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Opinions of Sunday, 16 August 2020

Columnist: Charles Ayipah

When you train a monster

Students insulting the president?

I thought the pinnacle of indiscipline any student can exhibit is to insult the head teacher and by extension, the director of education. But to openly speak ill of the president is a no NO.

But on a second thought, I asked myself "who else"? Back in our days, students saw teachers as "tin-Gods" who held the keys to their future. Today, teachers are being treated with disdain and contempt as if they are inferior to the students. As a teacher, you will be in a hurry to get to school before a certain time only to see your students chatting by the road side as if it was a holiday but they will be coming to school later (after the teacher).

So, who is going to sweep the compound...? And when will classes begin? So, what can be done to correct them?

Did I hear someone say Punishment? in which form? don't forget that you can't whip them anymore. I still have fresh memories of what I went through in the hands of my former teachers because I was "stubborn" in class then. The likes of Hon Apam Gebute Steve, Mr. Emmanuel Damyoma and the MCE for Kassena/Nankana East, Hon. Williams Aduum were once my teachers and only God knows how many strokes I received from them in order to reshape me.

Again, when you ask students today to do a particular task(punishment) and they refuse, what can you do? Sack them from your class? Sorry...it's his class not yours. In times past, the class was the teacher's and he superintend, but today he's just a passer-by in the class. You can't deny the student his education so even though he's disrespecting you, you still owe him tuition and that you must.

Now, if you feel peeved by your students' behaviour and you're mandated to teach them regardless, how efficacious would such tuition be, and can you graciously teach someone you cannot correct when they go astray?

So technically, GES and at large government has conscientiously chained the hands of the teacher's behind them when it comes to the moral upbringing of the student. But the student spends relatively more quality time with the teacher than any other in society.

Hitherto, parents entrusted a figment of moral training unto the hands of the teacher but today, the narrative is different. Students being aware that they can get away with it, have been disrespecting their teachers, head teachers, supervisors and other superiors but nothing happens to them.

So why not the president?

It is the most unfortunate thing to happen but that can be a blessing in disguise.

It is good the president is getting a little dose of what he and his policy makers have put the teachers through. If he feels it, then it's an opportune moment for government and GES to take a cursory look at the policy direction again regarding how the system is run to curtail these defects from recurring.

"If you train a monster to torment your neighbours, it will eventually torment you when every neighbour has already been tormented."

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