A Wasted Future

The story of four students who went on an abortive armed robbery mission made disturbing headlines last week. It broke the hearts of many a parent as they imagined the possibility of their children embroiled in a similar aberration outside the boarding school they were supposed to be in. The fact that the suspects are final year students of one of the topnotch senior high schools in Accra makes the story even more painful to digest. The mother of one of them reportedly collapsed upon hearing the news as she came face to face with the reality of her son�s alleged other occupation, besides his academic pursuit at school. If there is a story worth mulling over by parents, teachers and the community as a whole, this certainly is one of them. The issue of discipline among students, especially at the senior high school level, is one subject which has for long been taken for granted; given the phenomenal changes which have occurred in the country and the world at large. The laxity on the part of some parents in keeping an eye on their children is most reprehensible. The effect of social media on society cannot be overlooked and parents who continue to sit on the fence assuming that keeping watch over their kids� movements is not worth the candle do so at their own risk. Students in the various strata of the educational system have access to the mobile phone and the internet caf� in the face of an overwhelming influx of an assortment of wild and inappropriate films, some of which are even unashamedly screened on public TVs. This development has had a terrible impact on the upbringing of children, the matter under review being an apt proof. When the foregone are added to the economic challenges confronting many families and the inability of family heads to discharge their expected responsibilities, the jigsaw puzzle sets easily. Regardless of the foregone attempts at identifying the causes of the sociological challenges posed by the unfolding trend parents, teachers and the society as a whole constitute important stakeholders whose joint concern and action will go a long way in stemming the anomaly which is threatening our values and even security. There is no doubt that these boys, two of whom have been arrested, exhibited adequate unusual traits to attract the attention of their parents and even teachers to warrant an immediate action. Some parents unfortunately live in denial of the reality of their children�s waywardness and are therefore unwilling to nip the anomaly in the bud, leaving it to explode to the discomfort of all stakeholders. We have learnt that two of the boys are on the run, leaving their parents to contend with the sleeplessness triggered by the uncertainty of the whereabouts of the kids they have invested so much in. It can only be imagined the social infection their association with others in the school has wreaked. An immediate action must be taken to ensure that others with similar traits in the school do not spread the infection.