ADDRESSING VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS
Promoting best disciplinary practices in schools through orientation and sensitisation
Awareness-raising at the grassroots is key to making our schools safe and secure.
Following an act of violence witnessed on the campus of Government Bilingual Technical High School (GBTHS) Nsam on Monday, 8 January 2024 in the afternoon, the Minister of Secondary Education, Professor Nalova Lyonga, held an orientation session with the students of this school on Tuesday, 9 January 2024. On this occasion, the Minister was flanked by the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Secondary Education (MINESEC) in charge of teachers’ training, Boniface Bayaola, and the Inspector General of Services, Akat Fidelis Etta.
The aim of this talk was to sensitise the students on the attitudes and values expected from them and raise their awareness on the application of school rules and regulations regarding violence. Meeting with the authorities of the Ministry in the conference hall of the school, the students and the staff of GBTHS Nsam listened to presentations made by three officials of the Ministry of Secondary Education.
First to take the floor was the Director of Legal Affairs in MINESEC, Njomnang Tchatchouang Leopold. He browsed through the legal instruments available on discipline in school, not only to remind the students and the school staff of the existence of such instruments but also to highlight the specific provisions applicable in case of indiscipline in school. He made a clear-cut distinction between the notions of ‘punishments’ and ‘sanctions’ provided for in the school rules and regulations.
He specified that while punishments are solely handled by the school rules and regulations, acts of violence resulting in sanctions can equally be handled by the penal law which goes beyond the school authority. As such he cautioned the students and the school staff to know and abide by the school rules and regulations in order to stay safe and maintain their environment safe.
The Inspector of Services No.3 in MINESEC, Ayong Bertin, as the second speaker, advised students on the importance of nurturing living-together while in school. Dwelling on the school rules and regulations, he told the students about the best attitudes and humane values they should adopt in order to foster social cohesion and mutual understanding among themselves and in the community.
The Director of Examinations and Certification in MINESEC, Dr Shewa Magdeleine, the last speaker, presented the Government policy articulated in the Clean School vision spearheaded by Professor Nalova Lyonga since her appointment at the helm of the Ministry of Secondary Education. Clean School entails promoting ethics, excellence, the fight against violence, drug consumption and corruption in schools. It implies cleanliness at physical, moral and intellectual levels. She insisted on the moral aspect of the Clean School vision which is considered the starting point of any human success.
While underscoring the respect for the school rules and regulations, the three speakers reminded the students about their responsibility in preserving GBTHS Nsam which the Minister referred to as a reference school. Further assurance was given by the law enforcement officers from the company in charge of security in schools and university campuses (CSESU) who gave assurance of their relentless determination in ending violence in schools.
In the same vein, Professor Nalova Lyonga reiterated Government’s commitment in making GBTHS Nsam safe and secure. “GBTHS Nsam is going to be a school without violence. It is going to be a safe school. We are committed to that.”
By Aimé Ngidjol