There was heightened tension in the Damongo Senior High School (SHS) in the Northern Region when teachers seized and burnt 300 mobile phones belonging to the students.
The phones were retrieved from the students during an overnight search exercise conducted by the staff on Thursday, July 19, this year.
Graphic Online has gathered that the decision to seize and burn the students’ mobile phones was taken at an emergency staff meeting on Thursday morning, following the abysmal performance of the school in this year’s West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), which had stunned the school authorities.
The Headmaster of the School, Alhaji Harrison is said to have been infuriated by the poor performance of the students and sanctioned the burning of the mobile phones seized from the students to instil discipline in the students.
Several attempts by Graphic Online’s Reporter, Mohammed Fugu to speak to the headmaster on the incident proved futile as he (the headmaster) hanged up his telephone call.
A staff of the school who pleaded anonymity said authorities at the emergency meeting blamed the poor performance of the student in the WASSCE results on the growing indiscipline and rampant use of mobile phones among the students in the school.
The source said efforts by the school authorities to prevent the students from using mobile phones on campus have not yielded any result, which it said necessitated the decision.
Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Alhaji Mohammed Haroon Cambodia has hailed the school authorities for embarking on such exercise, saying “yes, the students are aware that they are not supposed to use mobile phones in the school and if any student is found culpable, he or she is supposed to be punished”.
“The growing indiscipline in the schools is too much; some of the students especially the girls go to the extent of cutting their sanitary pads and hiding the phones in them,” he said, adding “others also hide their phones in the Bible and Quran, the students can protest, they know very well that it is not acceptable”.
Mr. Haroon Cambodia said the action was to deter other students from using mobile phones in the school to help curb the growing indiscipline among the students, describing the action by the school as “a good decision”.
According to him, the students spend much of their time on their mobile phones, engaging in immoral activities rather than spending time on their books.
Some of the students whose mobile phones were seized and burnt have condemned the action by the school authorities, describing it as “harsh and wicked”.
“How do we contact our parents any time we are in need,” they bemoaned the decision by the school’s authorities.