I always wear school uniform to instill discipline, correct immodest dressing among students – Principal

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PRINCIPAL

As many public secondary schools continue to witness bad behaviour from students, management has been opting for alternative approaches to restore discipline in the learners.

For the Principal of Cherubim and Seraphim College, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin, capital of Kwara State, Mrs. Oluwayemisi Christiana Ogunbiyi, educators should look beyond wielding of canes as means of correcting students’ bad behaviour.

According to her, she discovered that most of the students in her school developed shyness in wearing their school uniform and that even when they do, the students dress immodestly and badly.

She said other anomalies she noticed among her students included truancy, lack of courtesy, lack of good manners of approach, low self-esteem, lack of motivation and not-too-good human relationship skills.

To ensure that she brings herself closer to the students, make them her friends and win their confidence and respect, Ogunbiyi decided to wear students’ uniform to school and also put on the black shoes and white stockings, which she is even mistaking for a student by visitors.

Ogunbiyi doesn’t move around with a cane and neither does she chase erring students around like some other teachers do.

Her manner of welcoming the students to school every morning has been described as unprecedented by some of the students as she goes to school early, ensures that she exchanges warm greetings with punctual students, a development that has encouraged other students to shun lateness.

Speaking on what motivated her to embark on such a constructive strategy to eliminate bad behaviour among her students, the principal said, “I discovered that most of my students are always too shy to wear their school uniforms in the right way. I have to start wearing their exact uniform and that has been encouraging them a lot.”

The principal added, “I used to tell them (students) that there is nothing shameful about being a student and being dressed in the school uniform.

“To show them that there is dignity in learning and dressing well in uniform, I started wearing school uniform to school every day.”

She said, “I have never regretted being a teacher because every day, I come across all the students that I have taught and they have been helping me in so many ways I could not even imagine. This is because of my manner of approach. I do show them love and care and I do deposit in them what I call sense of belonging.

“My happiest day was when I recently met a former student who is now a medical doctor at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital in Ilorin.”

Explaining the need for teachers to lay less emphasis on using canes to correct bad behaviours of their students, Ogunbiyi stated that, “The approach to learning of this contemporary time is different from what we used to have.

“Before, whenever students saw their teachers, they were always afraid and tense. It was not that the teachers would harm them, but out of respect, the students would just be panicking. They don’t even want to move across the place teachers were, there is no such fear again.

“They no longer regard principals too. Before, I remember that whenever we see principal, we would be filled with fear. I remember when I was in secondary school, there was a principal that everyone feared, we used to call him Baba Akintola, and we could not even look him in the face when he was speaking.

“But, now, when we even hold a cane, students are not afraid. We are not even supposed to use came on the students because they are not animals, they are human beings.

“To even advise or talk to these students, you have to do an extra job before they could listen to you.

“We used to advise female students on too much make-ups and excessive beautification and they have been listening to us. All the students that are under us are our children and we act as their parents as at the time they are with us. We are role models and so, we should appear and act as one so that we can help them to live good lives,” she noted.