I have many young adults I mentor daily and I take time always to coach them on career. None has voluntarily wished to be a teacher. You know why…..? One girl openly said when asked by another teacher if she will use her eloquence and intelligence to be a teacher and she unconsciously shouted, “God Forbid” ….. She had to apologise later for her straightforwardness. You know why……?
…Because teachers die every day.
We have witnessed dastardly the murder of many people across the length and breadth of this country and beyond. We saw how Hon. J.B. Danquah Adu was killed in his bedroom in Shiashie. We saw how Major Adam Mahama was murdered by the people he was protecting in Denkyiraobuasi; We saw it when the news of Suale Hussein of the Tigereye PI was gunned down by armed men at Madina. And we are brought to notice one quasi hushed and unattended but crucial killing of a teacher by the people he imparts into. Thank God social media is here where silent news over the years are now bare to us- We update ourselves from morning to sunset.
As I pensively type, I’m wondering how many other people have been killed and the news went unnoticed or unattended to, or both. I am concerned because what catapulted me to this compendium is not just any story about death. Of course people die every day and society needs not celebrate everyone’s death. But society has a mandate to know who died, how they died and what made them die. Mr. Bosompem of Asiakwa Salvation Army Basic School in his way of correcting deviance and installing in place a system where the youth will be useful and refrain from social vices was killed by the society he was cleaning and this news after two weeks is talked about silently as of it is ordinary. It has to take the Ghana Education Service a fortnight after the demise of the teacher to issue an essay for members, family and people concerned to chew on. The essay, I suggest should have been encompassed into the just ended WASSCE English language paper because of its length and the timing. The relevance was out of place. But who are we? We are teachers and we die everyday. Our students and pupils kill us everyday; Parents kill us each day and the Unions as well as the Body we work with kill us everyday. News of teachers unless it is something that is unpleasant has no national attention. Sometimes it seems the teacher is made with that skin to only accept backlash and condemnation.
Assuming the Attorney General of Ghana was taught by the late Mr. Bosompem, how will the headlines be? Let’s all assume the teacher murdered by his pupils was the brother or father of the Minister of Education or the Director General of Education or the Minister of Defence or Interior; let’s assume it’s an MP of any constituency. Your guess will not be contrary to mine. The whole mediascape and the entire state will move to Asiakwa in a flash to mourn there. Everyone will be willing to associate with the family and both the NPP and the opposition NDC will raise their flags high up there to donate in a bid to win votes for the fast-approaching elections. …. But this is Ghana; some animals are bigger than others and we are obviously not same.
This brings me to why we all contribute to the silent death of our teachers everyday. We kill them and our actions adversely denigrate their state of mind.
Each time we refuse to recognize the efforts of teachers, we kill them; each time we talk disparagingly about them, we kill them. My teacher is my hero and I hold him in high esteem not because I am a teacher but because I know how it feels to be taken meticulously through the alphabets and numerals to reach a height and be useful. I know and understand how it feels to steer sixty plus students in a classroom and hundreds to thousands in a school setting- No home has such heavy numbers but the teacher has that daily. Finally, I don’t revered the teacher because Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed (SAW) were teachers but at a tender age, I saw the conscientious need to see that, the man who makes sure I become better than him is a good man not to be killed.
…….. But here, we kill them.
I write to tell all well-meaning Ghanaians home and abroad, the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, the Media and all our Churches and Homes that, the late Bosompem needs the necessary attention. But if we sit and fold our arms and look unperturbed, one day, Society will wake up and all the teachers will be killed by our actions and how we respond to their plights, and we will equally wake up and as if by design, our children will point guns at us for failing them.
I also want to use this medium to appeal to the Teacher Unions (NAGRAT, GNAT and CCT) to effectively wake to see the daily harassment and constant brutalities of the teacher as a threat to nation-building.
Let’s all go to bed and wake soundly because everyone is a teacher and played the moral card well, esteemed values, practiced integrity and flagged etiquettes to the young ones. Let’s all rise to celebrate those teachers who restlessly build society and frown on wrongdoing. Let’s all use the sad death of the late Mr. Bosompem to retrospect to do the needful.
God bless our Homeland Ghana and Make our Teachers great and Strong
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Twitter : @WBonuedi
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