STUDENT LEADERSHIP IN TERTIARY EDUCATION
Student leaders are students who availed themselves to be elected or appointed to lead a given group of students in an institution. They lead their peers by ensuring their welfare and discipline, they defend and advocate for the students they represent, putting their lives, studies and personal human relations on the line as well as their integrity to ensure that the masses are served indeed well enough for chaos to be avoided at the least chance of it.
To begin with, the image of student leadership as a sacrificial duty has been dragged to the mud as students begin to visualize it as an avenue to make themselves rich due to happenings in and around our country. Students of today see student leaders as thieves and fraudsters mostly after they have left office and sometimes even when they are still in office.
Nonetheless, I don’t blame them at all. The fact that student leaders are now seemed to be elected or appointed due to popularity, these things are bound to change the face of real student leaderships. Our popular student who finally becomes a student leader technically by virtue of popularity and not capabilities or vision for the duty will be in trouble as he has no skill set for actual or should I say “practical leadership” and even worse if he has no interest in reading leadership manuals or developing leadership skills.
Moreover, as Mr. Dzreh Noble Selorm (Akatsi College of Education SRC President 2018/2019) will say, “some learn before the job and others learn on the job,” he has always believed that even some of those who learn on the job do better some times than those who learned before the job. I have always agreed but today I stand to add that there are some who don’t even intend to learn but just pass by and definitely not in peace hence tarnishing the image of student leaders at large with their actions and inactions.
Last but not least due to time, this menace has eaten deep into the core of students to the extent that even student leaders’ successors begin to tag their predecessors as thieves and fraudsters as they accuse them of having embezzled or misuse student funds. The claim is popularly recognized as, “they have chop our money,” which indicates that their predecessors have embezzled funds. Being caught in that net is not funny at all as you become a laughing stock and if proven guilty which is not usually the case, is more embarrassing and staining. I believe that it is only when your successors accuse you that you know how clean your predecessors were when you were accusing them.
Ultimately, I write to create the indulgence of all and sundry to avoid the sigma, if we knew what had been sacrificed just to serve us, we will not thank student leaders with the tag of being thieves. Not that they are saints but once we agree that there are but nuts everywhere, let’s be careful who we accuse. To the successors, you can always use back door channels to solve problems of such that can stain the office, other than disgracing your predecessors because tomorrow will surely come. Work with your predecessors to ensure smooth handing of the button for a good win if it becomes necessary involve external student leaderships, that’s why you belong there and pay dues.
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