Article #17 in the YCC Kids Club Ghana Student Life Stories Project
Dismissed From School For Refusing Punishment
By Fedieley Precious, Age 14
The day school re-opened, my parents took me in to be registered. One week later, I packed my things and got ready to move. As I entered the school compound, everyone was on break and some girls came to help me send my things to the dormitory. I arranged my new room, then my parents called me to give a few last pieces of advice. Then they hugged me and both said goodbye. I started weeping.
When I entered the classroom, the pupils welcomed me and accepted me into their class. At that time I was in grade four. I sat down with a girl called Emily, and we became best friends. The class was learning Mathematics, and since I like Maths, I paid rapt attention to the teacher. Whenever he asked a question I raised my hand up first!
It got to a time that I loved the school, and the teachers loved me because of my good behavior and hard work. I was the best pupil in class! So the teachers decided to give me a certificate card and promote me to the next class! I called my parents about the promotion and they were so proud.
When I got to grade seven, my parents came to the school and advised me to learn even harder. Because I do not joke with learning, I took their advice and was given the reward position of being Office Girl.
Then one day, we were in the classroom learning Integrated Science in the topic of “The Reproductive System in Humans.” As we were enjoying our lesson, the headmaster entered the classroom with an angry pace.
He shouted at us, “Your class teacher put some money into the cupboard in your classroom, and someone has come to steal it!” He continued: “If you do not produce that money, I will punish you all.”
One hour later, the Headmaster came back and demanded the money. No one had it. “All right then,” he said, “Then each of you must come outside and dig a seven foot tall hole.”
The headmaster responded: “Since you refuse to do the assigned punishment, you should pack your things and leave this school.”
I phoned my parents in tears and told them what had happened. My parents said that I should come back to the house. I now attend school in Sogakope.
In Ghana we have physical punishments in school such as being caned, doing painful exercises, kneeling on the hard ground… and digging giant holes. I do not believe in these things. I have to speak up for my rights and for my freedom!
Lillie’s Note: This article brings up many different possible reactions! Please do leave a comment (including your geographical location) for Precious, who is a proud member of the YCC Cross Culture Project!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!