Parents and other stakeholders who attended a forum at Atronie in the Brong Ahafo Region have urged the police to arrest guardians who storm schools to assault and insult teachers for disciplining their wards. The forum was meant for the promotion of quality education at the basic and secondary levels.

Participants at the forum described the act of such parents who attack teachers for disciplining their children in school as an affront to the human rights of the teachers and must, therefore, be arrested and prosecuted.They expressed concern at the practice where some parents furiously enter schools only to insult and assault teachers for punishing their wards for wrong doing, even in the presence of the pupils and passers-by.

Such acts, they argued, demoralizes the teachers and impedes the promotion of good quality education.

According to them, attacks on teachers for disciplining children is on the increase in recent times and, therefore, proposed that any parent who engages in such a reckless conduct must be made to face the full rigours of the law.

The Community Dialogue Forum, which was under the theme: ‘Delivering Free Quality Education for all in Ghana – What is the Roadmap?’, was held as part of activities marking this year’s Global Action Week for Education in the Brong Ahafo Region.

It was organized by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) and the Global Campaign for Education to, among others, drum home the need for good quality education for all children of school going age.

Participants at the forum included chiefs, teachers, parents, pupils and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), among others.

Touching on the government’s Free SHS policy, the participants lauded government for the intervention, but were of the view that it should target only the poor and the most deprived in society and not all as it seems to be.

According to them, those who can afford to pay for their wards school fees must be encouraged to do so, while those students from poor and deprived homes are rather put on the Free SHS programme.

The Dwantoahene of Atronie, Nana Boakye Yiadom, was unhappy about some parents of the town, who spent lavishly on funerals and weddings at the expense of their children’s education and called for a stop to that unfortunate practice.

He also admonished school children to spend more time with their books and avoid wasting their time on Telenovelas, which have taken over television screens in Ghana.

The Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinator of GNECC, Kobina Afena-Sam explained that Atronie was chosen for the event because the area had not been doing well in the BECE for some time with some schools recording zero percent.

He underscored the critical role of GNECC and Civil Society Organizations in general in shaping, transforming and improving standards of education in the country over the years, saying: “GNECC and Civil Society Organizations were very instrumental in the introduction of the Capitation Grant, the School Feeding Programme and the reduction of teacher absenteeism.”

According to him, views and suggestions collated at the forum would be forwarded to the appropriate quarters for redress.

The Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr. AmoahOppong, advocated that government, development partners, civil society and all stakeholders in the education sector must, as a matter of utmost importance, commit more resources into the development and implementation of results-oriented plans that would bring permanent solutions to the challenges militating against the education sector.

He said the Education For All (EFA) policies aimed at eradicating poverty in society must be strengthened while continuous engagements and participation of civil society in discussing and formulating policies in the education sector must also be encouraged.

The Regional GNAT Secretary was particularly concerned about “enhancing the status, morale and professionalism of teachers because the teacher is at the centre of education delivery, hence the need to motivate the teacher adequately.”

The Regional Chairman of GNECC and a former Regional GNAT Secretary, Nana Asante Nketia noted that considering the central role education played in the socio-economic development of the nation, “politics must be taken out when it comes to issues bothering on the education of our children.”

He said government alone could not shoulder all the needs of the sector and appealed to parents, teachers, development partners and all others to contribute their quota in improving the standards of education in the country.

From Michael Boateng, Atronie