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Free Secondary Education In Ghana From A Teacher’s Perspective

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Politicians dont have any logical priority and good standards for Education in Ghana.
A lot of Basic schools dont have text books, teachers are not well paid, No computers to teach ICT, No libraries, No classroom buildings and many other deficiencies. a lot of teachers can attest to this fact. We dont have the basics right. Continue reading Free Secondary Education In Ghana From A Teacher’s Perspective

Basic Schools Just Free Centre for Dumping Kids – Parents Careless About Kids Academic Welfare

Some Ghanaian parents dont care about the academic welfare of their children in school. They see school as a free baby sitting centre to dump their kids. They dont care to provide their children with exercise books, text books, pens, pencils etc. As at now(second day of second week since school reopened) some pupils in my class dont have exercise books or pen. Is it poverty, a curse or ignorance or is it irresponsibility of parents.

Continue reading Basic Schools Just Free Centre for Dumping Kids – Parents Careless About Kids Academic Welfare

CCT-GH Exposed Part 2 (Corruption At Its Peak)

This part became so neccesary when i was wondering about how our rights to association has also been taken away from us. For this reason, another investigation was conducted to look for answers to why it becomes so easy for CAGD to assign a teacher union to teachers without their consent.

Until after the investigations, GNAT and NAGRAT were the prime suspects, even though their hands are  not clean, but i-track rather found CCT to be the key architect when it comes to issues of this kind.
A CCT’s NEC meeting report dated 15/04/16, addressed and signed by King Ali Awudu, intercepted by ‘i-track’ is the principal evidence for this part.

According to the report, CCT was dwindling in membership. In that, whilst CCT membership rose to near 14,182 in early 2014, their numerical strength by the end of December 2014 was about 9,000. Hence, there was the need to taking pragmatic measures to avert the situation as it was a cause to worry with respect to all that matters in the union. As a result, CCT’s NEC at its first quarter sitting in 2015 unanimously agreed, giving their National officers the go ahead to do anything humanly possible to help boost their numerical strength.

Even though, CCT managed through thick and thin to increase their numerical strenght to 11,396 by May 2015 but was still not up to satisfaction. The situation according to the report which had the capability of crippling the union called for a team led by the then Vice president of CCT (King Ali Awudu and supported by the womens Commissioner (Vida Sapabil) and the National Organizer to storm CAGD and to see some important persons who matter in this regard. Lo and behold, the V.P booked an appointment with a senior fellow in May 2015 and met with him at an undisclosed joint in Accra to broke a deal.

My BP rose to an all time highest number when i continued reading the report. Shockingly, the senior fellow agreed to help but on a condition that he will take 80% of the total dues deducted for all add-on new members in the first month, whiles the union takes all dues deducted in the subsequent months.
Aside the 80% of the dues deducted from new members to be payable to the senior fellow in the first month, a maintenance fee of Ghc6000 and Ghc3000 was to be paid to the senior fellow from June to August 2015 and September to December respectively.  Confirmation from the report clearly shows that all the amount demanded by the senior fellow has fully been paid.

Let’s take note of the following Calculations as derived from the report.

1. Membership as at May 2015 = 11, 396
2. New members added on in 2015
a)  June    = 10, 346
b) July      = 801
c) August  = 11, 012
      Total  = 22, 159

Monthly dues as at 2015 =GHC 11
TOTAL REVENUE = GHC 11  X  22,159   =  GHC 243, 749

80% BRIBE TO THE SENIOR FELLOW     =   80% of  GHC 243, 749 = GHC 194,999.2

MAINTENANCE FEE OF GHC 6, 000 FOR JUNE, JULY, AUGUST = 18, 000

MAINTENANCE FEE OF GHC 3, 000 FROM SEPT TO DECEMBER,  2015 = GHC 3, 000 X 4 MONTHS = 12, 000

IN ALL TOTAL BRIBE PAID IN 2015 ALONE (I.e. from June to December,  2015)    =  GHC 194, 999.2  + 18, 000  +  12, 000    =   GHC 224, 999.2 ( 2billion, 249million, 942 thousand Old cedis)

According to the CCT’s report, it could easily be deduced that all the other teacher unions are doing same. And for that matter, i am forced to  believe the rumours alleging that the teacher unions took bribe to call of their intended strike.

Leadership of the Teacher unions should note that it is the  sweat, tears and blood of teachers that is propelling the union which feeds them.

