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SHS placement fiasco: Open letter to the Minister of Education – Part 2

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum   Peace\\ Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister for Education

Fri, 8 Apr 2022 Source: Maxwell Maundy

I tried explaining something to Sammy but he would not let me talk. He kept rambling “I’m in a meeting, I’m in a meeting, I’m in a meeting.” He hanged up on me. I checked my WhatsApp. He had sent a voice message. I listened to the voice message. As always, he kept rambling in the voice message:

“Charley, my wife is a Police Officer at Achimota Police Station.”

He continued rambling in the voice message, claiming to be pure and holy, and perhaps could even have a DNA traceable to Elija, Elisha, Moses, Peter (the Rock), or even the resurrected Christ Himself!

May I please digress a little and write about the inefficiencies in our system, which have partly contributed to my daughter not getting her second choice School Methodist Girls.

When we got to Mamfi, I saw the signpost for Methodist Girls. I began lamenting to an elderly woman sitting next to my daughter. I told her that this computer placement system is not helping us at all. If my daughter didn’t pass for her first choice school, at least she qualified for her second choice. So why not give her the second choice, but rather a school did not even choose at all and knows nothing about.

The elderly woman then said that Methodist Girls is now a Grade A School, but has not been effected on paper. And for that matter, a lot of students have wrongly chosen Methodist Girls as Grade B School, just like my daughter. And that the now high-flying world-class Methodist Girls won’t want to see my daughter anywhere near their school gate because she had looked down on them.

Dr Adutwum, may I please humbly ask why my daughter has to suffer from the inefficiencies at your ministry? It is through no fault of hers. I am pretty sure that staff at my daughter’s JHS were also not aware of the upgrading of Methodist Girls. They guided us in the school selection.

Dr Adutwum, all through the weekend to Monday I was on painkillers. Headache, headache, headache! My daughter had been so miserable and worried about not knowing which school she would be going to. And you can imagine what goes on in her mind currently as her colleagues are in school whilst she is home.

The journey from Adukrom back to Accra had been like a funeral procession for my daughter. She would not eat.

Back from Adukrom, I waited all day to hear from Sammy. My head won’t stop aching. I took painkillers morning, afternoon and evening. It is over a year ago when I last took a painkiller for a headache. Sammy! Sammy!! Sammy!!! But Sammy never called or even sent a message to tell me what had happened. Maybe 1 pm would never come again because of Sammy! At 23:55 in the night I started calling Sammy. As he was not picking up my calls, I started sending him messages and write-ups.

Hello Mr. Sam, I’ve been calling you since 23:55. It’s half past midnight now. Granted or giving the will, I’ll be calling you till daybreak...

Mr Sam, as per my write up to you in the morning, I expected you to send my money to me by the close of the day. I waited till 5 minutes to midnight and started calling you. I’ve called your 2 numbers countless number of times from 23:55 Mr Sam, in my write up to you, I urged you not to make life harder than it already is.

Mr Sam, may I please put it to you that you now owe me Ghc 6,000 since the service I paid you to render to me then is now costing twice the amount I paid? Mr Sam, you have said it countless times yourself. That the price doubles after the placement is out. The justification for you driving me crazy to go all out to cough the money to you. Mr Sam, after reading my message this morning, you called and told me that, “if by 1pm my thing is not done, then my money would be sent to me.”

Mr Sam, I read somewhere that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same thing over and over and over, and suddenly expect the result to be different. It’s 02:25 AM now Mr Sam, and I’ve called you over, and over, and over... Can this be insanity, Mr. Sam? Diary of a Mad Black Man...

At about 2:30AM, Sammy turned off his phone. I waited all morning hoping Sammy would return my numerous calls or send me a message. But nothing. Sammy didn’t give a damn about me and my daughter. I thought about Sammy, and how often he mentions God. A few times I called, he was in Church. Indeed, God is too merciful.

At 2 pm, I left home for Achimota Police Station to look for Sammy’s wife, if truly his wife is a Police Officer. Low and behold, I met Sammy’s wife at the Police Station. I narrated my encounter with her husband to her. The wife attempted calling her husband but could not reach him. She right away transferred an amount of Ghc 3,030 from her bank account to my Mobile Money account.

The wife called Sammy again and got him. She then told the husband that I had come to the Police Station to lodge an official complaint against him. Sammy wanted to speak with me on the wife’s phone, but she told him I had left.

I got home only to hear that Sammy had called threatening - had his wife not told him I had left, he would have come to the Police Station and deal with me severely. So that both of us would be locked up in the Police Cell. Because both the giver of the money and the receiver have committed offences.

I can imagine why Sammy would be happy to be locked up at Achimota Police Station Cell with me. Blood is thicker than water! Even in the Animal Kingdom, some animals are more equal than others.

