Felix Duodu Writes: Unethical Rural Teacher-Pupil/Student Relationships.

Dr. Kwegyir Aggrey’s words “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family (nation)” is relevant today, as it was in the pre-independence era. It is therefore not surprising that well-meaning persons and organizations, including the Akurase Mpuntuo Foundation, have taken a strong interest in the education of young girls.

However, young girls’ education continues to be bedevilled with a myriad of challenges, including sexual abuse by some of their teachers. This is prevalent in rural areas where such cases mostly go unreported and unpunished. These immoral and unacceptable practices negatively impact the education and well-being of young girls in rural areas.

According to the Ghana Education Service’s rules of conduct for staff, teachers are barred from having any form of sexual relationship with their pupils or students, and all forms of gender-based violence against school girls and boys are prohibited. However, sexual harassment of schoolgirls is rampant in rural areas, where supervision is not consistent and law enforcement agencies are hard to come by.

These harassments often start with teachers asking their female adolescent pupils/students to cook, clean, wash or perform other household chores for them. It is surprising to note that parents of such victims are either happy that their wards are dating teachers who are deemed as very respected persons in their rural communities or demand money from the teachers instead of reporting them to the appropriate authorities.

For instance, in 2022, a teacher was caught trying to defile a 13-year-old class six pupil in Akim Bosovilla in the eastern region of Ghana. Interestingly, the parents did nothing despite knowing the teacher’s heinous actions. Instead of seeking justice for the young rural girl, they seized the opportunity to demand money from the teacher.

The negative consequences of such incidents are enormous and far-reaching. When teachers use their positions of power and authority to violate their pupils’/students’ trust, they undermine their confidence, self-esteem, and overall performance in school. Such incidents also create an unsafe and unhealthy learning environment for children, affecting their ability to learn and thrive in the long term. When a child’s education suffers, it affects their future and the overall development of the community and country at large.

The Ghana Education Service, District Education Directors, and all other relevant stakeholders should take immediate action to address this issue, punish teachers who engage in immoral behaviour, and educate parents and communities about the negative effects of such behaviour on their children’s education and well-being. Raising awareness will make it clear that this behaviour is unacceptable and that we must work together to eliminate it from our rural communities.

Parents/guardians are also encouraged to prioritize the education and well-being of their young girls over immediate insignificant monetary gains from perpetrators of such heinous practices. With women breaking barriers in all sectors, it is apparent that young girls in areas are worth more than commodities to be used and abused by people who should know better and guide them to unleash their inherent potential. Let us join hands to address this canker once, and for all.

Felix Duodu is the Coordinator for the Akurase Mpuntuo Mentorship Program and is currently a MasterCard Scholar at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The article is also published by the Daily Graphic, Ghanaweb and Modern Ghana


  • Nana Kwasi Danquah May 29, 2023

    Inasmuch as the said act by some teachers deemed it wrong, the writer of this article happens to be a culprit of the very things he now sees as evil…
    Charity begins at home…

    • Akurase Mpuntuo May 29, 2023

      For the records, the author is not a teacher and has never been one. He is a concerned citizen who is raising awareness on this with his article so a lasting solution could be found to it.

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Akurase Mpuntuo is an Akan phrase which literally means ‘rural development’. Akurase Mpuntuo Foundation is a non-profit and non-governmental organization that seeks to empower residents of deprived or underserved communities and improve their livelihoods.


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