Despite several threats and intimidations to prevent me from unraveling the mysteries, sagas and scandals in CCT, i want to use this episode to sound a strong warning to the likes of Mark Ansah and his cohorts that not even death dares stops me from telling the truth.

The next Episode talks about how CCT’s Chairpersons are chewing teachers’ dues like gum, Region by Region.

To be continued on 1st June,2016

Owusu Baffoe Daniel
+233245144243
danbaf101@gmail.com
facebook.com/danbaf

How To Deal With The Falling Standards of Education in Ghana

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According to Wikipedia “Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills , values , beliefs , and habits .

Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research .

Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational.
The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy .

Education is commonly and formally divided into stages such as preschool or kindergarten , primary school, secondary school and then college , university or apprenticeship .

A right to education has been recognized by some governments, including at the global level: Article 13 of the United Nations ‘ 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes a universal right to education.
In most regions education is compulsory up to a certain age.”

Standard is explained as a level of quality or attainment or something used to as a comparative evaluation.

As a teacher and an advocate for quality education i can boldly say that Ghana’s standards of education is very low and has continued to dwindle since independence due to the reasons I’m going to discuss in this post.

Poor management of the educational sector.
Management of our educational sector in Ghana is very poor. Take a short visit to most education offices in Ghana and you will realise that the officials in charge of overseeing the implementation of education policies are not performing up to speed with standards required.

Politically influenced policies. A typical example is the four year SHS Policy which was cancelled immediately after a  change of government. As a developing country we need an educational Policy which will help project our development not politically driven policies which will just project  self interest of our politicians.

Inadequate funding for education
It is alarming to know that funding for education is at a very low percent. Ghana’s budget allocation for education is around 9.2 percent i stand to be corrected. However that percentage is not sufficient for a developing country which requires major resources to enhance its development.

Practical and relevant curriculum
About 90 percent of teachers and educationist will agree with me that our curriculum too liberal and lacks practicality. Copying the curriculum of other countries and imposing it on our system its highly appauling as a country. will not improve the lives of the citizens and our leaders still go for curriculum revision without taking the major interest of development and enhanced life of the ghanaian.

Inadequate logistics and resources
Inadequate logistics and basic resources in schools is affecting effective delivery of education in Ghana. Even chalk, the most common tool used by a teacher has been lacking in classrooms through out the country. How can pupils learn when teachers dont have chalk to use to teach.

I recommend the following measures as a means of dealing with the falling standards of education in Ghana.

My first antidote to cure this ailment is provision of sufficient funds for education. This will go a long way to address the problems of inadequate logistics and resources. This will also ensure effective and efficient management of the educational sector.

Another outstanding remedy to deal with the falling standards of education is having a practical and relevant curriculum which will push our national agenda.

One other solution which will stabilise our educational Policy framework is having having an educational plan for a longer period. An educational plan which can project our development to a desired point in the near future and not politically driven policies that is changed when there is a change of government.

With this few thought provoking and conscience appealing piece of literature if not a massive improvement i hope it will generate an amount of attention in the minds of well wishing Ghanaians.

If this piece of advice is heeded to by the big men i think there will be an uplift of about 60percent in our educational standards and with other outstanding interventions by the year 2020 we would have an educational system which would project the development plan of our motherland Ghana.

