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Opinions Mon, 7 Mar 2016

Kperisi M.A Primary: A tip of the iceberg?

By Cletus D Kuunifaa

The sorry state of images of pupils lying prostrate and writing is an eye sore and must be of concern to all of us. Come to think about this scenario: Isn’t it surprising that the numerous educational policies embarked upon by several governments in decades and yesteryears will still have pupils lying prostrate in class rooms and writing? If this is not a big national disgrace seeing these images in our beloved country, what else then is? What’s the sector minister up to in spite of the donor support of all kinds and magnitude? What educational policies are in place for the benefit of the country?

The Kperisi M.A Primary issue is so nauseating. It is even difficult to imagine and believe that kids are experiencing this unpleasant situation in Ghana while some donor funds would have been grossly misapplied and shamefully misprioritized.

Without a doubt, what we hear from government in terms of education in the country does not commensurate these sorry state pictures of kids lying prostrate and writing. For heaven’s sake, each pupil in that classroom is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially.

The capture of this unfortunate situation at the Kperisi M.A Primary, demonstrates abundantly the neglect of children’s education which remains an unaddressed issue in neighborhoods and should be of interest to government and to all and sundry

(http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/regional/Pupils-suffer-waist-pains-cold-from-lying-on-floor-in-school-419044)

Imputing from this from an educational perspective, how will children even engage reading in such a situation? How does such a neglect not constitute a failure at the very outset of their educational journey?

I want answers to these questions because as far as I am concerned children are the future of any society and steps must be taken to provide for access to knowledge and reading for them to become the responsible individuals we intend for them to become.

The Kperisi MA Primary school issue might just be a tip of the ice berg. Does it appear to be the prototype of all other sorry state school scenarios in rural Ghana?

Listening to the Headmistress speak, one can imagine how committed she is at doing her best for the kids with nothing. That is the passion teachers have for their profession. One can feel the desire of the Headmistress as an educator to help pupils meet their fullest potential, but she is handicapped in that regard. The desire of the headmistress can be felt in providing an environment that is safe, supports risk taking initiatives, and sharing of ideas, but she is handicapped again in that regard. One can imagine the desire of the Headmistress to establish a conducive environment for learning, allowing the kid’s natural curiosity to direct their learning and yet she is handicapped to do just that.

All those asking for an apology from Auntie Rosina Diedong, the Headmistress of the School, are probably outstripped in intelligence and wisdom condemned to sycophancy as compared to an outsized spirit with an irresistible mix of professionalism and wisdom coming from this Headmistress.

For the records: Is the Kperisi M.A Primary School not in a deplorable state as per the pictures? Did Joy News report not show the pupils lying on the bare classroom floor to write ostensibly owing to lack of furniture to sit on? Is it not true that these kids are exposed to not catching only the cold and rendering them sick but also that they have to encounter waist pains as a result of lying on the floor for how many hours God knows? Is the Headmistress not giving the true statistics of the situation that only two of the 56 pupils in this classroom can boast of a table and a chair their parents bought for them and that the rest have to depend on the dirty bare floor there? And to cap it up, is the statistic not correct that over 500 pupils of the School, lie prostrate on the dirty bare floor to write because they are without furniture?

The right to education of these kids have been infringed upon as per the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana in Article 25 (1) which states that all persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities, with a view to achieving the full realization of that right: basic education shall be free, compulsory and available to all.

Cletus D Kuunifaa

TMC Group

Can be contacted at dipnibe@yahoo.com or follow him on twitter @ckuunifaa

Columnist: Kuunifaa, Cletus D.