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11.05.2019 Feature Article

Hark, Hark, Hark! The Blood of a Headmaster is Calling!

"All too often, when we see injustices both great and small, we think that's terrible, but we do nothing. We say nothing. We let other people fight their own battles. We remain silent because silence is easier. 'Qui tacet consentire videtur' in Latin means 'silence gives consent'. When we say nothing, when we do nothing, we are consenting to these trespasses against us"(Roxane Gay, 2014).

I open my writing with the above quotation and with the heaviest of hearts because I can hear the blood of a headmaster calling from afar, in agony. I can feel this blood running through the ink with which I sorrowfully write. But who would hearken to the call of this innocent blood? Who would cry with the bereaved and who would serve justice?

On an unforgettable April 28, 2019, there was an obnoxiously unprovoked assault launched on Mr. Bosompem George, the headmaster of Asiakwa Salvation Army Junior High School in the Eastern Region of Ghana, leading to his untimely death. Reports from eyewitnesses indicated that Mr. Bosompem was atrociously assaulted with sticks, stones, and blocks by some six delinquent adolescents, some of whom had been taught by him. Upon the arrest of some of these hoodlums, they claimed that the deceased tried to prevent them from smoking Indian hemp on the school compound, warranting his gruesome attack and his subsequent demise.

We still recollect with pains, how the whole nation reacted to the death of Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama on May 29, 2017, at Denkyira-Obuase by some cruel residents in a similar fashion as this headmaster. Media houses held months of discussions of the young military officer's death. These discussions even traveled as far as holding extensive education on mob justice and suggestions of the provision of security for our officers. There has, unfortunately, been a media quietude on the assault of this headmaster.

Apart from the public outcry and condemnation on the atrocities visited on Captain Mahama by eminent Ghanaians such as ex-Presidents John Mahama and John Jerry Rawlings, the Minister of Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, in a deep, sorrowful and assuring tone promised to bring to book perpetrators of this murder because for his ministry, "to lose just one single life is a very big thing to us and to lose just one soldier is something we take very seriously".

We have also not forgotten the state burial provided for the late Captain Mahama, the fund raised for his children through donations from the Present Akuffo Addo, Ministers, Members of Parliament and other important personalities and the decent job offered for his wife.

Sadly for Mr. Bosompem and other members of the teaching fraternity, the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service are yet to utter a single word of condolence to the bereaved family. Very pathetic! This deafening silence is a resonance of total disregard for teachers. No one cares about the teacher! I can also remember some years back when a whole commission was set up to inquire into the death of a Minister's wife during labour. The only time people think about injustice in Ghana is when it happens to them. As George Orwell rightly puts it in the tenth commandment in the Animal Farm, " All animals are equal but some are more equal than others".

Thanks to the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) whom through the national chair, have supported a strike action by teachers in the entire Asiakwa town until the appropriate security measures are put in place to protect their precious lives. Now that Ghanaian teachers have no one to speak for them even in times of brutal assaults and deaths, I can sense a state of despondency and the proliferation of lackadaisical attitude among teachers.

The future of our dear nation looks bleak, shrouded in gloom. There is no guarantee of discipline in our future leaders especially as the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service and the Media all remain silent on this act of barbarism.

The innocent blood of the headmaster is till calling, calling for you and for me. Who will hearken? Who will act?

Joseph Amofah
Joseph Amofah, © 2019

The author is an educationist with many years of work experience and an essayist with interest in educational and national issues. Author column: JosephAmofah

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