  By: Kpodo Prince Ofori – Dodowa 0246928989

Harnessing the Power of Digital Technology for Education in Ghana

Information Communication
Technology (ICT) can be a great
enabler of learning when used rightly.
For this to happen, both teachers and
students must be adept at handling
all kinds of gadgets and software.
Ghana has a lot of promise in the
digital education space, but a lot
remains to be done to bring our level
up to speed with global standards.
My post explores five ways through
which technology can be applied to
enhance learning in Ghana.
Use of Tech in Classroom
A skilled teacher can apply
technology in her classroom in many
ways. She can run her lessons using
PowerPoint or an open source
alternative. This automatically allows
for the integration of pictures, videos
and other multimedia. Use of
multimedia content increases the
attention of students as their senses
are fully engaged. The chalk or
marker board would still be used for
sketches, annotations and other
classroom activities. Of course
teachers in a typical Ghanaian school
may not have access to a projector
but it is possible in this age of
proliferation of mobile devices to
take initiative to get relevant images
and videos on a smartphone and
tablet that students can watch to
enhance their understanding. A
student may have the challenge of
understanding the chemical
principles behind the cleansing
action of a detergent, but would
easily pick up the concepts when
shown a YouTube video of the
process. I used this method to great
effect.
Content Creation
There is no gainsaying that access to
the Internet opens up a wealth of
information for the Ghanaian learner.
That said, it is often asked whether
the kind of content currently online is
relevant to our students and pupils. I
would say not always. Inability of
students to relate to the information
they come across on the Internet is a
barrier to their full understanding of
concepts. Also, there is almost zero
content available for certain subjects
like Ghanaian languages. Teams of
teachers and students can work
together to address the dearth in
local educational content problem.
This creates a collaborative learning
atmosphere that fosters development
of critical skills such as creativity,
teamwork, leadership and
communication.
App Development
The Ghanaian developer community
must play their part in improving
educational standards in the country.
Advancements in computing and
software development has resulted in
the abundance of many easily
accessible yet powerful open source
platforms, that can be used to create
educational web and mobile
applications relevant to Ghanaian
school children. Therefore,
technologists need to work with
teachers to digitize notes and test
questions, and repackage them into
stimulating content that students can
easily interact with and learn from.
Growth in the use of educational
technologies in Ghana would in the
long run profit software developers.
However, their involvement in the
sector should not be seen with
purely as a business opportunity but
as a social crusade as well. We need
to see more projects like Paasco
Africa spring up and make a
difference to learners.
Student Learning Activities
The effectiveness of ICT in education
is enhanced when use of relevant
tools is integrated into student
learning activities. Students can
explore topics such as Body Mass
Index (BMI) and graphs with
spreadsheet software, allowing them
to develop computing skills
alongside subject-specific
knowledge. Tasking students to
deliver assignments through
presentations and email enable them
to pick up key work-study-life
communication skills needed to
thrive in the 21st century. One may
think my point is basic, but a student
once scanned a handwritten
assignment and sent it to my inbox
when I asked them to submit a group
work electronically. While such a
behaviour is excusable at the pre-
tertiary level, the reaction would have
been totally different at an institution
of higher learning. My point is that
we need to create the platform for the
young ones to make all the mistakes
now, rather than later, when much is
at stake.
Creating a Web of Learning
Social media has become a reality of
our modern existence as a species.
Many students are distracted from
their studies when they spend
endless hours online connecting with
their friends on Twitter or Facebook.
But, this situation can be turned
around through well thought out
strategy. We can capitalise on the
students’ interest and engagement
on these platforms to serve them
with educational content. This ties in
with some of the points raised above.
Imagine the level of excitement and
the amount of learning students will
experience if they were working on a
YouTube video project for class
assignment. Further teachers can use
Facebook groups (such as Global
Lab Ghana, Google + hangouts and
Twitter hashtags to take class
discussions beyond the classroom.
This way students benefit from the
insights of their colleagues and other
experts from across the world. They
also get to analyse issues in a more
relaxed environment as compared to
the traditional Ghanaian classroom
setting. This hopefully will deepen
their understanding and engender
application.
Conclusion
We cannot hide our heads under the
sand like ostriches in the information
age. Ghanaian teachers need to
embrace digital tools for teaching
and content creation. App developers
need to pay more attention to the
needs of the educational sector and
students must be encouraged to
harness ICT to aid their learning. The
steps we take today, through policy
formulation and effective
implementation, will inform how well
our educational sector will work
some few years down the line.
This post is part of Blu’s LiveBlu
Forum, a social commentary on
work-life balance in Ghana. Join the
discussion at: http://
blughana.wordpress.com/ #LiveBlu #
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Beware of Fake Teachers

