Friday, 2 December 2016

Alarming | 27 Students Expelled From Secondary School In Katsina Over Homosexuality

A failed attempt by a senior male student of the Science and Technical College Ingawa, Katsina State, to rape his junior has created unease among parents and guardians.

An official inquiry, launched by the school authority after the matter was reported by the victim, revealed the depth of sexual abuse in the institution.  So far, no fewer than 27 students were said to have been dismissed over homosexuality.

The accused senior student, Daily Trust gathered, was summoned and questioned by the authority, and this led to the uncovering of more names within and outside the school involved in same sex relationship. 

All those fingered were asked to write a statement before their parents who were invited to the school before they were purportedly expelled, it was further gathered.

From their written and oral submissions, it was also discovered that the students have ‘clients’ in town who they sneak out to meet at night.  

Following the growing cases of sodomy in the school, students began to write their parents to withdraw them.

The matter became public when the member representing Kusada constituency in the Katsina State House of Assembly, Abubakar Yahaya, tabled the issue before his colleagues under matters of urgent public attention.

The House immediately mandated its committee on education, under Shehu Tafoki, to investigate the matter and report back its findings and recommendations within one month.

After several postponements, the report was finally scheduled for presentation. The assembly however went into an executive session, a move that barred journalists, Islamic scholars and other stakeholders from witnessing the presentation of the report.

At the end of their closed-door deliberation, which was informed by the sensitive nature of the issue, some recommendations were offered. This led to the expansion of the committee’s work to other institutions, including the state-owned Hassan Usman Polytechnic, after it was discovered that one of the culprits was said to be studying at the institute.

According to the chairman of the committee, Tafoki, three students were fingered as principal culprits with two of them already expelled from the college while the third had gotten admission into the polytechnic.

A source, who is a member of the committee, said this was among some of the recommendations adopted at a close door sitting of the House. A copy of a page of the report obtained in Katsina showed that stern disciplinary action was recommended against any erring student in accordance with the rules and regulations of the school.

Other recommendations include that a sensitization committee should be set up not only at the college but all boarding schools across the state to enlighten students on the moral, social and health dangers of homosexuality and lesbianism.

When contacted, the executive secretary of the state science and technical board, Lawal Bosa, under whose purview the school operates, feigned ignorance of the matter and referred our reporter to the state assembly which he said knew about the matter.

However, sources at the board confided in our reporter that a committee which was also set up within to look at the matter has recommended stiffer penalties like expulsion, transfers amongst others. The board had also asked the committee to extend investigation to other colleges. Most parents and stakeholders expressed concern over the issue and called for stiff action on the issue. 

Daily Trust reports that in spite of laws criminalizing homosexuality and lesbianism, the acts continue to grow in schools across the country to the extent that parents were forced to move their children to other schools, one teacher said.

A human rights activist, Bashir Ruwangodiya, said the matter is alarming, adding that the most unfortunate thing was the way the number of people believed to be involved kept increasing by the day.

He attributed the causes to general moral decadence in the society, which involves failure on the part of some parents in the proper upbringing of children and the lack of effective and thorough monitoring of children.

“My worst fear was the alleged involvement of highly placed people in the community. There is serious cause for concern as these men initiate the perceived innocent school children into the act,” he said.

He said government must intensify efforts at monitoring boarding schools while teachers must be up and doing by ensuring that hostels are checked regularly and more security personnel employed in schools.

A parent, Idris Abdullahi, said principals and teachers must be held responsible for whatever befalls a student, adding that “a student is an entrusted entity to a teacher or principal as such they should be liable for the successes or otherwise of such student.”

He said the increase in same sex relationships forced him to think twice about enrolling his children at a boarding school, adding that every day one is hears about sinful activities at both male and female boarding schools.

Another parent and chairman of Good Governance and Accountability, Lawal Saidu, said the rampant acts of immorality amongst teachers and students call for general reorientation. 

He said teachers must be sincere, upright and just in their dealings with students; relationship between them must be professionally guided, adding that “taking advantage of their weaknesses is unfortunate.”

The state chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Hassan Dayi, said though not officially communicated on the matter, the union will keenly await the report of the House committee and ensure that any teacher found wanting is punished.

Author: verified_user