The other side of President Mills’ tour to the Eastern Region

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Education
Tags: , , , ,

The school bus of Yilo Krobo Senior High School that was used to convey members of the ruling NDC to the Koforidua Jubilee Park when the president visited the Eastern Region in May this year.

It has taken me months in writing this article. At first, I thought it was not worth it but suddenly I realised that some elements in the Ghanaian political landscape have simply refused to think. May be, it had never occured to them that someone out there is watching every step they make and the decision they take as far as Ghana is concerned.

Recently, there was a report that majority of pupils, especially, those in the hinterland can not read, let alone put the alphabets together to make a sentence. This revelation sparked public debate across the length and breath of the country with the sole aim of finding an antidote to the problem. Whilst the debate was ongoing, the President of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills was also touring some communities in the Eastern Region.

From the various speeches of the president, one could note that education is one of the top priorities in his agenda ever since ascending to the throne of Ghana’s presidency. But from a distance, one could see that the approach or implementation is the problem as far as success of his education policy in concerned.

The day, May 31, 2011 will forever remain with me because that was the date when the president toured the Eastern Region. From Mangoase to Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital were students from the various primary schools who were stationed along the road. Perhaps, their sole aim was to catch a glimpse of the president.

It was exactly 9:10 am when I noticed this sad incident from Mangoase, about twenty-five minutes drive to Koforidua. My checks revealed that the students were positioned along the road at exactly 7:O’clock am having in hand the country’s beautiful red, gold and green flag to wave to the president when his convoy passes by. The idea was beautiful but on the other hand, I felt sad for the children who we are gradually nursing to step into our shoes when we are gone.

Whoever initiated that idea, perhaps failed to think twice about the cost benefits to the country. At exactly 9:35 am, I was at the Jubilee Park, where a durbar of chiefs was held to honour President Mills. The president arrived thirty minutes later. That means the children along the road spent a little over three hours before the arrival of the president.

En-rout to Koforidua from Accra, the sun was gradually setting in and one could witness that most of the students were even fed up having stood along the road for a very long time. Their faces bore the mark of dejection. Whatever the situation was, their teachers were at their side to comfort them. But the question is; why should the students spend so much productive hours along the road with the sole aim of catching a glimpse of the president?

Some of the pupils spoted along the Mangoase-Koforidua road waiting to catch a glispse of President Mills.

Ush, this reminds of the Mampong incident where pupils of some public schools mistakenly mentioned Nana Addo-Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) as Ghana’s president instead of Mr. Atta Mills, the Associate Law Professor. The incident happened when the president and some government officials were inspecting some projects in the municipality. The children’s mistake was genuine simply because someone failed to do his or her work properly by providing the students with the wrong information. A lot of meanings were read into this ugly incident but I am not in a position to discuss all in this article. To sum it up, over thousands of mug were distributed to the students in the Mampong Municipality with President Mills’ effigy embossed on it. This was to communicate to the children that Mr. John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills is the president of Ghana and not Nana Akuffo-Addo.

From what I witnessed in Koforidua, I only concluded my thoughts that whoever made that arrangement had the Mampong incident at the back of his mind to further prevent any embarrassment to the president.

President Mills in a warm handshake with Daasebre Oti Boateng, President of the Eastern Regioanal House of Chiefs.

My eyes couldn’t believe what I saw when at the Koforidua Jubille Park when guests started trooping in to listen to what Mr. Mills had for them.

The School bus for Yilo Krobo SHS was used to bus grassroot party faithful of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the durbar ground. Immediately I saw this, I asked myself this simple question; when did Ghana Education Service (GES) allowed public school buses to be used for political activities?

I don’t want to bore you by reading meanings into this unfortunate incident but rather will leave it to you share your thoughts with me. God bless Ghana, God bless President Mills, God bless this writer.

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