Alarming rate of tutors who use forged certificates to teach:
This might have come as a surprise to some people but it is
the truth. As some people operate as teachers though they
have no certificates, others try to use forged documents to
teach our children.
Teaching is a noble and enviable job. It has to be jealously
protected and preserved against the invasion by charlatans.
It is never a ‘job for the boys’. One needs a strong base of
academic, professional, social and moral resources to be able
to do it well. The trained teacher adopts appropriate
instructional materials and teaching pedagogy to cause a
lasting desirable change in the life of the learner.
Broadly speaking, teachers in public pre-tertiary schools under
the control of the Ghana Education Service (GES) are
categorized into professional and non-professional teachers.
The minimum teaching qualification of professional teachers
at the basic school level shall be the Diploma in Basic
Education obtained from any of the accredited higher
educational institutions for training teachers. The minimum
teaching qualification of professional teachers for second cycle
level is a Bachelor’s degree in Education designed in the
appropriate subject(s) for that level; or a Bachelor of Arts/
Bachelor of Science degree (in any teaching subject) in
addition to a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) or
its equivalent.
Who says teaching is a ‘stepping stone’? Money is spent on
training people to become professional teachers. The GES will
soon issue licenses to its new teachers. Colleges of education
and education universities, such as University of Cape Coast
and University of Education, Winneba have the accreditation to
train teachers and they do it. GES, in special instances,
engages the services of untrained or non-professional
teachers. Non-professional teachers (sometimes referred to as
pupil teachers) are persons holding the Senior High School
(SHS) certificate with three credits, including English and
Mathematics; persons with diploma from accredited
polytechnics and other non-teaching tertiary institutions and
university graduates without certificates in education.
However, GES hardly employs non-professional and pupil
teachers to teach in our schools these days. Notwithstanding
the current ban on public sector employment, GES now wants
only professional teachers in schools. The Untrained Teachers’
Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programme, distance
education, sandwich learning mode and the traditional Study
Leave with Pay Scheme are packages approved of by GES to
create the chance for professional training and continuing
professional development of teachers. Serving personnel of
say, technical and vocational backgrounds, qualify to pursue
education courses so as to become professional teachers.
Director-General Jacob Aaworb-Nang Maabobr Kor and GES
are just not happy to have learnt that there are still teachers
without certificates or with forged certificates in some of our
schools. GES is intensifying its operations to weed dubious
personnel out of the system. Last year, GNA Media Auditing
and Development Tracking Project teamed up with Star-Ghana
to expose about 120 pupil teachers with fake documents in
Upper Manya Krobo District of the Eastern Region. The report
revealed that persons with as low as basic education
certificates managed to creep into the school system and
acted as teachers with fake certificates. GES, without delay,
conducted an investigation into this exposé and the victims
were sacked from the Service.
Goaso Municipal Director of Education in Brong Ahafo Region
Jonas Yelboureri Yeboah dismissed about 40 basic school
teachers who had been teaching for three years with forged
certificates. Mr. Yeboah is on record to have said, “After using
fake certificates to secure jobs for three years now, we have
given them dismissal letters to go home while investigations
continue.” According to him, the exposé happened following an
investigation by the Municipal Education Oversight Committee
(MEOC) into poor performance of pupils at the Basic
Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E) for three
consecutive years.
Just recently, the police arrested one Samuel Yeboah of
Boakye Tromo Senior High Technical School in Brong Ahafo
Region for using fake certificates to teach for way over a
period of 5 years. He managed to rely on fake Higher National
Diploma in Marketing from Accra Polytechnic and a degree in
mathematics from University of Cape Coast all along. It was
Mr. George Awuah, his headmaster, who raised an alarm over
the situation upon a tip-off. GES quickly investigated the case
and subsequently cleared him off the payroll after GES
corroborated the claim. GES is a human institution; impostors
may want to sneak into it to perform nefarious activities.
Last year, the Jaman South District Directorate of Education,
through an instruction by the Teacher Education Division of
GES, withdrew the services of 17 teachers for using fake
certificates to teach. These unsuspecting personnel managed
to gain admission to the University of Cape Coast to read the
UTDBE course but failed to succeed and they were sacked. Mr.
Kingsley Abrokwa, the district director of education, did firm
his resolve and that of GES to rid the system of fake elements
who parade as teachers and public education workers.
The taste of people to enter the education sector with
questionable papers appears to be on the rise these days.
Even pupils in basic schools now struggle to access
certificates through foul means notwithstanding the
consequences that this action could bring onto them when
caught. Cases of examination practices keep recurring every
year. Registrar of Takoradi Polytechnic Silvia Oppong-Mensah
once revealed that some students are ready to have grades
like D7, E8 and F9 at the West African Senior School
Certificate Examination (WASSCE) falsified to say, A1, in order
to gain admission to institutions of higher learning.
Universities, such as the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah
University of Science and Technology and University of Cape
have sacked students over the years for using forged
certificates for admission. The recent arrest of a Takoradi-
based man, also called Dr Sam, by the police of the University
of Cape Coast over his alleged involvement in the production
of fake results for people to gain admission to the university is
a fresh case. The belief is that there are other people into this
counterfeit job within our system. And why would anyone
choose to sail on an unapproved route to success in life at
all?
Charity, they say, begins at home. Parents, families and
society should austerely imbibe in their children and young
people the virtues of honesty, integrity and excellence. There
is no need to resort to unorthodox means to success. Any
child, for example, who is suspected to have altered an
original examination result from school should be thoroughly
investigated and punished if culpable. It is inappropriate and
suicidal for an undesirable behavior involving the child to be
treated with disdain. Little drops of water make a mighty
ocean and so to overlook a fraudulent act committed by the
child is to bolster his or her appetite to continue to commit it
and even greater. Young adults need proper guidance and
reinforcements so as to live to expectation.
Mr. Kor, on behalf of the Management of GES, released a
circular last month to all regions, districts and schools in the
country for directors and heads of schools to constitute
Commissions of Enquiry to audit the certificates of teachers in
all public pre-tertiary schools. The task of eliminating
counterfeit elements from any system is an all-inclusive one.
Teachers, heads of schools and circuit supervisors must work
hard. Teachers should volunteer information on colleagues
with doubtful qualifications.
Names of teachers with employment details, such as schools
attended, dates of birth and professional ranks should be
displayed on notice boards in school offices for all staff to
appreciate. Directors and officers should ensure that the
certificates of persons seeking employment in the Service are
properly scrutinized and validated. Documents presented for
promotions, salary upgrading and adjustments by staff should
be certified and endorsed by the awarding institutions and
authorities.
The GES shall continue to do proper audit and cleansing of its
staff on Payroll. Its resolve for staff to work with certificates
from only state-accredited institutions still stands. Quality
education delivery happens, to a large extent, with quality
personnel. Society must not sit aloof as miscreants invade
schools to mislead our children. Traditional authorities,
assembly members and the media must get on board. After
all, the school is for all of us!
This article commends Mr. Jacob Kor on his appointment by
the President as the substantive Director-General of GES.
Congrats, D-G!

