Some grade 12 learners at certain schools in northern parts of the country are turning their soon to be alma maters into battle grounds as they break school furniture, while the police discovered dangerous weapons hidden in hostels.
Teachers and learners at these schools are now living in fear of their lives while police protection has been sought at some schools to diffuse the situation.
At Nujoma Secondary School in Oshikuku police have been brought in to invigilate along with teachers for the duration of the rest of the grade 12 examinations.
Nujoma Secondary School’s Principal Monde Elia Mwiihongele confirmed that this has become a natural phenomenon that grade 12 learners at his school tend to disrupt school activities and vandalise school properties as they near their last days at the school.
This is in an apparent attempt to prevent other learners that will be coming back next year to have the comfort of using the school furniture.
“We don’t know the reasons behind this behaviour but probably some of this unruly learners have amongst themselves decided to make it a tradition to continue with such. They are breaking the desks, chairs, walls and windows. They are telling the teachers they have problems with that they will stab them if they meet them outside the school grounds. It’s all crazy and we don’t have enough manpower to deal with the situation, hence we sought the assistance of the police,’’ said Mwiihongele.
One grade 12 learner, according to the principal, disrupted class last week after he was caught with a cell phone during school hours while learners are not allowed to have them on the school grounds. When his teacher confiscated the phone, the learner decided he was not going anywhere without it and he started fighting the teachers.
‘’These learners may think that life ends here in grade 12 and that’s why they have the attitude of carelessness towards the teachers during this end period of their school going life’’.
Mwiihongele said the school with the assistance of the police had also conducted a search at the hostel and authorities were shocked to uncover that learners had knives and pangas hidden in the sleeping quarters.
‘’Although there has not been any critical incidences of violence, it is worrying that certain learners feel they need to have such weapons on them while at school. And there is no doubt they use them to intimidate other learners,’’ adds Mwiihongele.
When The Villager visited the school on Wednesday the school authorities were having a meeting with certain learners who were found to be the most unruly along with their parents.
‘’We had to call in the parents so that we could talk to them and show them what their children have done. These learners are getting free education from government and this is how they re-pay the system. We had to come up with a solution, we told the parents that they would have to pay to fix or replace the items their children have deliberately broken,’’ charged Mwiihongele.
Not far from Nuujoma SS, is the Ashipala Secondary School in Elim.
The entrance to this school is littered with broken school chairs and tables. Vandalism of school property is also reportedly on the increase at the school, with police having to be called in at times to quell the violent behaviour of unruly learners.
Junior learners have also expressed fear at the school as more senior learners are reported to be carrying weapons such as knives to school and carry out threats on other learners whenever they wished.
School Principal Waldrich Iipinge although refused to shed more details over the reported incidents at the school and referred The Villager to higher authorities confirmed that the school has done internal investigations after reports that some hostel learners have weapons and police were alerted.
‘’Procedurally we not supposed to be talking to you as all queries are to be made with the regional director of education. We have investigated because it appears that learners who felt threatened by other learners were too intimidated that they did not come forward to report these incidences to the school authorities. We conducted internal investigations and police were alerted. It is a trend and it is happening at other schools, we have learners that threaten teachers when it comes to the year-end, teachers are actually fearful of these,’’ said Ipinge.
Attempts to get comment from the Education Director proved futile as his phone went unanswered at the time of going to print.