Principal seizes 42 mobile phones from students


…for viewing pornographic materials in class

May 20, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai

Principal of Schlenker Secondary School in Port Loko, Chernor Sahid Kamara, has seized 42 mobile phones from pupils who caught viewing pornographic materials in class.

Speaking to this reporter Tuesday on the overall performance of pupils in public exams, Mr Kamara said most pupils in the school have developed the habit of viewing pornographic materials in class, even when teachers are teaching. He added others play music or logon to Facebook, Whatsapp and other social media sites.

He said the misuse of social media by the pupils has negative impact on their output as some cannot even write good letters.

“I called the parents of those students to a meeting and I handed over the mobile phones to them. I categorically told them that it is not bad to buy mobile phones for their children, but the children are misusing them. We had fruitful discussions and at the end of the meeting they authorised me to punish any of their children who go against the ethics of the classroom,” he explained.

He said because of strict monitoring mechanisms employed at the school, most of the students have been performing extremely well in public exams, citing as example one Sorie Ibrahim Kanu who got ‘aggregate seven’ in eight subjects in the past Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results.

“We have been making efforts to get good results because in schools like this, which is situated in the provinces, it is very difficult to attract trained and qualified teachers. We are making good use of the few available ones as well as making the atmosphere very conducive for them to stay,” he said.

Asked about challenges the school was encountering, Mr Kamara disclosed that 13 teachers are not on the government payroll, adding that funds that should have been used to address other problems in the school are instead used to pay them stipends.

Besides that, he added, we are having problem in acquiring science laboratory gadgets, especially in physics, which are very expensive and difficult to come by.

“Our school is a centre for students who are taking science practical within Port Loko town during the West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). If we have problems with our science equipment, it affects all the science students from other schools during the examinations,” he said.

Abdul Raman Koroma, teacher in-charge of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, said the science laboratory in the school lacks modern gadgets, as he urged an urgent need to get them in order to enhance teaching and learning.

Asked why most students are afraid to choose science subjects, he disclosed that most of them are discouraged by their friends who brainwash them as to the difficulty of comprehending mathematics and other science subjects.

“Also, science materials which are not seen when teaching discourage them. For instance, if I’m teaching about acid, spectrometers, thermometers, which are not available for the students to see, they will not be interested in the subject,” he said and added that lack of electricity supply hinder practical tests in the labs.