The Principal of the Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos, Tofunmi Akamo, has confirmed the report that some students of the school were found to have lodged at an hotel near the school and engaged in immoral activities.
Mrs Akamo, a lawyer, said the management should be commended for its efforts towards addressing indiscipline among the students, saying the unruly students were found out by the school and disciplinary action was taken against them appropriately.
Punch Newspaper had earlier on Wednesday reported that some male and female students of the school had lodged in a hotel for sex romps before they were found out.
According to the newspaper, one of the students had been impregnated by her male classmate, and the development had led to the discovery by the school authorities.
But the school denied the report of any pregnancy, saying whoever may have given the information to the newspaper was “just being mischievous and malicious.”
Mrs Akamo, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone conversation said the school, under her watch, has been proactive on the matter of discipline and moral uprightness. She said since her assumption of duty at the school in September 2020, she had suspended and sometimes dismissed some students found unworthy of being at the school.
She, however, blamed the parents for what she described as uncooperative attitudes, saying some parents of students found engaging in nightclubbing and homosexualism refused to even assist the school in disciplining the students.
“One even came to the school here and abused all of us, and was not ashamed of the child’s bad conduct. It is unfortunate,” she said.
“How it all happened”
According to the principal, 80 per cent of the narration in the earlier report is untrue, saying the incident happened during the recent sporting event involving federal government colleges and which was held at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos.
Mrs Akamo, who is the chairman of the forum of principals of federal government colleges in the country, said: “It was towards the end of November when, on a Monday, my attention was called to the fact that on Sunday evening, when they had bed check, some girls were not in the hostels. And then the morning of Monday, they called their parents to find out if they were at home. And the parents said they were not at home. We then began investigations immediately.
“So, on Monday when we were trying to know what had happened since they were not at the hostel that night, one of their friends told us that they were in a hotel. They scaled the fence on the night of Sunday to go to a hotel and we were shocked to find them there. There were five who were caught in the hotel but during interrogation, we found out that there was another girl who also went with them on that Sunday but came back to the school on Monday.”
She said the disciplinary committee of the school met over the matter and suspended the students and reported the same to their parents.
“It is also part of the disciplinary measures that whenever they resumed, they would serve additional punishment before they would be handed over to the guidance and counselling unit where they would be further monitored and managed,” she said.
Mrs Akamo said none of the six students involved in the hotel issue was found to be pregnant, saying the matter was addressed within 48 hours when it happened.
Meanwhile, she said when she joined the school in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic and the final year students were asked to resume preparing for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), one female student had reported being pregnant from home.
“When we noticed this, we subjected her to a medical test and as soon as we confirmed this we sent her back to her parents. She was already five-month pregnant then.”
Not the first time
The principal said indiscipline is not tolerated by the school, noting that in 2022 some students were found to be scaling the fence in the night to visit a night club near the school and that the management ensured they were rounded up and disciplined appropriately.
She also said two girls who were found engaging in homosexuality were also picked up and disciplined appropriately so that they would not “pollure their mates.”
“I have about 3,500 students and I understand that the background and upbringing are different for each and everyone of them. So, those we found to be immoral are taken out for guidance because we needed to act as their parents because we also have our children and we could not be everywhere with them.
Principal blames parents, social media
Meanwhile, the principal also blamed the parents for indulging the children, saying after “spoiling” them they would send them to boarding schools for the teachers to manage.
She said a parent whose daughter was found to be unruly was invited to the school but declined to show up.
“In fact, we volunteered to take the child to the parent at home and this man said he was not available. But when we got to his house, he was home enjoying himself. It is the height of irresponsibility,” she said.
She also lamented that despite the fact that the use of phones was banned in the school, parents have continued to smuggle phones into the school for the children and that these phones are kept “even on the roofs of the hostels.”
“The impact of social media on this generation of students is terrible but as teachers we will never give up,” she said, even as she pleaded with the parents to support the efforts to build a better future for their wards.
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