30 June, 2010
As a new semester starts in public universities we shall see the future of our nation in the hands of the education system for the next 5 years. But what defines this period is the induction or orientation week held for the first week of the semester. After the freak case involving an RMC student, the government is cautious and is paying extra attention to other public institutions across the country.
So it is proven when only something bad has happened that the authorities will want to take some sort of action. Typical them, poor us. However I must say that this culture of ragging (organized bullying) is so irrelevant since there is no specific standard and is totally up to the seniors to run the show. This has it’s good and bad. One the officials of higher education need not spend time on the program and get on to other tasks. Second, seniors have some fun time to somewhat revenge what happened to them when they were the underlings.
However I think ragging is an essential part of character building. It is something like a boot camp to quickly build mental strength to make it trough the years ahead in varsities. Some kids make it while some do not. Some develop better interpersonal skills while some timid into isolation. In other words there is not a set syllabus or program to properly mold these kids and quantify the success rate of the orientation week.
Then there is the part where sometimes there are seniors that just go overboard. Resorting to physical violence and mental torture which the sole purpose is to humiliate and degrade the poor kids as much as possible. Sometimes even violating basic human rights. My idea is that a standard law of conduct has to be drawn formally by a central body. The ministry of Higher Education should take this to task. Station officers throughout the orientation week in all public and private tertiary institutions just to oversee that everything goes accordingly. But the most importantly it will be a place for the freshies to submit complaints of improper conduct by the seniors during the programme.
The government should consider this as it does address the concern of undergraduates being treated properly and the universities for benchmark their orientation week programme. We would not want to development mentally disturbed youths now do we?