21 February 2013

Nigeria: When is a Student Truly Upright?

Students of the Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja took time Tuesday to examine the challenges of leadership by working their way through the types of dilemma that test the conscience, ethics, obedience to rules and authority of citizens in a political situations.

Led by its Executive Director, Mr. Soji Apampa, and its Regulatory Affairs Officer, Ms. Kyura Nyam, the Integrity Organization, a national anti-corruption group based in Abuja, clustered with 28 students and four teachers of the college's integrity club to generate and resolve scenarios of moral conflict in a typical student's school life.

"It is just a way of helping the kids get a feel of how it is in a real world using the context of examination malpractice, to test moral courage " said Ms. Nyam.

The students were divided into two groups and presented with a scenario of two friends nicknamed "Siamese twins", who entered an examination setting unevenly prepared because one had been ill. Since the school had a zero tolerance policy on cheating, one of the friends watched her "twin" unable to succeed in the examination, facing the prospect of failure, for no reason other than illness. The dilemma was whether she should offer help to a dear friend, violate the school rules, and risk expulsion.

"One group was to argue "Yes" to exam malpractices and the other "No". In the process the students reasoned through the challenges of managing ones integrity in the presence of peer pressure, societal pressure and I will say the lines were evenly divided" commented Ms. Nyam at the resolution of the students.

She said "It was obvious from the responses that this was a real dilemma for the students. You either risk your integrity for the sake of a dear friend, or for the sake of loyalty to your friend risk getting both of you suspended/expelled/punished for "helping" your friend, or not help your friend and risk losing a longtime friendship and maintaining your integrity."

At the end of the day's activity Integrity Organisation shared its "7- Way Test Of Integrity" with the students governed by the following questions:

Are you who you say you are?

Those who observe you, would they find that you are who you say you are?

Do you do the right things when no one is looking?

Do you do what you say you will do, how you say you will do it, when you say you will do it?

Do you act in ways that protect and preserve your credibility?

Do you answer to authorities and your colleagues in ways that are appropriate?

Do you strive for distinction in the quality and efficiency of what you do?

The club matron, Mrs. Okhideme, introduced the new Executives of the School's Integrity club to the visitors, with Mojeku Chukwudera as the new President, taking over from Ms. Aidevo Okaisabor.

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