hauled dangerous objects at students and teachers.

The principal said it took the efforts of the police and vigilante officers to bring the situation under control.

The State Police Command, SP Bello Katongs, said 49 of the students had been arrested over  alleged willful destruction of government property.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Education, Dr Joan Osa-Oviaw, who visited the school, described the destruction as very disturbing.

“What the children have done is unacceptable and we have zero tolerance for destruction of school property in the state,” he said.

The commissioner added that  the  damage done by the students could worth N30 million and that government would not pay for it as such money could be used for other development projects in schools within the state.

She said that the parents of the students would bear the cost of the damage.

“So, every child of that school and parents will be held accountable for it. Somebody had to pay for the repairs and certainly it is not going to be government,” the commissioner said.

She also disclosed that the state government would review the education policy, especially the policies on admission to decongest  schools in the state to guide against future recurrence.

“The population of this school is high. So, it’s important that we address this issue before this school is reopened,” she said.

“We shall enforce our minimum standard such as  population by determining the realistic class size,  the total number of students that can be  in school.  Once that population is met, the school won’t admit new students and we just have to find an alternative,” she added.

Osa-Oviaw also disclosed that government would rebuild the school as well as other schools across the state and put infrastructure and other amenities in place to make the environment conducive for learning.

“We also want to strengthen the school’s extra curricula  activities, especially sports to ensure that students  are gainfully engaged throughout their stay in school. We shall introduce psycho social support such as guidance and counseling.”

“We shall ensure that value and discipline are restored in Idogbo and other schools across the state.

“We shall be going to all the communities where some of these students come from and meet with their parents and collectively come up with a solution that will help bring back discipline and accountability into our school,” the commissioner said.

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