If, indeed, he really cared to learn the history of the part of our very small country where President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was born and brought up, former President John Dramani Mahama would have long since discovered to his bashful humility that the knowledge-acquisition clock of the people of Akyem-Mansa and Akuapem does not revolve around and never revolved around the eons-belated provisions that the country’s Fourth-Republican Constitution mandates vis-à-vis the accessing of elementary and secondary public education. He would have learned to his awe and humility that as early as 1827, there were public schools at Akuapem-Akropong and at Kyebi by 1836. In other words, we bona fide Kabongas of southern Ghana have eaten enough academic-salt to last Mr. Mahama and his Gonja clansmen and women several lifetimes already.
I don’t know precisely when the first modern schools began to pop up in the so-called Three-Northern-Regions and, in particular, in the Gonja enclave of the Mahama Clan, but it ought to be crystal clear to this Cash-and-Carry Ideologue that when it comes to the practical application of the civilized principles of the propagation and development of elementary and secondary public education in Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his crackerjack covey of cabinet and other executive operatives defer to absolutely no National Democratic Congress’ leader, including, you guessed right, Mr. John Dramani Mahama (See “Akufo-Addo Gov’t Doesn’t Think Critically Before Initiating Projects – Mahama” Kasapafmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 11/17/18).
We also strongly challenge the former Rawlings’ Communications Minister to identify a single educational or academic establishment in his part of the country that has a qualitative track-record of strikingly similar caliber as the topmost institutions in the part of the country in which the man whom Mr. Mahama presumes to lecture on how to think about and strategize about the most effective method of running educational establishments is a bona fide native or indigene. He could perhaps best start this process of comparison by looking at the level and reach of the national literacy rate, respectively, under New Patriotic Party- and National Democratic Congress-sponsored governments. And then we can also examine the quality of education provided, respectively, under governments sponsored by the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
By the way, why is Mr. Mahama not publicly decrying the tens of hundreds of public schools located in his native part of the country whose pupils and students are daily publicized by the media to be learning under trees and bare clayey and unpaved dirt floors and on the naked earth or soil? Rather, this selfish and cynical political freeloader prefers to literally bitch about the double-track Senior High School System which, by the way, was made necessary by decades of P/NDC anti-intellectual neglect of public education, at all levels, in the country. You see, instead of building more schools to accommodate the country’s exponentially rising youthful population, the leaders of the P/NDC preferred to cannibalize state-owned bungalows which they thievishly expropriated and illegally incorporated as their personal and private properties.
It is also criminal for Mr. Mahama to be talking about a gradualist spread of the fee-free SHS System, almost as if the inalienable constitutional right of every Ghanaian youth to readily access our public school system was the former President’s especial privilege or exclusive prerogative to grant or dispense at will, rather than for him to wisely emulate his much wiser successor by creatively expediting the fee-free SHS System with all available resources in the manner recently implemented by President Akufo-Addo. It is also absurd for Mr. Mahama to bitterly complain about the unsavory overproduction of SHS leavers and college graduates at the expense of a comprehensive and strategic job-creation plan. Somebody ought to remind this reckless opportunistic political scam-artist that he and the infamous Ahwoi Brothers should have thought about the latter plan of action before nihilistically proceeding to literally dismantle the Nkrumah-established Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC). Talk of Bretton-Woods Independent Cultural and Industrial Revolutionaries.
You see, My Dear Reader, a man who has absolutely no respectable sense of Ghana’s industrial and economic development ought not to be lecturing his intellectual and moral superiors on what it means to both occupationally prepare our youths for the job market and actually create viable employment opportunities for these youths at the same time.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York