21
Opinions Fri, 17 Jul 2015

Open Letter to Mrs Matilda Arthur-Amissah

Dear Second Lady of Ghana,

I had the opportunity to listen to your recorded statements made at Kukurantumi during your presentation of some computers to the Kukurantumi Presbyterian Primary School. I was at home on Wednesday 15 July 2015 at 13:00 British Summer Time (12:00 in Ghana), and was about to take a nap after lunch, when a playback of your speech or statement was made on Peace FM online during their midday news broadcast.

To be honest with you, I found your response to the Headmistress' noble and timely request to you for chalk and teacher's note books for the school very upsetting, if not highly uncivilized or ill-mannered of the wife of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana.

What was wrong about the Headmistress pleading with you to communicate to the government to provide the school with chalk and note books for teachers, the basic needs of every school in Ghana? Rather than refusing her request in a diplomatic way, even if she was in the wrong but which indeed she wasn't, you were just blunt. You raised your voice at her, castigated her and categorically made it clear to her without mincing words that you would never convey her request to the government.

You said the government cannot provide all the needs of schools, or all the wants of pupils, throughout Ghana. You made mention of the fact the government is already providing pupils with sandals, school uniforms and food hence the Headmistress must find her own way of providing the school with chalk and teachers log books. You angrily questioned why she could not arrange the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and the old pupils/students of the school who are probably better placed in Ghana or elsewhere in the world to help with such basic needs.

Having attempted to make a point which in your mind's eye is superb, I rather find it ill-thought the way you put it across. What is a bar of soap to a hungry dog? It will serve him nothing, because it cannot be eaten to quench his hunger. Always, we advise that first things first, the principled way of doing things successfully.

Taking a case scenario where a farmer goes to the farm without his/her machete (cutlass), but with a double-barrelled shotgun or a basket, can he/she perform the normal day's farm work? From my experience as a farmer, the answer is no. A machete comes before anything else, when doing subsistence farming.

The chalk as was requested is a necessity while the computer could be said to be a luxury to a primary school pupil in Ghana. Yes, computers are dictating the pace of the world's development in all its aspects, however, in any primary school in Ghana; a chalk must come first before a computer, when prioritising the school's basic needs. Like a child, it must first learn to crawl, then walks and finally runs. It cannot be the reverse order – runs, walks and then crawls. I hope Madam, you do get the point I am trying to make. It will only be wise for you to listen to the angry statements you made, think about them, then retract them by way of profusely apologising not only to the Headmistress of the school, but also, to the pupils of the school, the inhabitants of Kukurantumi with the elders of the town inclusive, and the entire citizens of Ghana.

Bear in mind that "it does not belong to he who is leading to redirect their steps". Those of us who have heard or listened to your statements feel that you got it all wrong. Please, do yourself a big favour by taking my advice in good faith to act accordingly.

Yours Sincerely,

Rockson Adofo

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson