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Moment of madness

If you have ever doubted that Malawi is passing through a moment of madness, you have the continuous violence by different individuals, including students, to erase all the doubt.

Mdzukulu, I know that students have been protesting some decisions made by their administrations for as long as I can remember, but now things are getting out of hand.

Recently, students at Rumphi, Thyolo, Lunzu and Blantyre secondary schools vandalised their respective institutions’ property after disagreements with their administrations.

The pathetic thing is that the violence resulted into closures of the schools, affecting students some of whom had nothing to do with them.

It was obviously a few misguided students who vented their anger on property that did not wrong them in any way. In their depraved thinking, it was right to destroy property and have their respective schools closed at the expense of learning.

The schools’ administrations have bemoaned the vandalism and subsequent closures, saying they will affect their pursuits of covering their syllabuses.

So, at the end of the day, it is the learners themselves who have been severely affected by their own acts which resulted into the closures of their institutions.

Mdzukulu, of course, the violence that has been erupting in the schools and other parts of the country clearly shows that something is wrong with our national psyche.

Of course, experts are offering their views, saying Malawians feel betrayed by their leaders after their lives remain in the doldrums despite having been promised that things would be better.

There indeed is need for some healing because things are getting out of hand.

Apart from the violence perpetrated by students, there have been many more cases which also point to the fact that something is wrong with our national soul.

Violence is often the last resort—though it cannot be fully justified— and in all the cases that have been recorded in the country, we believe there would have been better ways of solving the disagreements.

But it appears some people do not think twice before doing something.

Mdzukulu, students are supposed to be well prepared for the future. This means that while at school, they are supposed to learn principles of life which include tolerance.

But that seems to be no longer the case. It is either the education system is no longer concentrating on imparting on learners tenets of what it means to be good citizens or the students deliberately take their own paths.

Parents too must be very interested in the conduct of their students. During our secondary school days, you would not easily flout school rules and regulations because right away from home, your parents would properly counsel you on how to behave at school.

They would even follow up with the school’s administrations to understand how their students were behaving. I wonder if that is still happening.

I even wonder if schools do organise meetings with parents where they discuss issues including discipline. Otherwise, there is something very wrong with many secondary schools in the country.

In fact, what has happened so far regarding vandalism might simply be a tip of the iceberg. But other schools must put their houses in order, learning from others where students have vandalised property.

This moment of madness must surely end.

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