Teacher and comedian Michael Owusu Afriyie who is also known as Teacher Kwadwo has said until public officials, especially government appointees, are prevented from sending their wards to private schools, standards in public schools will not improve.
Having taught in public schools for four years, Teacher Kwadwo revealed that the standards have been lowered in public basic schools in most parts of the country because the children of the managers of the sector are enrolled in private schools where standards are admirable.
“Basic education, especially from kindergarten to JHS 3, is very sick in this country. My sister, teaching and learning materials are nonexistent. It is a serious issue but it seems nobody is interested in the matter,” he told co-host of Dwaboase on TV XYZ, Pomaa Kyekyeku.
“The culture of silence in GES is so disturbing that it looks like teachers have been muted while their hands are tied so they are unable to complain…As I speak, there are no textbooks for the little children yet the government sees it rather prudent to buy past questions for them when they are about to complete JHS.”
Teacher Kwadwo was recently sacked by the Ghana Education Service (GES) after his constant campaign for the sector that employed him to be fixed.
His campaign, #FixGES, focused on the challenges the GES and teachers were facing in rural areas where he had been posted to while he solicited support for some less endowed schools. His campaign attracted much attention because of his popularity on social media which must have piled pressure on his employers.
Although the GES listed reasons for sacking him which included truancy, Teacher Kwadwo disagrees and is seeking legal redress but has vowed to depict the challenges facing GES, saying one of the solutions is to have government appointees including ministers enroll their children in public schools.
” When I started my #FixGES campaign, I said getting the managers of GES and ministers to enroll their children in public schools is the only solution. There is a saying that your heart is always where your properties are,” he said. “Do you think when their children attend public schools they won’t be compelled to act and fix the rotten system?”
“When you sell banku [local delicacy made of fermented corn dough]and your child comes home hungry and you prevent him or her from eating a food you have prepared and sold to people but wants to buy same food from elsewhere for your child, then it means there is something wrong with your food that needs to be checked,”he stated worryingly.
He also disclosed that there’s acrimony at GES especially among teachers who know the standards are dwindling but are prevented from speaking about the challenges, adding that it is unreasonable that the caretakers of GES who are aware of the challenges of teachers during instructional hours have failed to talk tough to authorities to sit up.