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Ajayi Crowther University Killing: What is missing in the school hostel?

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Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo State, is trending on social media, but for a negative reason: one of its students, Prince Alex, was reportedly tortured to death for allegedly stealing a phone.

The viral video of the gory scene reveals the moment the ‘innocent’ student was being mercilessly beaten by fellow students in the hostel.

According to reports, the 22-year-old student was beaten from 10 pm until the following day. These reports have provoked strong reactions from Nigerians, who are questioning the whereabouts of the security personnel responsible for supervising the students. These personnel were expected to intervene and protect the ‘innocent’ student from his attackers. Tragically, he did not survive the ordeal.

What’s missing in this hostel?

Many schools lack a comprehensive understanding of hostel facilities, assuming they merely provide accommodation. However, hostels cater to students from diverse backgrounds, religious faiths, and tribes, requiring meticulous planning, thorough supervision, and monitoring. Undergraduates, like secondary school students, need guidance and supervision to prevent bullying and other harmful behaviour.
Watch the moment he was being tortured.

Though these are undergraduates, they should be treated with the same level of supervision as secondary school students.

Expecting students to manage themselves without external supervision is a significant oversight by the school management. This lack of supervision constitutes negligence, which can foster an environment conducive to bullying and other harmful behaviours. Regardless of their academic level, students require comprehensive oversight and guidance.

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Alex and his mum during his matriculation

The prolonged occurrence of bullying without intervention clearly indicates a lack of adequate supervision in the hostel. From the inception of a hostel facility, measures to prevent bullying should be integral to its planning and operation.

Furthermore, supervision becomes ineffective when there is an insufficient number of personnel to enforce it. Effective supervision requires collaboration between hostel masters and security guards, who must be physically present to patrol the corridors and premises, monitoring activities in the students’ rooms. Had this system been properly implemented and staff fulfilled their duties, the victim’s cries during the torture would have alerted security personnel, potentially saving his life. Students exploit gaps in supervision to engage in criminal and harmful behaviours, underscoring the critical need for adequate staffing and vigilance.

The standard practice in school hostel facilities is that each corridor is manned by two people. They live close to the students under their supervision. They patrol their corridor alternately and keenly observe the students. They query suspicious movements. When they notice the students are unnecessarily quiet, they investigate to know what is happening. It is obvious that no one was patrolling the spot where the student was tortured to death. That is another thing that is missing.

Effective management of students, even at the primary school level, requires establishing strong relationships with select students identified as reliable assistants to the hostel masters and security guards. These students play a crucial role in reporting and alerting authorities about harmful activities.

In the incident in question, some students were aware of the planned torture beforehand. This act was not carried out in isolation, yet the hostel masters lacked informants who could have provided critical information to prevent it. The key issue here is that the hostel masters and security guards have failed to build a good rapport with the students, which is essential for maintaining a safe and secure environment.

Lastly, as the school authorities investigate the matter, it is imperative that the perpetrators of these heinous acts are identified and held accountable. This issue must not be ignored, as the public demands justice for the victim.

Ensuring that justice is served will significantly curb the excesses of students and deter them from taking the law into their own hands. It is essential that all incidents are promptly reported to the appropriate authorities to prevent a recurrence of such acts.

Failure to ensure justice in this case will erode parents’ confidence in the institution and tarnish the reputation of Ajayi Crowther University. It is imperative that the university addresses this issue transparently and holds those responsible accountable. It is not enough to expel the students as reported.

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