The writer is a Public Relations Officer at the Headquarters of
the Ghana Education Service.
E-mail: amoatec27@yahoo.com

Want to be a millionaire in Ghana? …Try District Director of Education Hyperbolic? Over the Top? Exaggeration? May be; You be the Judge.

By Ebo Mends

A few weeks ago, November 5th 2013 to be
precise, Ghanaweb published two reports
sourced to the Daily Guide with headlines:
Education Director Blows GHc 100,000
Teachers’ Money and Ghc 8.5 billion GES case
adjourned. I am sure the second figure of
8.5 billion was quoted in old Ghana Cedis.
On Saturday November 9, 2013, Ghanaweb
reported another of such stories captioned
“Payslips for Sale” sourced to The Mirror. This
report had nothing to do with the Education
Service, but the spirit and essence of the
reporting is the same.

The first two reports caught my not so sleepy
eyes because for the past several months, I
have heard from former colleagues and
family members in Ghana about this scheme
that SOME District Directors of Education
(DDEs) have hatched, obviously in
collaboration with others, to defraud the
Government of Ghana of hefty amounts of
money. The same scheme also deprives the
secondary victims, newly “hired” teachers
money that technically they may be entitled
to but in reality, they (the teachers) are not
supposed to get.

This is what I am told is the process
currently operating in most districts in
Ghana. These descriptions came from two
very reliable sources, very close to what is
happening
Potential teachers seeking employment with
the Ghana Education Service (GES) submit
applications with supporting documents –
Applications, Academic Certificates, birth
certificates and testimonials – all in 4 copies
each, to the offices of the DDE. The
applicants are called for interview, after a
review of such documents, appearing before
a panel comprising, in some instances, of 2
Education Supervisors from the DDE’s office,
The Human Resource Manager and a Posting
and Transfers Officer.

At the interview,
among other things, original educational/
academic certificates are inspected to
ascertain their authenticity. I must state here
that my information is that at times, these
interviews are mere formalities, just going
through the motions, satisfying a procedural
and legal requirement – to go offer
applicants the opportunity to be assessed on
their merits. I am told, most times, the
applicants to be hired are already known
since behind the scenes actions had made
sure of that.
“Successful candidates” are subsequently
called to the District Education Office to fill
out New Entrants forms and an IPPD form,
ostensibly for payment information including
Bank Account details for onward transmission
to the Controller and Accountant General
Department (CAGD) in Accra. At this stage, it
all but certain that the applicants have been
offered a job. However, at the time of filling
out the IPPD form, the exact posting of the
applicant may not be known but it is safe to
assume that there is a hint as to where the
newly hired teacher would be going.
Certainty is established when the
appointment letter finally arrives.

