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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Columnist: Adzigodi, Dennis Narterh

Bemoaning Attacks On Teachers

BY: Daniel Osabutey


The spate of physical and verbal attacks on teachers by some parents/youth in our communities is worrying. This indiscipline and uncivilized act is most regrettable and must be condemned by all. It is unfortunate most of these attacks occur in deprived communities and schools where teachers work under deplorable condition. On 22nd February,2012 the Ghana News Agency (GNA) carried a story on how the youth of Asonkwaa in the Nkoranza south district harassed and tormented teachers in the area and assaulted a mathematics teacher of the JHS . The 16th January edition of the Ghanaian Times reported of how some youth of Dorfor in the West Dangme district, attacked and molested the headmistress of the Dorfor Methodist Basic School. Again teachers in Agbokotsekope in the same district fled the community following threats to molest the headmaster of the local Methodist Basic Schools. As a nation we have to adopt pragmatic measures to uproot this social menace. Why should some of our parents/youth take the law into their hands by venting their anger on defenseless teachers? Is it not strange for these people to think that the use of intimidation, attacks and molestation is the solution to poor academic performance?. This reckless and wicked behaviour is a serious threat to teaching and learning and the safety of our teachers thus the perpetrators of this shameful act must face the full rigour of the law to serve as deterrent against lawlessness.

Quality teaching and learning is a collective effort, solely blaming teachers for pupils abysmal performance is most unfortunate. We should be reminded that good academic performance does not only depend on teachers but on other factors such as availability of infrastructure , availability of teaching and learning materials, good parental care, conducive academic environment, physiological and emotional support for pupils ,positive peer influence etc. . Teaching is one of the most stressful professions thus our teachers deserve commendation and not molestations. If you can read this article “thank your teacher”. Teachers are trained not to do anything untoward to jeopardize the future of our children, instead they are there as beacon of hope to our children. Even though there are few bad nuts (you cannot have a perfect institution) in the teaching profession, I am highly convinced majority of our teachers are competent, committed and are discharging their duties professionally regardless of the occupational challenges.

To promote cordiality between parents/youth and teachers, I put forward the following suggestions:

? The communication gap between teachers and parents should be bridged. To achieve this, dormant Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) in schools should be revamped to hold mandatory meetings once every term. Schools without PTA’s should form one.
? Every school should institute an “Open Day”. A day set aside for parents to visit the school to inspect the class work of their children and to discuss their (pupils) performance with the class teacher.
? Parents/youth must exercise restraint and not allow their emotions to push them into unjustifiable actions. Let’s use the appropriate channel in resolving grievances to ensure a peaceful co-existence in the communities.
? As youth we should desist from using our strength to perpetrate violence, our strength should be used to develop the only nation we have.
? Our teachers must live as role models and eschew negative practices that could dent their image.

Teachers and Parents are partners in shaping the destiny of our children, let’s strive to promote quality teaching and learning for the betterment of our children and Ghana as a whole.

Daniel Osabutey ( 0277-722587)

Initiator of Get Together Movement (GETOM)

Source: Dennis Narterh Adzigodi.