#5. When the blood of the innocent cries out
Is there anything worse than the heartrending cry of a mother mourning her six year old child?
Is there anything worse than that sinking feeling in your gut that says ‘It could have been worse?’
Is there anything more depressing than the knowledge that the lives of the most vulnerable group in Ghanaian society is perhaps not worth the time or effort of the authorities in charge?
Think I’m joking? Look around you – what kind of schools do the majority of children attend in Ghana? And don’t use the plethora of private schools in the region capitals as your yardstick.
For the vast majority of Ghanaian children, the public school system is their only solution. And the state of these schools leaves one wondering what kind of adults we are training in this country.
School feeding capitation grant held up in the three northern regions…
Schools without the basic logistics….
Teachers who go months or years without being paid or without being paid their due….
Teachers overwhelmed with large numbers and small classrooms….
Schools with poor infrastructure…..
Schools that our leaders, who profess to be men and women of the people, would never send their children to.
And the heartbreaking part? There are structures in place to ensure that no child goes to school in a dangerously dilapidated building but are they funded sufficiently?
There are conventions and laws that promote the education of young minds in safe structures with the required tools but are these implemented aggressively?
Ghana is a country that has a lot of impressive legislature but our problem has always been the lack of willpower to look beyond political lines and actually do the damn work.
Not stressed and pushed to breaking point to write BECE and WASSCE exams – but actually trained and equipped to use their brains and creativity to improve their livelihoods.
Every country that has advanced and has impressive GDP statistics has put their money where their mouth is and invested heavily in education. They establish the structures, they ensure the infrastructure, they train the teachers and they supply the logistics. None of those countries has a perfect record but the logic is this – children are the future and if you want to succeed as a nation, you need to train and shape the burgeoning talent of this demographic.
Investing in children is one that echoes through generations and if you are in doubt, take a look at Cuba which has the highest literacy rate in the world and whose doctors are always called upon to bail us out when the doctors here go on strike.
It’s physically impossible for all of us to live in Accra or any of the regional capitals but that doesn’t mean that the quality of education should decrease the further one is from a metropolitan area.
We can’t all afford to send our children to posh schools but that doesn’t mean that the quality of education should dip just because one attends a public or ‘syto’ school.
And there’s another thing we can’t afford; we can’t afford to have our children attend schools under trees and we can no longer sit back and watch them attend schools that could collapse at any moment.
If we have the funds to put up a vice presidential home and office for almost $14 million, we can easily pump in $14 million into basic school infrastructure.
Six pupils of the Breman Jamra KG Methodist school in the Asikuma Odoben Brakwa district in the Central region died last week when their classroom collapsed on them.
If this is not a call for action to improve the education sector, then I don’t know what is.
Or…..are we going to talk about it for a while then let their memories fade?
Are we going to let their deaths be in vain?
Pictures courtesy myjoyonline.com and Buzz Ghana news