Business in Ghana

We Understand the issues that make the News

Teacher Kwabena Gyan is merely a lightening rod

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 20, 2009

A March 15, 2009 news article published by Ghanaweb.com reported the remanding of an elementary schoolteacher into police custody for having, allegedly, administered two lashes, or strokes, of a willow-cane on a 14-year-old pupil whose subsequent death, several hours later, was circumstantially attributed to her caning by Mr. Kwabena Gyan, an on-duty teacher.  That Mr. Gyan, whose age and professional experience were not given, would administer two lashes of the cane on Ms. Victoria Ampofo, should hardly come as news to any avid student of Ghanaian elementary school culture. Indeed, if merely being meted two lashes, or strokes, of the cane, as an officially sanctioned punitive measure, could be aptly reckoned as a “cruel and unusual punishment,” as Mr. Albert Owusu Annor, the local magistrate who remanded Teacher Kwabena Gyan into police custody appears to have reckoned, then almost none of my elementary school teachers, including my own now-deceased mother, of course, would have spent more than a day or two instructing their pupils in the classroom; they most certainly would have spent the bulk of their professional careers in police custody!

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr

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