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The supposed jokingly involving fresh students in many forms of unacceptable treatments in second cycle institutions in Ghana has turned mourning moment in Konongo Odumase Senior High School after a form on boy stabbed to death.
What is Homo or Bullying in SHS?
Seniors instruct and lead SHS new comers to perform unacceptable but playful things for entertainment, fan and second tier disciplinary.
But sometimes, it can turn intense, passionate and hatred between the ‘Senior’ and a ‘Junior’ especially when the senior plays to his advantage to oppress to junior where the later reacts to being cheated and seek revenge or defence. A phenomenon known as Bullying or Homo popularly found in SHS in Ghana.
Sometimes, in its opposing outcomes (injury of junior) either than fan, entertainment or keeping disciplinary measure in check, seniors always go free without punishment from above as the Homo practice has since become a tradition in Senior High Schools.
At a specific night, whether a strong approval and indirect green light may be given by a particular school authority for seniors- those above fresh students- or senior use their own system power to organize and engage new comers in maltreatment which in Sam’s death case it was Friday night suspects went on Homo.
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In Homo moments for example, a fresher boy can be forced to dress like a mad person, a lady or been forced to proposed love to her senior female. They can also be instructed to sleep after prep hours or give out your food to the senior.
All these are master-planned and supervised by the senior and failure to do so or if one is able to perform a task given but the process or outcome does not satisfy your seniors’ expectation attracts extra punishment or further Homo.
For instance, you were able to proposed to your senior female but not in confident manner or your senior female rejected you or you rejected your senior’s order to sleep or take his plate to the dinning hall or give small amount of your food, your senior can punish you again.
While these moments are sometimes fan moments, it can turn out to be explosive when egos surpasses understanding and the motive for the Homo tradition which are many but the mostly accept facts are fan, no reason and serve as second tier of discipline in SHS- when seniors instruct you to dress properly, check you for appropriate attire for specific sessions, use cutlery set at D-hall, instruct you to scrub the bath room and even ask you not to eat some kinda of foods at specific time. Physical fight, casualties and sometimes death may be potential effects when misunderstanding pops up within the Homo period.
The KOSS incident
At the Konongo Odumase Senior High School (KOSS), one of the best and popular Senior High Schools in Ghana has been identified with one of these potential outcomes after a fresher boy stabbed to death.
The fresher boy whose name is Samuna Larhan was reportedly homoed by five of his seniors a round a kitchen in the school. The poorly managed misunderstanding in the Homo period may have lead to one of the seniors stabbing Sam with kitchen knife on Friday night November 5th 2021.
While appearing a bad news for Konongo Odumase Senior High School, the institution’s authority has issued their corporation for investigations about the tragic incident.
“I want to assure the public that we shall give our maximum support to the police until investigations are completed so that we get justice for the family of the deceased”, headmaster of the school, Ben Kwaku Baah told 3news.
There are few details about how the Homo/bullying might have led to the fresher, Sam, 17, death but the outcome of investigations by the Konongo police department could be a source of more revealing. It’s understood that seniors went of Bullying spree on Friday night after prep.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that the suspects, who are Form 2 students of the school as mentioned above, went on a bullying spree on the night of Friday, November 5, after prep hours leading to the attack on the deceased, Samuna Larhan, aged 17, a police source revealed.
“The victim was rushed to the Konongo Odumase Government Hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead on arrival”, the statement signed by Director General of Public Affairs of the Police, ACP Kwesi Ofori, read.
With the KOSS authority becoming one of the parties to facilitate investigations for justice and peace resolution, Konongo Divisional Police appears so as important a party. The police department has arrested five suspected murderers of the 17-year old boy on Saturday November 6 2021 to assist in investigations.
The Police arraigned the five suspects to appear before the Court on today Monday, after which they were remanded into police custody.
The Konongo Divisional Police Commander, Chief Sup. Shaibu Abubakar Sadiq Osei said a team has been set up to facilitate investigations into the matter.
“We have within six months per the juvenile justice system to finish trial for that reason we have put together investigative team because we don’t one person to conduct investigation to slow down proceedings.
“The command has added two other investigators to the original investigator to ensure that we are within the time frame,” he said.
A report in Joy Online suggests a strong coordination between the Police and Court after the Konongo District Court acting faster to remand Sam’s five murderers.
The suspected murderers are expected to return to Court on November 15, on a provisional charge of murder and abetment of crime. The Court presided over by Joyce Bamfo denied a bail request by counsel for the first accused, Richard Adu Darko, whilst granting police submission for time to conclude investigations.
Sam’s murder has had impact on Homo in SHS leading to a campaign led by the Ghana’s Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum on Monday afternoon that ‘Homo/Bullying in SHS must end immediately’.
Commenting on the murder of a 17-year-old student, the Minister said immediate action is being taken to ensure that no such thing occur in any school across the nation.
According to the Minister, government takes strong exceptions to the phenomenon and will be working with the Ghana Education Service to end it immediately.
“Strong discipline regime should prevail in schools. This morning I had a very sad moment speaking to the parents of Samuna Larhan, a student who was stabbed to death at Konongo Odumase.
“Very sad moment indeed, group of young men thinking that they are in Form 2, so they should direct what a form 1 student should do.
“This has been something that’s been part of our school culture, and the time has come for it to end. ‘Homo’ has become a relic of the past, and it has no space in this century.”
According to Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, students must protect each other and not harm others simply because they are ahead of them on the education ladder.
“When new students enrol, and you happen to be in Form 2 or Form 3, you should be their keeper; we have to understand that we are each person’s keeper and not each other’s oppressor,” he said.