A reinvestigation has confirmed that a bar was in operation and sale of alcohol occurred during a party held on the Tendu Central School campus on the nights of March 5 and 6. We applaud the education ministry for reopening the case and looking into the allegations.
The reinvestigation also found that the principal is at fault for allowing the party to be held on campus as the school had not yet formed a management board, which would have made a decision otherwise. It was also found that the school’s faculty was not involved in organising the party. This is a cause of concern.
A school’s faculty must be involved and have final say on what activities can be organised on their campuses. By not being involved, perhaps, that is why alcohol became accessible and was consumed during the party.
Alcohol and cigarettes are not permitted by law on school campuses. There is a 100m alcohol-free zone around schools and as we all know, smoking zones cannot be established in any educational institution or its vicinity.
A myriad of wrong messages are conveyed to the youth on campus by permitting such activities: for instance, that rules don’t always apply.
We understand why the party was held on the school’s campus. Like in Tendu, the most suitable place to organise events are usually on a school’s campus in most areas of the country.
The party was also held to reward hard working officials and to maintain relations between the different organisations. There’s nothing wrong with that.
However, if alcohol consumption, smoking, gambling, or other questionable activities are deemed an essential part of an event, then such events must be held off campus. A school’s campus is holy ground on which examples are set for future citizens of this nation.
It is unfortunate the action may be taken against the principal. The fault is not entirely his. Those who organised and allowed for such activities to be held are also at fault. The lack of a management board forced the decision upon one individual.
The education ministry must also review how it organises investigations. It came as a surprise that its first investigation team found the allegations to be baseless. Resources and time were wasted with having a second team formed to reinvestigate the incident.
There is no reason for the school’s faculty and students to be feel demoralised as claimed in the investigation report. A school’s image is not tarnished because of one incident.
But this is a learning experience for all of us. We learn from it and avoid a reoccurrence. We thank the school, its faculty, and its students for bearing with the news coverage and assure all, that the incident has only contributed to strengthening the education system in the country.