I thank God it is Friday. The prediction of the Mayan Calendar that the world will end on December 21, 2012 did not come to pass. I am not surprised though. I am still here bubbling, fulfilling destiny, following the instruction of my Master, who redeemed me with His precious and priceless blood to occupy till He returns. I am confident that as long as He who sent we is alive and well, impacting my world is an inevitable possibility.
Please permit me to suspend for today my series: 12 Attributes of a Child-Friendly Workplace. I will continue on Monday. I will like to share with you a discussion I have titled, ‘The Principal and Her Curious Search for Virgin Pupils.’ This discussion is precipitated by the recent story of Rev. Olufunke Oladeojobi, a school principal, who became a self appointed moral regulator and chose to carry out unsolicited virginity tests on 38 of her 300 female pupils. In my work, ‘CHILD PROTECTION IN AFRICA…60 Human and Social Threats YOU must KNOW, PREVENT & AVOID IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD,’ I identified as the 46th Human and Social threat to child protection in Africa, The Uninformed and Overzealous School Leader and submitted as follows: ‘These ones are found within the private and public school system in their legions. These are people, who lack the right information about the child and how to educate him. These ones do not understand the boundaries of their involvement with the children under their care. They are in the destructive habit of imposing on the child what they consider important to them but not necessarily beneficial to the development and the best interest of the child. They are not only zealous without knowledge; they are overzealous and have not room for an iota of professionalism in their relationship with pupils and teachers.
One of such is Rev. Olufunke Oladeojobi, who was the principal of Ajuwon Senior High School, Ajuwon, Ifo Local Government Area, Ogun State. A national daily recently reported that she invited a nurse to her school and decided to carry out virginity tests for 10 of her female pupils. She was so zealous to establish their virginity as if that was one of her terms of reference or Key Performance Indicator as a principal that she did not have them time to inform the parents/guardians of the children involved.
Hear the account of a 15-year-old pupil: the principal came into the classroom on the day and announced that all female SSS 1 pupils should converge on the assembly ground. The principal subsequently asked that those who had yet to lose their virginity should stand apart. We are over 600 in SSS 1 but only about 300 of us are females. Those of us that are virgins are 38 and we were matched into the principal’s office with the assistance of members of staff. The pupil continued, ‘they subsequently divided us into three groups of 10, 15 and 13 and I was in the second group. The principal later addressed us and threatened that any pupil who fails the test would have her name written in the school’s black book and would be suspended.
The pupil, who said she became apprehensive when everyone who emerged from the office where the test was being carried out came out with a sad and disgusting look, concluded, ‘when my class captain emerged from the room, I asked her why anyone that came out of the office looked depressed? I was held spell bound when she told me that the principal and the nurse dipped their fingers in turns into their private parts, adding that she had started bleeding as a result of the penetration.’
This is not only bizarre but condemnable. If you ask her she would tell you she was helping the children to be morally upright. If we agree that that is what she is trying to do, the question is, there is no procedure to teach young people to be morally upright? I am not aware that carrying out a virginity test is one of them. Unknown to her, her unguarded action constitute nothing but child dehumanisation for which she should face prosecution. I hope she does not have ritual intentions. You will recall that we recently read the case of a so-called teacher, who penetrated the private part of a girl of 3 with pencil for ritual purposes.
People like this should not be allowed to come near children, not to talk of presiding over a school. I am glad she has been suspended while investigation continues. As we await the full report of investigation, I urge us to remain vigilant in protecting our children. I urge you friends, Think the Child, Think Today, Think the Future. Do have an INSPIRED weekend.