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Opinions of Friday, 18 September 2020

Columnist: Mutaka Adam

Parable of the wounded child

A boy and his father. File photo A boy and his father. File photo

A child got injured on his right leg and was hiding the injury from his father.

Later, the father discovered the child's wound and started to tend to it in order to heal it. The healing process took a lot of time, but could not fully complete in time. However, the state of the wound improved.

A time came when the man decided to send the boy on a journey, even though the boy's wound was not completely healed.

The man had two options to choose from: he could postpone the journey so that his son leg could fully heal before he sends him on the journey, or he could decide to use a dirty rag to wrap the inflamed wound and let the child go. The man chose the latter option. He decided to use a dirty rag to tie his son's wound and turned him going.

Dagombas say that if you send a child to heaven, he will return; but you will not recognise him. This boy who was forcibly sent on an unprepared journey would return to his father in a condition far worse than how it was when he left home.

In the course of the journey, the boy's wound, which was buried in the dirty rag began to fester. It grew malignant and hideous. It became so suppurated and virulent and puke thick and murky pus. As for the pain, paid by the boy, it was unspoken of. For, only he, who feels it, knows it.

The boy later returned to his father wearing a haggard face with traces of dried tears posing as pseudo facial tribal marks.

He limped with unbalanced posture. His wound wept, as it streamed forth the corruption it had wrought beneath the dirty rag. The father received his son with tremendous grief and sorrow. His heart became big with water; his eyes began to water and he broke down in tears. His eyes became red like the eyes of a crocodile that ate several dozens of redfish.

Now, he realized his mistake. He regretted profusely for not letting the boy defer the journey. He knew he could give the boy some more time for his wound to fully heal. But he did not do that.

The father had only but one choice to amputate the boy's corrupted leg to save his life. And so, indeed, he did. So the saying of our fathers is true; that a child who is overly loved is on the verge of destruction.

The above parable is in relation to what is alleged to be happenings in our schools of late. It is an open secret; though an allegation, that parents, et al, have decided to use tooth and claw to send a lot of pupils on a journey unprepared.

They know that the kids have wounds, but they have decided to wrap the kid's wounds with dirty rags. And whoever partakes in this rot, knows what I speak of. The streets are littered with tales of such alleged malfeasance in the test halls.

How would a person who for one time, vehemently prevented a child from stealing a one Ghana Cedi coin, now allows the same child to steal several hundreds of Ghana Cedi notes? Is this not absurd?

If the allegations are true, then we should know why our society has become decadent. If kids are schooled to master in the art and science of bribery and corruption then let brace ourselves for a future that is laced with self-seeking unpatriotic leaders who will use hook and crook means to realise their parochial interests. The children are the future of this country.

They will become the teachers in the classrooms, the doctors in the wards and the operating theatres, the nurses, pilots, judges, Imams, pastors; to mention but a few. What legacy do we wish to leave for the generations to come? What has happened to the morality which the child was taught in class? No wonder we as a country are facing issues of moral decadence.

Of late:

1. We complain about how corruption is engulfing the public purse;

2. We complain about how a good number of our beloved kids have turned to fraudsters;

3. We complain about how our roads are poorly constructed by the contractors;

4. We complain about how politicians are not able to honour the majority of their campaign pledges;

5. We complain about the alarming rate at which our students drop out of school;

6. We complain about how students do not pay attention to teachers during lesson delivery;

7. We complain about how a band of few misguided SHS final year students clad in menacing red accoutrements to gather and do the unthinkable;

8. We complain about how some final year students of SHS vandalized their school properties and mutilated their meals over issues of strict invigilation and heart stabbing examination questions;

9. We complain about how an SHS candidate fully engaged an invigilator in a vigorous wrestling contest. Social media was washed with such taboo. And many others.

The answers to those nagging happenings are not far-fetched. The solution is just beneath our very noses. All we have to do is to use our tongues to count our teeth. The time to act is now! A stitch in time saves nine. And a word to the wise is enough.

May God Bless Our Homeland Ghana and make her human resource great