By: Professor Padmore Agbemabiese.They say a student is lucky to have a great, life-changing teacher in his or her time in the classroom. I never had Mr. GSS Tamakloe as my teacher, but I was truly blessed to have him as my role model in the classroom. In 1986, Mr. Tamakloe recruited me to teach English and Literature in his school, ZICO. Throughout my years at ZICO, he provided me with the human and moral support to enable me meet every challenge at the school. I was lucky to have him at the start of my career as a teacher.
Mr. Tamakloe was a brilliant and affable teacher, administrator, historian and a dramatist, who made the educational career of every student who passed through ZICO during his leadership as good as they hoped it to ever be. Whatever other teachers often considered impossible in the students, he saw it as appealing and utilized that to transform them into the smartest students. To him, each student is a kindred spirit and must be assisted till he or she reaches his or her utmost potential. No wonder each student knew him as Daddy, Uncle, Grandpa and what have you. In fact, he knew every parent of each student at ZICO by name and profession. Thus, he was an extension of their families and that made him command respect beyond discipline.
Mr. Tamakloe is an educator who was committed to accelerating the education of children in Anloland. To this end he became a teacher and poured himself into his students, courageously endeavoring to meet their vast needs while satisfying time-consuming requirements and external job demands. He became a motivator, a role model and in hard times helped each child to pull through. Like a flower, he gave out all his best scents to enrich them with an endearing fragrance.
Mr. Tamakloe was a quirky guy with a high sense of humor. He was fluent in French and Latin with a little touch of German which he used with amusement. He knows when to pull the right string to instill discipline in his students. He took strides laying bare the essentials of education to students and felt there was no reason for someone not to indulge in learning once the resources were made available. He didn’t tolerate slackers or apathy or laziness. To him, every child who aims at success in life must work hard at something that exhilarated him or her, instead of plodding through what does not pay any dividend in the end.
Students were not the only recipients of the kindness of Mr. Tamakloe. Indeed, Mr. Tamakloe favoured his staff and teachers too. He was scrupulously professional and fair to every teacher and staff member and gave a lot of special attention to whoever needed it. He pushed the envelope so that what was to be the ordinary was given the chance to be special. During his administration at ZICO, Mr. Tamakloe promoted teaching and learning to the maximum. He brought dynamism in a variety of educational programs. Speech and Prize-Giving days during his time saw vim, vigor, and a panorama of activities. There was a healthy interaction and competition between all schools in Anlo. In fact, he was personally involved in the school’s drama group and helped the group tour secondary schools and training colleges in the Volta Region performing plays by the late Rev. Dr. Fiawoo. He promoted literary endeavors, thus helping students of ZICO to write and publish their poems.
Mr. G. S. S. Tamakloe is a man in whom every student of ZICO has every reason to be proud of. A lot of them attribute their success in life to him. He gave ZICO more than a gentle nudge on its path. By his death ZICOWANS have lost a pinch of salt on their tongue. Though gone, but not forgotten for:
Wherever we are we’ll carry your smile
and faith inside us is what you gave.
Our laughs, our creamy melodies,
in the softness of every sunrise,
and the steady blessings of our stars,
smell of your gingerbread,
and the security of our sweaters on chilly days
are gifts you gave us when we were at ZICO.
Adieu, and Rest in Peace, Mr. G. S. S. Tamakloe.