Boarding School or Bootcamp?


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Categories: Article, Emotional Health, Mental Health, Well being, Writing,

Parents send their children to boarding school so that they can get the full educational support they need. They equate boarding schools to quality education where their children's academic performance is closely monitored and improved. Also, there are fewer things to distract their wards from studying in there so they believe that enrolling them in boarding schools will provide an optimal environment for learning. Boarding schools are touted as the best and safest place where students can inculcate values needed to succeed in life after school.


However, boarding schools have been receiving negative attention. Recent incidents are bringing to light the evil activities going on beneath boarding schools' perfect image. This is making parents doubt the safety and safety of their children that are in there. 


When a child is enrolled in a boarding school, he spends most of his schooling years there, separated from his parents.  He hardly sees or speaks with them when he's there until he returns home for the holidays. His parents are unaware of whatever is going on at his school. The school administrators are the ones playing the role of his parents. But sometimes, they don't play this role well. Bad things can happen and they would be incapable of preventing them from affecting the students.


These days, the safety of the boarding school students is left in the hands of God and luck. For example, the case of the Chibok girls who were kidnapped from their school by Boko Haram terrorists. Also, bandits have invaded some boarding schools in Niger state and kidnapped the students and staff. The situation made the government close down boarding schools in the affected communities. This shows that schools cannot guarantee the security of the students in their care.


Recently, Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of Dowen College in Lekki, Lagos died as a result of injuries sustained when he was beaten by his seniors in school. This incident sparked a lot of outrage. It also revealed the extent to which students are being bullied in boarding schools. Bullying has numerous adverse effects on a child's mental and emotional health. It can lead to depression and even, suicide.


Despite the close supervision that is practised by boarding schools, students are still being sexually molested and maltreated. Just like the case of Don Davies, an 11-year-old student of Deeper Life High School in Uyo. He was sexually assaulted by his seniors in the hostel. The school authorities also starved him for bedwetting. Another case also happened in Lugbe, Abuja. A 14-year-old girl named Karen Happuch Akpagher, died of sepsis after she was sexually molested.


School authorities need to realise that their priority is to protect the students in their care, not the school's reputation. They should be more attentive to the health of the students. Maltreatment is the same thing as discipline. The school authorities should liaise with security officials in their location to ensure that students' lives are secure.


Parents need to learn how to connect with their children so that they easily open up about any strange occurrence in the school. Students need to be taught how to be bold in speaking up about any form of abuse. Also, they should be observant about any changes in their children's behaviours. 


Conclusion 

These cases revealed the dangers that students face in boarding schools. Nevertheless, this doesn't make boarding schools entirely bad. They have their advantages but measures have to be taken by the school authorities and parents to ensure the students' safety.


by Deborah Ajilore Published

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