Reflection On The Negative Impact Of Our Teacher Training School.
A night before our 1st semester exams, my mattress was seized so, I had to sleep on the wood with my blanket serving as an improvised “mattress”.
The next night, when Bruku and Dickson realized that I slept on the board with so much comfort, they seized the board too.
They said that, the only way I could get my mattress was for me to scrub the corridors between the SRC room “ahenfie” and the Essah store room. The one which led to our path to Ethiopia (school’s pit latrine).
I was at liberty to report to anyone, given that I had a good case worthy of any rational being’s attention. The only problem was the aura around the lecturers which made them scary and unapproachable.
Again, the stigma which comes with reporting a senior to the authorities was a hurdle I knew I could not scale.
There were many times lecturers did not support students, especially if the case involved a level 100 student challenging a senior even if the senior was wrong.
Our lecturers described C.O.Es as “tertiary institutions with a difference.” They were the first to inspire confidence in the seniors while putting fear in the juniors. I knew if I challenged further, I would be made to go through the worst punishments such as weeding a quad or cleaning the gutters at the girls dormitory or weeding around the palm trees.
So, that night, I had to scrub the corridor using Dennis Owusu Ansah torch light. The following semester when I reported to school, I was transfered from Room 9 to Room 1 (where some of the “wee boys” were) in their hope that, I would be tamed.
Well, I was tamed.
Fortunately, the seed they tried to bury germinated when I became SRC secretary. Tried as we did in the hope that we will do better and help turn things around, we could not get the support.
When I became SRC Secretary, a level 100 student ( Pst Bismark ) was abused by Phlexo who was in level 200. When I got to the scene to calm issues, it was Phlexo who disrespected me because I asked him to apologize to the boy.
When I reported the issue to a staff of the school who was the leader of the school’s taskforce, it was his colleague lecturer who punished me to weed the compound between his residence and that of Essah and Quayson Halls of the Boys’ Dormitory within 3 days. He felt I had disrespected him for not reporting *the matter to him instead.
Imagine the SRC Secretary weeding under punishment. So I complained to his wife, who after hearing my story, offered to help me out by apologizing to her husband on my behalf. It was not an easy task but it finally worked out. Perhaps, their bedroom magics did the trick.
Two weeks after that incident, I met a member of his clique in the company of some lecturers. That member told me that, “if I hadn’t resolved my issues with his colleague, both of them would have failed me in my maths and English”.
At this stage, I knew I had to kowtow to the system. The certificate was all that mattered and nothing else.
The timidity in our colleges of Education is real. If we agree that teachers are role models to the pupils then I am sorry to say that most pupils in our basic schools have been failed.
Today, many pupils from our basic schools easily get intimidated by their colleagues from the private schools.
The situation is not any different from what happens when students from the COE come face-to-face with their colleagues from the universities.
So your question, why the girls/ladies did not refuse the kiss?
No matter how assertive they were, those ladies had been made passive by the presence of the entire student populace.
In the presence of other staff, they couldn’t think straight. They thought they were doing the right thing until the video came out.
Yes, the system censored their thoughts. Making them “fearos” as usual. The impact of our system on them will resonate in our children at the basic schools.
A pupil will grow up not being able to speak up against negative issues in our society. Meanwhile, we’d hope they grew up to be vocal.
Their teachers will become union leaders who would not be able to criticize government policies for fear of victimization. They will find it difficult to tell the government when they feel unsatisfied with their salary increments and conditions of service.
Again their teachers will be powerless before the men of God in our C.O.E such that, when he breaks covid-19 protocols or get abused by these men of God, they will only clap and laugh so heartily.
Just so we don’t forget, are we not the same people seeking miracles in the churches and spiritual centers, especially the one-man churches where we get abused by the so called men of God?
If the recent case of a teacher impregnating 3 girls in the same class is anything to go by, then agree with me if I say, the “fearo” inspired in us as teachers sometimes, lead us to “abuse” pupils in our basic schools. Perhaps, we do not have confidence to approach the “classy ladies” we meet in town.
Sometimes, I disagree with teachers who blame the GES. GES as an institution has no problem as teachers who climb the academic ladder are the very people who fill GES offices.
As I conclude, have we thought of the student whose video exposed the reverend? Have we thought of the trauma she may be going through from the fear of getting exposed?
Assuming she is found out, I only pray she completes her school with no one hating her or without her having to suffer any issues because of the video.
NB: There are some good attitudes one can acquire from the C.O.E. These attitudes can make some teachers better politicians.
Certainly not a topic for today. Have my final class for the day in JHS.