Lately, we have received some disturbing news of the deaths of some boarding students in our higher institutions. As an educationist who has played several roles in the educational development of our nation, I want to focus this article on possible causes of death in the dormitory and what parents, teachers and schools should do to prevent such eventualities.

It is obvious that if one does not take good care of what he or she has, will result in spoilage or death as the case may be. Taking care of the students in the dormitory is also very vital. In the dormitory, the students are entrusted in the care of the school management which involves every member (worker) of the school. Since they are the closest to the students and if they fail to take up their responsibilities, may result in certain eventualities or even death. Parents are not left out, because they have to call from time to time to find out the welfare of their wards.


Mismanagement is the process of organizing or controlling something badly (Cambridge Dictionary, 2014). Mismanagement can cause the death of a student in the sense that when a student is sick and the school has noticed and knows too well that they don’t have a professional that can handle the student, they will insist on managing the child till when it gets to the climax, they will now call on the attention of the parents or rush the students to the hospital when it is already too late.

Lack of communication

Communication is a process of passing information from one person to another. Lack or poor communication systems can lead to the death of a student. For instance, a child is ill but refuses to visit the school clinic because of fear of taking drugs until the illness becomes severe. When the student noticed that it is beyond him/her; that is when he will rush to the clinic putting pressure on the school before you know it may result in a “story that touches the heart”.

Communication also involves the parents like the incident that happened at Full Life Academy, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The narration says that the mother of the said student communicated with her but she took it as a prank. She was delayed for about three hours! Who knows if she had acted in the spur of the moment probably, the child may have survived.


There are some students that come from homes where they don’t take drugs due to their religious beliefs. So, they remain in the dormitory and they have health challenges. They will refuse drugs from the school clinic, this may lead to contingencies.

Fire outbreak

The Premium Times of November 30, 2015, reported of seven (7) students were killed, and twenty-one (21) were injured in Kano dormitory because of a fire outbreak. New Nigeria newspapers also reported at least nineteen (19) children were killed in a school dormitory fire in Guyana, which has shocked the nation and led its president to declare three (3) days national mourning. It is revealed from the investigation that the fire was maliciously set.

Having highlighted the causes, what should be done to prevent these contingencies?

One of the major things is effective communication on the part of the school management to the parents immediately they noticed that a student case is beyond their care. The student too should work up to the school clinic whenever they feel abnormal.

Parents who have special beliefs should be responsive when their attention is needed. The teachers should be alert; they should be able to communicate with the school with regard to what they have noticed since they are the closest to the students.

The school authority should ban everything that can ignite fire in the dormitory such as perfume to avoid predicaments.

In conclusion, it is noticed that the cause of deaths in dormitories can be through our ignorance, mistakes, or even intentional in the dormitory. To avoid such contingencies, everyone should be careful and alert ranging from the students, teachers, parents, and the school management. 

Quest News 24

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