Sammy’s threat that he would have come to Achimota Police Station to deal with me severely, was the last straw that broke my back. I just lost it from that moment. I took my phone and wrote to Sammy:

Sammy, you are a wolf in a sheep’s skin. Cursed be you and your generations for causing me pain and having the audacity to say nasty things about me. May the God of Heaven, whose name you are falsely using to deceive people strike you with pain you will live with the rest of your life. But for your wife, who knows the pain you are causing people with your actions, for which reason she paid me my money without any interrogation, I’ll have pronounced worse curse on you. I seal my pronouncements on you with the blood of Jesus...

At 21:10 in the night, I had a call from a man who introduced himself as a lawyer by the name of King, and a colleague of Sammy. He said that Sammy had told him about a message I sent to him. He wanted to find out what happened for me to send such a message to Sammy.

I narrated the ordeal Sammy put me through. Lawyer King said that his purpose of calling was to make us spoke the peace pipe. Rather than firstly sympathising with me, lawyer King rather portrayed himself as a “holistic angel” who can never be provoked to the point where he would react the way I did. Well, I am not surprised. Birds of the same further…

With his unrelenting stance of being such an “angelic human” who cannot be pushed to the edge to such extent to react the way I did, lawyer King cut the call on me as we kept arguing. After that, I forwarded all messages and cautions I exchanged with Sammy to his learned colleague lawyer King.

At dawn when I realized that lawyer King had seen all that I forwarded to him, I further added that:

“If we don’t place emphasis to those causing the pain to stop, but rather placing emphasis on those at the receiving end of the pain to forgive, then we are not helping matters. Such characters like Sammy have pushed many into their graves.” I messaged learned lawyer King that I would do a full write-up on his colleague.

For the past 7 years, I have been sending my daughter to the eye clinic at Amasaman Hospital for treatment. As at our last visit in February this year, a specialist Doctor from Korle-Bu was in. The doctor advised that I buy her eyeglasses, that it was long overdue.

I said I would buy it at a later date. But out of kindness, one of the eye doctors who have been attending to my daughter all these 7 years, got us the glasses at a very discounted price. I only had to send half the price and pay the rest later. With delays in paying the balance I owed her for the glasses, I finally promised the doctor that I would send it to her on Tuesday the 8th of March.

But as fate would have it, Tuesday turned out to be a dramatic day - the day I had to pay Sammy the second Ghc 500 without which his guys would have stopped my daughter’s thing and return the first Ghc 500 paid the day before. So I again disappointed in paying the balance on the glasses.

With my daughter’s health challenges, and having to spend over Ghc 3,000 on her placement alone, I decided that she rather go to a school in Accra, in order to save myself the trouble of arguing with drivers and their mates over transport fares, as I have been doing on the Amasaman to Madina route! I have written several articles about the abnormality in the application of the percentage of transport fare increment. But no one really cares.

Those who have to power to effect change or make sure that the local GPRTU’s adhered to the percentage of increment, are themselves not affected by it. They are driving in V8 fuelled by the state. So it is the masses – the poor – who are left at the mercy of the local GPRTU’s. Since I started writing about transport fare increments, Amasaman to Madina fare has been over increased in excess of Ghc 1 on the route. This country is on bended knees. And it is the poor who are suffering the brunt of the bent.

In my attempt to raise the Ghc 3,000 for Sammy, I had asked for loan from people from all walks of life, including a Spiritual Father - Pastor. The last Ghc 1,000 was Church money – God’s money!

When I told “Angelic” Lawyer King that I would write a full article on his colleague Sammy, he said it was not necessary once I got my money back from his wife. But my question is, how many people have Sammy treated like this, without anyone hearing about it, especially his Pastors and the Church he attends.

This our “fa ma Nyame” attitude is destroying this nation.

I have tried getting different persons to do my daughter’s “thing” for me, but it now costing twice the money I paid to Sammy. Sammy himself had told me this repeatedly.

As I’m writing this article, I got a message from a new lead trying to get placement for my daughter:

“My man is saying that the slot is very very limited. So far he has been able to do only 2. He is now saying that the amount is 5000. Please he said the money first please. You can send it to me, but I promise you, I am not a bad person so do not fear. Please when can you make the money ready?”

Dr Adutwum, I am yet to reply to when I can make the money ready! God have mercy on this country! We are nearing Sodom and Gomorrah!

There are aspects of my encounter with Sammy’s wife - the peace loving Police Officer - that I would not want to write about because I have full respect for her for the way and manner she handled my complain to her about her husband. Our Police Service needs more of such decent persons. She wasted no time to refund my money even though she could not reach her husband to confirm my claims.

Dr. Adutwum, my daughter is still in the house. I am yet to buy her trunk or chop box. It’s really a hard knock life! Ghana our Motherland!

Dr Adutwum, through my ordeal, many questions are racing through my mind:

Is our educational system not falling apart?

Will Ghana’s centre ever hold?

Is there hope and a future for the unborn generations of this country?

What does the future hold for this country?

Columnist: Maxwell Maundy