Excerpts of presentation by Mrs. Afia Opoku-Asare, Snr Lecturer, Dept. of Arts Education, KNUST. On the occasion as guest speaker of the 4th Congregation ceremony of the Wesley College of Education,(WESCO) Kumasi, Ghana- Saturday, 23rd June, 2012.
The writer's motivation to publish excerpts of this presentation is driven by the biblical instruction to train up a child in the way that he should go; that when he is old, he shall not depart from it. Proverbs 22. 6.
In the 42nd Generation organization who's passion is the rebuilding of the leadership of Africa, we believe that that quality of information and knowledge we imbibe today will form the basis for leadership tomorrow. The ethical and transformational leadership we seek in Africa can be realized when the right information and a condusive and peaceful environment is available for Ghanaian and African pupils to learn and play under.
The educationist reminded graduands of the Millenium Development Goal (MDG's) No. 2, which is to achieve universal primary education by 2015. This dream she believes should spur on teachers and school administrators to give their all in training and educating pupils --laying a strong foundation for a blissful future.
A research conducted on conflicts in basic schools categorized the problem in four sections.
pupil - pupil conflict
pupil - teacher conflict
pupil - parent conflict and
parent - teacher conflict
Pupil - Pupil conflict
This happens when pupils beat up, bully, insult, abuse,redicule and subject other students to emotional and psychological trauma, thereby causing pupils to be timid, sad, and lacking concentration in school. this can have an adverse effect on students confidence and performance in school. Teachers and administrators must be alert, take note of these conflicts and build respect and love among pupils.
Pupil - Teacher conflict
This conflict can be as a result of teacher's high handed approach in dealing with difficult pupils. This is characterized by excessive punishment, shaming, agressive verbal abuse, bullying, expressed anger etc on the part of the teacher toward pupil. If not checked this can lead to emotional breakdown, low self esteem and lost of pupil's interest in schooling.
Some teachers also exhibit negative attitudes such as showing little or no interest in the extracurriular activitites of pupils, not asking students questions during teaching or not allowing pupils to ask questions or make contributions. teachers may not also be in the habit of giving regular exercices or homework to pupils and timely marking them when pupils turn in school work. Such attitudes are turning students away from schools and killing children's interest in learning.
Pupil -Parent conflict
Friction between a pupil and parent can take several forms. In parents attempt to make pupils conform and obey instructions, force may be applied to bring pupils back in line. Beating, insulting, chasing pupils to go to school, excessive punishment ect. Parents must realize that it takes a multiple of measures to bridge the gap between them and their children. love and care should be at the center of parent/child relationship. Parents must endeavour to spend quality time with their wards and instill positive values (eg.good christian priciples) such as respect, use of decent language, hardwork and love for country in their children. This relationship is crucial in helping children realize their greatest potential in life.
Parent - Teacher conflict
Conflits can exist between parents and teachers from different perspectives. They may some times live together in the same community and be memebers of the same social clubs. Parents nowadays have become increasingly sensitive to teachers handling of their children. Strong warnings are issued to teachers for punishing children harshly. There are instances where teachers have been virtually beaten or arrested by parents for what they consider ill treatment of their wards.
These conflicts in basic schools can result in the following
Course syllabus not completed before the school scession ends leading to learning outcomes not realized.
Breeding of social deviants in the society.
A society where violence may seem to be the easiest way to settle score.
Circuit supervisors must pay regular visits to schools and get closer to the challenges.
Engage students in conflict resolution activities.
Existing conflict resolution mechaisms must be strenghtened.
Equipping students with requisite knowledge and skills in peace building and fostering unity.
Teachers, parents and guidance must build sound interpersonal relationships with children.
Strong parental training is essential to building peace and unity among school children and teachers.
Education for all is a right that must be enjoyed in a peaceful,safe, loving and condusive atmosphere for all school children. When children learn in the right environment, they build the character and capacity to add value to their lives and make the world a better place. We must engage in peace bulding activities and avoid practices that would breed conflicts in society.