Another
thing; Districts prefer that banks through
which the future salaries should be are
normally local – that is, banks located mainly
in the district, preferably the district capital.

The waiting period between the time that an
IPPD form is completed and submitted to the
CAGD on behalf of an applicant and the time
that the processing of all the necessary
documentation to finalize an applicant’s
receiving a formal appointment letter could
be anytime between 6 – 12 months. It takes
another 6 – 12 months for these teachers to
start receiving salaries.

The first payment of
salaries comes with the backdated salaries
(for these teachers) starting from the date on
the formal appointment letters.
Folks, this is where things get interesting.

The teachers are not obliged to start teaching
from the date of their appointments, in fact,
they are not told by the DDEs to assume
their teaching posts. The reason being that,
both the newly hired teacher and the DDEs
know from experience that, the teachers
would not receive any payment for another
10 months or 12 months (1 year). According
to those I spoke to in Ghana, the DDEs don’t
bother to insist that the teachers begin
teaching from their appointed dates because
since the teachers would not be attending
classes regularly, if at all, and the said
schools would have teachers only in name.

These newly appointed teachers don’t also
bother to report at their posts because they
are certain they would not be paid for a long
time. This objective situation is what breeds
the corrupt practice of embezzling public
funds. Remember when the payment of
salaries start, they are accompanied by 10
-12 months or so of “back pay”. For SSS
graduates, the monthly salary is around 500
Gh C. For Diploma of Education holders
(certificate awarded by the University of
Education, Winneba through its sandwich
programmes), the salary is between 900 and
1200 Gh C. Just do the calculation, a 10 or
12 month arrears, is quite a hefty sum for
either category of the pay scale.

When the salary arrears arrive, the teachers
are now given their formal appointment
letters but not until they are asked to go and
withdraw the money and bring it to the DDE’s
office. The district officers including the IPPD
coordinators and the banks and others are all
into this. However the main driver of this
process is the DDE because he/she has the
appointment letters. When the money is
brought to the DDE’s office, all involved have
no legal right to it. The teacher has not
taught a single day for the period that the
arrears cover, and both the DDE and the new
teacher know this. Whatever money the new
teacher gets or is given by the district
education and other officials, is a bonus.

What I am told happens is that the DDEs take
the lion’s share – anything between 70% and
90% of the arrears and hands over the rest
to the teacher. Sometimes the DDE tells the
teacher he/she is returning the rest of the
money into government coffers, which is as
believable as a vampire hating blood or liking
garlic. Both the DDE and the teacher have
fleeced the government and committed a
crime in the process, but who cares or dares
to report them?

So many questions beg for answers:
• In this computer age, why would process of
inputting (into) the CAGD system, details of
hired personnel of any kind take between 6
to 12 months to complete?
• Why does it take so much time to generate
appointment letters to prospective candidates
for teaching jobs?
• While these lengthy processes are taking
place, what happens to our kids in the
schools without teachers?
• Do Regional Directors of Education know
about these delays and the corruptions that
they breed?
• Do Deputy Ministers of Education in charge
of basic education know what is going on
their sector of responsibility?
• Has the Minister of Education heard about
these delays and if so what has he/she done
about them (I know the current sector
Minister is Prof. Nana Jane Opoku-Agyeman –
former VC of UCC)
• Is it not surprising that there are BNI
district offices through-out the country but
these very obvious corrupt practices that are
a threat to our future security are going on
almost everywhere?
• How long has this been going on?
I have deliberately refrained from accusing
all DDEs of this apparent crimes/corruption. I
intentionally used the word SOME not to
paint all DDEs with the same brush; it would
not be fair to do that. The two articles I have
referenced mentioned other culprits because
to pull this scheme off, other districts
officials in other departments would have to
be involved as they are as accomplices.
What is sickening is the fact that this rather
unhealthy and terrible situation is being
allowed to continue without serious
consequences for those involved, at least
until recently. I can assure readers that this
is just the tip of the iceberg.
When the District Assemblies concept was
muted and implemented years ago, its main
selling point was to decentralize decision
making to the local levels, in the districts,
with the understanding that those close to
the scene would better understand the felt
needs of our people.

