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Over 1000 Schools Under TREES In Ghana ?

Fri, 14 Oct 2011 Source: Sam, Leo R.

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President Mills Reveals in United Nations Address !!!

His Excellency John Evans Atta Mills declared on Friday 23rd September 2011:

" .The provision of free school uniforms, free textbooks, and the elimination of over 1000 schools under trees and turning them into brick and mortar structures, is ample testimony of our commitment to brightening the future of Ghana's youth. "

The office of the President should publish the LOCATION of these new brick and mortar structures. It will be necessary to indicate the exact year in which these schools under trees were established. There should be no hesitation in providing the information on these new structures.

If it is TRUE that these schools under trees have been replaced with bricks and mortar, then it is a wonderful achievement. However, concrete proof must be provided. A publication of the locations and perhaps some pictures will indicate to Ghanaians ( at home and abroad ) that the government is truly paying attention to good basic education for the youth.

It is obvious that the children of ordinary Ghanaian citizens are attending these PUBLIC low class schools under trees. Children and relatives of many politicians and their appointees as well as other "well-to-do" citizens, attend good expensive PRIVATE schools in Ghana, Europe and North America.

Many prominent Ghanaians had their basic education in Ghana under the colonial rule with the help of missionaries in the later part of the 19th CENTURY and the early part of the 20th CENTURY. The biographies of these prominent men do not indicate that their schools were under trees. Here is a list of some of the prominent Ghanaians:

SOME IMPORTANT PERSONS IN GHANA'S EDUCATIONAL AND POLITICAL HISTORY

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1. Dr. James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey : Teacher, Educational Philosopher Born in 1875

2. Dr. J. B. Danquah : Lawyer, Politician Born in 1895 *

3. Mr. Emmanuel Obetsebi Lamptey, Lawyer, Politician Born in 1902 *

4. Mr. Edward Akuffo-Addo: Lawyer, Politician Born in 1906 *

5. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Teacher, Politician Born in 1909 *

6. Mr. William Ofori Atta, Lawyer, Politician Born in 1910 *

7. Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia: Academician, Politician Born in 1913

8. Dr. Ebenezer Ako Adjei, Lawyer, Politician Born in 1916 *

9. Mrs. Theodosa Okoh, Designer of Ghana Flag Born in 1922

10. Dr. Leticia Obeng, Teacher, Scientist Born in 1925

11. Dr. Hilla Limann, Diplomat, Politician : Born in 1934

12. Mr. Kofi Annan, International Diplomat Former Sec. Gen of the U.N.: Born in 1938

13. Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, Lawyer, Politician Born in 1938

14. Dr. John Atta Mills, Academician, Politician Born in 1944

15. Dr. Christine Amoako-Nuama, Teacher, Scientist, Politician: Born in

16. Mr. J.J. Rawlings, Army Flight - Lt. , Politician Born in 1947

17. Dr. Oheneba Boachie Adjei, Scientist, Orthopedic Surgeon Born in 1950

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( * Denotes One of the BIG SIX )

Is it not pathetic to hear the President of Ghana stating at the United Nations that in this 21st CENTURY, more than 1000 schools are operating UNDER TREES ?

At the moment, there is no point in trying to point out those in authority that allowed these schools under trees to spring up. The situation was obviously caused by misplacement of PRIORITIES. Basic education was neglected. Existing schools were not properly maintained. Teachers were taken for granted and so many competent and dedicated ones chose to enter more "LUCRATIVE" professions or left Ghana to teach in other countries, where their services were more valued and rewarded with reasonable salaries.

Sir Gordon Guggisberg spent the revenue derived from the lucrative Cocoa, Gold, Manganese, Diamond and Timber business in the 1920's to build KORLEBU HOSPITAL, ACHIMOTA SCHOOL, TAKORADI HARBOUR and many new railway lines.

We should always remember that the University of Ghana, Legon had its roots in Achimota. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology also had its roots in Achimota.

The three major frontline founders of Achimota School, Dr. James Emman Kwegyir-Aggrey, Sir Gordon Guggisberg and Rev. Alexander Fraser must be revered for the educational legacy they established for Ghana. They are true selfless HEROES.

President Mills now has the rare opportunity to follow the steps of Guggisberg with the impending oil revenue.

If President Mills demonstrates clearly that his government is capable of managing the impending oil revenue for the benefit of ALL GHANAIANS instead of allowing the few pathologically greedy Ghanaians to use so-called "legal" means to STEAL the oil revenue, then he will be assured of a second term as president.

