School Fights in Lae (ii): What Can Be Done At School Level and Within Provincial Education Circles

UPDATED 16th December 2018

In an earlier post, Fight Against School Fights In Lae (i): School's Culture Vs Students' Culture, I explained students’ culture by stating 2 ways students are identified and 4 impacts on students education.To clarify any misunderstanding, this series of articles is not an attempt to outline duties for each of the positions below (they know what to do), but to give insight into what each person performing the role can do to help solve the problem of school fights in Lae schools. 

school fights in lae city schools

So, let’s have a look at those positions and powers at play here:

School administrators: secondary school admins are principal and deputy principals. Those positions are pivotal when it comes to disciplining students; applying discipline (when a student is in the wrong) and enforcing discipline (to show authority and maintain good school culture).

Every student WITHIN a school has got to have respect for admin. But to gain respect, admin must earn it! Drawing clear line between good and bad students' behaviour is where discipline matters. School admin must maintain students’ discipline at all times and enforce it when necessary.

If an admin cannot do this simple ask, they are rendered useless and ineffective. 

School board: A school board is the ‘ultimate’ body within school’s boundary; comprised of parents and teachers reps, senior teachers and admin. In additions to school governance, they make important decisions on bad student behaviours. 

On hindsight, there must be a clear and strong presence of school board chairpersons and their peers on matters pertaining to students’ discipline. 

I call it ‘the ultimate body’ as school boards have the potential to control and contain students from behaving badly. It can create a positive school culture in school by working closely with schools admins.

Morobe provincial education board: PEB exists on provincial government’s prerequisite. Its role is that of a ‘middleman’ between school board of governors and provincial education authorities. 

If teachers or students do not agree on school board’s decision they can go to the PEB. It can deal with discipline matters especially if students appeal a decision by school board. 

That means that PEB can hear disciplinary matters. If, for example, Bugandi or Bumayong or Busu or Lae Secondary School is seen to have on-going problems the chairman of PEB must step in and find out why.

He must keep school admin and board on their toes by asking questions and reporting to PEA, PA and Governor if/when necessary. 

Provincial education adviser: PEA represents the national department of education in the province. He advises on teachers’ professional conduct, including educators’ appointments to positions within the province.

He is the go-to person if there are internal disputes apart from the PEB. 

As the head of department in the province and having power over the principals, PEA is a key player to solving school fights. He is the mouth piece of the national department of education on policy matters. He is also the glue that holds schools and principals and school boards together. 

Provincial administrator: the PA oversees many departments in the province, representing provincial and national governments. This is a political appointment. PA has powers to question performances of PEA, principals and school board. 

Politicians: Elected members have direct responsibility to question admins and school boards of schools in their electorates. At the same time, they have a responsibility to make sure their schools are good schools. 

For example the Member for Lae Open Lae, Loujaya Kouza, has make a call for all Morobe politicians to form a working committee tasked with providing avenue for afterschool activities. As a former school teacher, she also knows that a solution can come about if she takes a leading role by engaging people within education circles. So, she must go to schools in her electorate and talk about her ideas there before asking her male colleagues support her.

Morobe governor: this is the highest political position in the province. Any school in the province facing a problem is his problem too. Fighting against School fights in Lae should be the Morobe Governor’s number one priority. He has inherited the problem, he must find the solution. 

Does it mean he must start sacking people? He has the power to make things happen. He can find a way out. He only needs to find a way to empower the principals, deputy principals, Chairman of PEB, PEA and PA. 

He needs to take a leadership role on the fight against school fights in Lae.

My third post will be on 'signs of bad students' behavior and 'what to do' to protect good students



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