This responsibility
brought with it important decision making
powers, and flowing from that the need for
public servants to be upright in the exercise
of such powers. No one, certainly not this
writer, is calling for such people to be angels.
However, this complete abuse of power and
lack of trust do not augur well for the
development of our nation.

I am sure there are such practices all over
our public service. Until we check these
abuses and corrupt practices, it will take us a
very long time to achieve any meaningful
development in our dear country.
For those who think this is only an NDC only
or NPP problem, and will therefore be
looking to blame one political party or other
for this state of affairs, I say to you, look in
the mirror and tell me who/what you see. If
you see a Ghanaian, then that is your
answer. We are our own worst enemies.

EBO MENDS, NEW YORK
Ebomends2003@gmail.com

Another Sad Day for Ghanaian Education

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

In any situation of significant human
interaction, either professional or casual,
there are bound to erupt conflicts and
misunderstandings. What matters is how
problems are resolved. Tackled
constructively, both parties to a conflict are
apt to mature emotionally and develop
intellectually. Where matters are allowed to
degenerate into resentment and enmity, the
resulting damage can be physically
irreparable and psychologically and
emotionally devastating.

This appears to have been the case of 22-
year-old Ms. Charity Nyarko, a kindergarten
teacher at the St. Joseph’s Anglican
Preparatory School at Asuafo, near Nsuta, in
the Asante Region (See “Female Teacher
‘Beaten’ To Death In Ashanti Region”
Modernghana.com/ MyJoyOnline.com
11/26/13).

In the main, Ms. Nyarko is
reported to have excessively disciplined one
of her young charges which resulted in an
unspecified bodily injury to the child.
Naturally riled by the situation, some
relatives of the injured child decided to
literally take the law into their own hands by
assaulting Ms. Nyarko.

At least one of the injured child’s relatives is
reported to have retaliated by hurling a
nondescript chair at the “offending” teacher
who, in a self-defensive attempt to fleeing
her livid assailant, fell into an open gutter –
or sewage system – and severely injured
herself, resulting in her tragic death later at
the hospital. We are further informed that a
remorse-stricken Ms. Nyarko, accompanied
by the unnamed headteacher of her school,
had gone to the home of her injured pupil to
apologize for her apparently inappropriate
disciplinary measure when she was met with
the depraved hostility resulting in her death.

This is not the kind of Ghana I want to be
chest-out proud of. I am sick to my stomach
and heavy-hearted with anger and
disconsolate grief. As yet, we have not been
afforded the full details of the exact nature
of both the kindergartner’s offense and Ms.
Nyarko’s disciplinary response.

Whatever be the case, an unpardonable crime has been committed; a young talented and promising life has been needlessly wasted where adequate professional, and even legal, sanctioning would have amicably restored the faith of both parties in the most modern
acculturation system that we have known to
date.

By way of remedy, I would like to see three
forward-looking measures promptly instituted
in order to forestall the apparently
inappropriate punishment that resulted in the
bodily injury to the child, and the
consequently tragic demise of a young
teacher, at the dawn of a promising career,
who evidently believed that she was just
about the age-old rotuine pedagogical process
of not sparing the rod in order not to spoil
the child, in Biblical parlance.
One, strict and clear guidelines for pupil
discipline (perhaps in the form of a slim
volumed handbook) must be codified,
published and freely distributed throughout
the country by the Ministry of Education.

Two, a professional code of conduct for all
elementary and secondary school teachers
must also be clearly articulated in print and
made available to all public educational
institutions and be widely publicized in the
national media. And finally, a codified
behavioral guide for the parents and
guardians of schoolchildren must be published
and distributed across the country by the
Ministry of Education. The monetary and/or
capital resources invested in such a perennial
public-service project is likely to positively
pay off in the form of the creation of a
healthy environment for all stakeholders in
the academic and cultural development of
our children, as well as the future well-being
of the country at large.

It is almost certain that the assailants of Ms.
Nyarko had a troubled upbringing. Which, of
course, is in no way to imply that they ought
to be spared the most commensurately
punitive measures allowed by the law.
______________________________________________
_____________
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Nov. 26, 2013
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net