…on her retirement after 24 years of teaching accounting at Kumasi High School
In the words of Aristotle – the ancient Greek philosopher and polymath, “those who educate children well are more to be honoured than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well”. In other words, parents just make babies. It’s teachers who turn them into people. Indeed, ever since I heard this saying, it has resonated with me for many parts of my life.
Aristotle may have lived a long time ago in a different land, but his slightly acerbic exaggeration still has a ring of truth to it. That is to say that good teachers undoubtedly, play a significant role in making us who we are. The teachers who shape us may not always be standing at the head of a classroom (including, of course, our parents), but wherever they’re found, they are doing something that no one else can do: changing our view of the world and making us into something better than we were before.
Interestingly in Ghana, even though most people have attended some good public and private universities, both home and abroad, a lot more people still have some allegiance to their Senior High Schools. I am usually not surprised to see the level of excitement and enthusiasm that many people demonstrate during the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ). I am no exception. In the least, I would want to see Kumasi High School participating every year and making efforts to go for the prestigious trophy and ultimate prize. This tells you the importance of the secondary schools in Ghana.
Thankfully, when I completed Junior High School back in 2000, there were several Senior High School options to choose from. While friends and colleagues were advocating for certain so-called elite schools to choose within the Ashanti Region, I thank God that I made the right choice of selecting Kumasi High School and it indeed transformed my life.
I selected Kumasi High School because it was and is still the best business school in the Ashanti Region. I really enjoyed my days in high school than I did at the University of Ghana, Commonwealth Hall. At Kumasi High School, I was in Business 1 class, very active in ‘Shalom Singing Ministry’, joined the School Volleyball Team and eventually became the Senior School Prefect (SP) for the 2003 year-group. I recall vividly the privileges enjoyed as a ‘head boy’ of the school in my House 4 (Kyeremateng House) Dormitory.
Picture: Madam Patience Osei-Effah
But more importantly, I, together with the bigger ‘Mmrante3’ fraternity remain grateful to one selfless Accounting tutor, who changed the fortune of many business class students. Madam Patience Osei-Effah, popularly referred to as ‘Madam Pat’, was a real gem at the business department of Kumasi High School. She trained and impacted thousands of students who are occupying significant positions in society today. Mere words cannot describe this tutor; but I will try and highlight a few:
Subject matter expert
She started her teaching in the school in 1998 and within some few years, Kumasi High School became the best business school within the Ashanti Region. Her knowledge in accounting was simply amazing, to the extent that she became a consultant for some of the major second cycle schools in Ghana. Record has it that somewhere in 2008, so many business students scored all A’s in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). They did better than the famous 1998 year-group who were the toast of town and showed masterclass. In fact, most of the students described her as an embodiment of popular the Business Accounting book, Frank Woods.
Pic. Credit: Sponsored by 2008 business class. A billboard in her honour
Dedicated to Teaching
These special qualities Madam Pat possessed can be said of only few persons in our current generation. Her level of dedication and commitment was unquestionable. I recall in 2002, the school had qualified for one of the ‘Interco’ competitions and we had her class. She ensured that we had the class before attending the competition at the then Kumasi Sports Stadium. The list goes on and on. I compare her commitment to teaching and learning to persons like Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan, Maria Montessori, William McGuffey, Emma Willard, Jaime Escalante and Edward James Olmos because Madam Pat, like these great people, has through her teaching, done so much for so many people and she did it with such grace and dignity.
High level of Professionalism
The professionalism with which Mad. Pat discharged her duties cannot be overlooked and underestimated. This could be seen in the way Madam Pat conducted herself at Kumasi High School. Students were able to approach her at any time without fear on issues pertaining to Accounting and she was always ready to assist while still maintaining the ethics of her profession. Madam Pat’s character and commitment to change and continuous improvement, subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, obligations and working relationships beyond the classroom was very commendable. I have learnt that a teacher’s character looks at personal virtues such as patience, determination, courage and respect for students. This is what she exactly exhibited.
The list could go on unended. As you take a break to retire after 24 active years, together with my fellow Mmerante3, we say thank you for your kindness and guidance. You have helped us get comfortable in the society. Many students were so nervous about studying the Accounting course, but you made it so easy. You’ve been such a supportive teacher, and we’re now really looking forward to the years ahead with you!
Goodbye, and thank you for being our mentor! I together with colleagues appreciate the time and effort that you’ve put into the teaching profession for 24 years. I join the members of staff in wishing you a blissful retirement! Thanks so much for going above and beyond and bringing out the best in us.
Above all, as we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) in the month of March, we celebrate your achievements for #breakingthebias.
Long Live Madam Pat, Long Live Kumasi High School.
>>>Disclaimer: The views expressed are personal views and doesn’t represent that of the media house or institution the writer works.
>>>the writer was a Senior School Prefect for the 2003 year-group. Currently the Director, Banks and Broker Dealers for an International Bank in Ghana. Contact: [email protected], Cell: +233200301110