PROF. ADEI’S ATTACK ON PUBLIC BASIC SCHOOL TEACHERS OUTRAGEOUS

It is rather unfortunate that anybody who decides to lament the sorry state of Ghana’s educational system finds the teacher the easiest prey to devour.

The public basic school teacher is blamed for everything including refusal to ensure that while at home, school children study what they are taught in schools and do their home works.

Most often, I think this attitude by some of our leaders is deliberate as those leaders cannot pretend to be oblivious of the real challenges confronting our educational system.

If it were not so, why would it take a person as experienced as Professor Stephen Adei who has been involved in our educational system for such a long time, to join in such counter productive endeavour of criticising basic school teachers such destructively? Or could it be that because he is at the tertiary level, he is totally oblivious of the problems at the basic level?

According to 3news.com, the former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) allegedly questioned the competence of teachers in public basic schools across the country and suggested that they should all be dismissed from the service to save the educational system from collapse.

He argued that trained teachers in these schools had formed a cabal with their headteachers and practically fail to teach their pupils during school hours, 3news alleged.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Ghana Beyond Aid,’ Professor Adei who is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the Ashesi University College allegedly sought to allude that Senior High School leavers who are mostly engaged to teach in private basic schools perform better than trained teachers.

To say the least, Professor Adei’s attack on teachers is completely outrageous, unfortunate and should not have come from a person of the status of the learned professor. This is because, the issues that confront our educational system goes beyond just the teacher factor. In any case, after teaching, is the pupil not supposed to make conscious efforts to study?

  1. Whose duty is it to supervise the pupils to study at home?
  2. Can the teacher storm homes and stop children from watching ‘Kumkum Bagya, Veera, Gangaa’ and so on and so forth?
  3. If the teacher really stormed homes to do as in question (2) above, wouldn’t he be accused of trampling upon the rights of the children?
  4. How many parents with wards in the public school would make deliberate and conscious efforts to see to it that their wards study at home?
  5. Whose duty is it to buy books, pens, drawing boards, etc. for the children?
  6. Is it the teacher who is supposed to put up school buildings, ICT / Science laboratories and other facilities?
  7. When teachers give students home works and they refuse to do, do teachers have the right to punish them?
  8. Have teachers not been warned to refrain from issuing corporal punishments to pupils contrary to the Bible’s admonition for parents to spare the rod and spoil the child?
  9. Don’t you think that if basic schools had been provided with facilities as adequate as those in the tertiary level where Professor Adei teaches, things would be better there too?
  10. Doesn’t Professor Adei know that teaching adults is quite easier than teaching kids?
  11. Is the professor saying that none of the adults he teaches also fails?

Is it not worrisome to learn that while most parents with wards in the public schools do not give their children the necessary support, the story is differently told about parents whose wards are in the private schools?

I dare professor Adei to propose the writing of external exams at the university level and let’s all observe the number of casualties that would be recorded.

I wish the learned professor came down to the basic level to teach some of these primary school or JHS students for only a year for us to see how far he can turn things round.

Yes, the teacher factor could be a contributing factor, but I dare say that it is the minutest of the problems in the sector. Every basic school wants to make a mark and does not joke at all.

I wish to state without mincing words that as long as our leaders do not seem to stop blaming public school teachers for being solely responsible for the falling trends in the standards of education in the country, the problems do not promise to be solved anytime soon.

I wish our leaders stopped the long talk and tackled the issues head on rather than just settle on the one and only prey, the teacher. Our teachers have been devoured over the years, but the situation is still the same; can’t we have a change of mind that goes beyond blaming only the teacher? Food for thought.

Felix Nyarko Acheampong – Kyebi

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