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Opinions of Thursday, 25 January 2018

Columnist: Tetteh Nathaniel Guamah

Headmaster challenge: Would Ghana ever be a serious country?

My country Ghana is one that is the envy of many other African countries, probably as a result of its endearing achievements in the past few years or decades, which set it apart from its peers. In contemporary African politics, the country has been a beacon of democratic governance, peace and stability and its people are generally known to be very hospitable people.

Therefore if all these facts are anything to go by at all, the West African country should by now stand very tall and be recording giant strides in its socio-economic development in order to reflect an accolade it once had as the Gateway to Africa. As heartbreaking as this may sound anyway, Ghana is still very far away from any form of realistic national development apart from delusional figures that politicians cook to throw dust in the eyes of the people to make a certain impression that some form of work is being done to move the country forward.

But when one takes a closer look at the country and its individual components that sum it up, it is very evident that most people especially the youth who are supposed to be the future leaders are not at all serious when it comes to matters that need strict analysis and solutions. on Friday, January 19, 2018, a certain video started circulating on social media, which had a head teacher of a school who was supposed to be a custodian of high morals, engaged in a sexual bout with one of the pupils in the school, with the young lady in question spewing a lot of nonsense in the name of enjoying the sexual exercise.

Disgusting as this video is and for which reason people from across all divides should be condemning it in absolute terms, young people to whom this country’s fate would be handed over to in a few years are jubilating over it and have carved out a certain ‘senseless Headmaster Challenge’, mimicking the sexual act between the shameless head teacher and his pupil. The million dollar question is are we serious in this country at all? Is there even a single strand left of the moral fiber of the Ghanaian society? Are we teaching children that it is okay for adult leaders in society to take advantage of vulnerable young women and have their way with them? What is the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry for Gender and Social Protection doing about this menace that is carefully creeping into our body politique as a country? What about the police service and all other authorities involved?

Indeed, ever since the video was published, these mind-boggling questions have repeatedly flooded my thoughts and futility has characterized all my many attempts to find answers. What baffles me the most is that, the young woman’s family are alleged by a newspaper to be justifying the act and vouching for this headmaster, claiming that their daughter was of age and had a right to have sex. My Goodness! I cannot believe this. As though that was not enough, the media who should be using the very influential platforms to condemn this act have joined in the shameful act of making a dubious joke out of the whole situation.

Now nobody is against two adults having sex. No. what is however wrong and I expect my fellow citizens to be upset about is the fact that an officer who is put in charge to guide this young woman to become responsible in the future has decided to devour and set her against the very values he should be instilling in her. Ghanaian youth must realize that such offenses are serious business and we cannot continue to tow this line of educated illiteracy. We must begin to critically analyze issues and make good use of the numerous resources available to us in the 21st century. For example, at age 27 the late Prof. Atta Mills was busy getting a PhD, Jerry Rawlings was fighting corruption at age 29, Nkrumah was busy fighting for independence at age 44 and so on.

These are the examples that young people of today should be following to make themselves useful to this society rather wasting time on pointless social media campaigns. Elsewhere in the world, young people are using social media to earn a decent living. But here in my country we only use it for purposes that do not serve society in any way. Let us begin to apply the educational qualifications that we applied to our everyday living and move away from the paradigm of studying to write exams. Let us begin to think more carefully before we reduce everything to a joke in this country.

Think about the impact that such men like the headmaster have on our society and the numerous young women who have their dreams cut short on a daily basis. The development of every nation is hugely dependent of the quality of thoughts possessed by its people.

These are the very issues Oprah Winfrey spoke passionately about a few weeks ago at the Golden Globes, and maybe more young people in Ghana should begin to read more in order to broaden our scopes of knowledge. Nobody is perfect, but we can make a conscious effort to stand for what is right and shame what is wrong. The moment we begin to celebrate wrongdoing such as this is the point at which we begin to send a signal to young children that these things are okay, when they actually are not. Women deserve better and it starts with us young people.

Authored by: Tetteh Nathaniel Guamah Email: teegeenathans@gmail.com Phone: +233244903748