Of the lessons learnt in the blockbuster Bollywood movie, Three Idiots, the fact that school is boring stands out. Raju and his clique were victims of a school system that is root rooted in work, walk and some little knocks. Latter in the story Raju could not stand it. He latter punctuated his life with the full stop of suicide. Well, that is in India where almost everything in terms of amenities are aplenty.

Travelling through the Atlantic Ocean en route the Sahara Desert, we have Nigeria where schools are no longer guarantee to being schooled. Where our classrooms don’t even give room for class. It is sad to say. Gaining admission in our slice of the world map is as difficult as passing a camel through the needle eye. In fact, after admission, the struggle continues. After years of 7-to-7 classes, after subscribing to TDB and MTN lifelines, after years of being suffocation under the stress in the school system, it is sad to say, that after all of these, students’ learning power still doesn’t agree with their earning power.

However, as a breakaway from this heartrending condition, students have designed their own Nite of a thousand Laff, the best antidote for boredom. This is an occasional dose of Aro. This drug comes in varying forms and dosage but the distinguishing feature is always that tickle effect it has that would make an introvert inverted to be an extrovert. With this old tradition of hurling jibes and complements at passersby, stress is suppressed, tension is relieved and depression is subdued.

Also, with just a loud voice matched up by confidence and some bit of creativity, Aroism is leeway to flogging timidity out of a students’ heart. With it, the fear to publicly speak is won by its practitioners. With it, a student can graduate from third class self-esteem to first class self-esteem. In fact, with it, a “get inside kid” is transformed into an outgoing guy. This is to tell us that it is a justified hilarity. Even Hillary Clinton would not see it any different.

To add, this act of funky fun making consolidates the cycle of brotherhood and sisterhood among aroists. And this in turn can lead to lifelong friendship. Because aroists share a common goal, they share other things as well. It is believed that individually we strive but together we thrive. Aroism avails the opportunity for students to thrive together – rather than being a “me-and-book kind of neighbours”.

However, as the saying goes, it is the same full moon of today that wanes tomorrow. It is the same the sun that shines in the day that sets at night. It is the same aro or gest making you can call it that is the tickle students use to cool off each time boredom sets in that eat up the remaining confidence left in another person. It is the same aro that makes its practitioners laugh but it victims weep silly. It is the one that suppress stress in one and oppress stress in another.

Of all, ladies are the most battered victim of Aro, which in this case can be likened to physical violence. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Third Edition, explains physical violence as “actions or words which are intended to hurt people.” In other words, it is any act that hurts or kills emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually and even health-wise. So, it could come in different forms as unsolicited taunts of any nature, leering, making obscene gestures, rape, beating.

In accordance to The National Demographic and Health Survey of 2008, it was discovered that 28% of all women – 1/3 of all women in Nigeria – have experienced physical violence “in a country of almost 160 million, where almost half are women.” This simply tells us what the nuisance of Aroism can contribute. Rather than raise students who are ready to reverse this trend it simply nurtures students who are ready trend the reverse.

The Aro culture, if to be maintained at all, needs to be reformed. The characteristics that engender it: sexism, harassment, vulgarity, anti-intellectualism and verbal bullying, should be eradicated if it is to be continued. We need not act like touts. Aro culture is not positive in anyway and we should not let it corrupt our society. That way, we would be raising fully baked students who are rich in learning and character. Or come to think of it shouldn’t there be a clear cut distinction between those who dwell in the town and those who don the gown?

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