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A statement recently issued ( Thursday October 6, 2011 ) by Energy Minister Dr. Oteng Adjei indicates that there is going to be a reasonable level of TRANSPARENCY about the oil revenue in Ghana. He is reported to have revealed :

".that the total crude oil production from the Jubilee offshore field between January and September 2011 amounted to 16.7 million barrels, with Ghana earning 337.3 million dollars from its first three liftings of 2.98 million barrels. There have been a total of 24 liftings by all the partners in the Jubilee oil field."

Hopefully, The Government will CONTINUE to inform the General Public of the revenue accruing from the oil and gas industry. This will help reduce the incidence of corruption.

For all Ghanaians (ESPECIALLY THE YOUTH ) to benefit from the oil revenue, a significant percentage must be set aside to improve basic education.

In the 21st Century, Good and appropriate education starts with well qualified and dedicated teachers, who are provided with the right tools and the right environment to enable them to stimulate their students to learn and be creative. Students can be motivated to reach their potential under the right conditions.

Over to YOU, President Mills. You now have a chance to follow the Educational Philosophy of the Great but humble Dr. James Emman Kwegyir-Aggrey , who stated:

" BY EDUCATION, I DO NOT MEAN SIMPLY LEARNING. I MEAN THE TRAINING IN MIND, IN MORALS, AND IN HAND THAT HELPS TO MAKE ONE SOCIALLY EFFICIENT. NOT SIMPLY THE THREE R'S, BUT THE THREE H'S. THE HEAD, THE HEART AND THE HAND."

Dr. Kwegyir-Aggrey was very influential in making Achimota a Co-Ed institution. He stated:

"WHEN YOU EDUCATE A MAN YOU EDUCATE AN INDIVIDUAL; WHEN YOU EDUCATE A WOMAN YOU EDUCATE A FAMILY"

Dr. Kwegyir-Aggrey, who is often referred to as the "The Booker T. Washington of Africa stated:

"NOTHING BUT THE BEST IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR AFRICA"

Ghanaian Youth deserve the best PUBLIC basic education.

President Mills : It is now up to you to help direct some of the oil revenue to provide good basic education. Effective teachers at all levels ( from early childhood to the tertiary level ) should be well paid. GOOD Teachers count a lot in any progressive country.

As Obama stated in his best seller - the Audacity of Hope: " If we're serious about building a twenty-first century school system, we're going to have to take the TEACHING PROFESSION seriously.

.Highly skilled teachers in such critical fields as math and science should be paid even more."

I am writing this article in Alberta, the OIL CAPITAL of Canada. The population is just over 3million. Alberta has one of the best Education Systems in the world. The province has a teaching force of about 25,000 fully qualified teachers. Most of the teachers are computer-literate. Most of them expect to be in the teaching field until retirement age. Teaching is NOT considered as a temporary job to be abandoned when a better job opportunity appears. Ghanaian teachers should be treated well so as to adopt the same attitude.

I had my elementary education in Ghana ( Obuasi ) in the 1940's. My teachers were very intelligent and dedicated with four years of College training. In those years teachers were indoctrinated to accept that teaching was a SACRIFICIAL PROFESSION and that their rewards will be given in Heaven. Obviously they were not very well paid. Sales clerks in the European Trading Companies ( U.A.C and U.T.C. ) had better conditions of service than teachers.

In this 21st Century, no politician should imagine that the "REWARDS IN HEAVEN THEORY" should be applied to teachers. Professional Teachers should never accept this theory again.

My Secondary Education was received in Cape Coast ( St. Augustine's ) in the early 1950's. I had excellent fully qualified teachers. However, most of the teachers were expatriates from Britain and Ireland. The few equally qualified Ghanaian Teachers were not as well paid as their expatriate colleagues.

I had my sixth form education in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. This is where I had the privilege of being taught by Dr. Leticia Obeng. I still have fond memories of her excellent lectures and Laboratory instruction in histology.

After spending four years in the University of Ghana to obtain a B.Sc. Degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, I joined the teaching Staff of Opoku Ware Secondary School in Kumasi.

The joy of having the privilege to interact with appreciative enthusiastic young students, kept me in the classroom and Science Laboratories for eleven years. However, the better conditions of service of my expatriate colleagues could not be tolerated any longer.

I was attracted to accept a position as a Chemistry Teacher in Alberta, Canada.

The experience I have gained in Alberta and the opportunity I have had to keep my professional development up to date, have allowed me to publish a few articles in Educational Journals and Magazines.

The main purpose of this article is to make President Mills and his administration aware that the education of Ghanaian Youth should have a high PRIORITY on the agenda of the government.

May the Good Lord guide President Mills to render a genuine selfless and dedicated service to the ordinary Ghanaian citizens.

GOD BLESS GHANA !!!

Lsam@compusmart.ab.ca

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Columnist: Sam, Leo R.