Feature Article of Tuesday, 21 July 2015
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
July 18, 2015
I am pressed for time, but this rejoinder needs to be fired off, and so I will not belabor my points here. I just finished reading Mr. Lord Kweku Sekyi’s article titled “Jesus Christ At Kukurantumi Presbyterian Primary School” (See Modernghana.com 7/18/15) and find it to be both extremely disgusting and disturbing. The writer, who calls himself “a freelance journalist” blasphemously, apotheosizes Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur for the latter’s exhibition of gross insensitivity and abject lack of common sense before the chiefs and people of Akyem-Kukurantumi.
This was after Mrs. Juliet Oppong, the Headteacher of the Kukurantumi Presbyterian Primary School, indicated to the wife of Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur that the most pressing teaching materials at the school were not the five pieces of Personal Computers (PCs) that the Second-Lady donated to the school, but rather such cheap and basic items as chalk, roll, log and exercise books. Mr. Sekyi says that Mrs. Amissah-Arthur ought to have returned to Accra with her “useless” PCs. The PCs are useless because the school in question has no access to power supply. Now, that ought to inform Mr. Sekyi that the Second-Lady did nobody any good at Kukurantumi, unless the Vice-President’s wife expected Mrs. Juliet Oppong, the headteacher of the school, to sell these computers and use the proceeds accruing therefrom to purchase school supplies.
I am personally invested in the fortunes of the chiefs and people of Kukurantumi, although I have only once or twice passed through the town. And this was some forty years ago. I am invested because not only are some of the members of the royal family my relatives, but both my maternal grandfather, the Rev. T. H. Sintim of Asiakwa and Begoro (1896-1982), and the latter’s nephew, the late Rev. Darko, who also died on duty at Kukurantumi, pastored and taught there. And, oh, I have a cousin by the name of Maame Florence Sintim-Aboagye whose maternal relatives are also from Kukurantumi. It is also significant to note that the movie “Love Brewed in the African Pot,” which Mr. Sekyi mentions in his tirade and, which was produced by Mr. Kwaw Ansah, a Fante man, had in its lead role an Akyem woman called Ms. Anima Sintim-Misa.
I also know there are a lot of jokers and avocational buffoons everywhere, but when you claim to be a native of Cape Coast, where Grandpa Sintim also taught and pastored in the 1940s, you are expected to be at least passably enlightened and refined in your manners. At best, the good that came out of the patently uncouth behavior of Mrs. Amissah-Arthur could be likened to the good that came out of the historic betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas Iscariot. It cannot be gainsaid that Mrs. Amissah-Arthur flagrantly betrayed not only Mrs. Juliet Oppong, the Kukurantumi headteacher, she betrayed all hardworking but woefully underpaid Ghanaian educators. Once this is recognized, we can then begin to think of moving our country forward.
Mr. Sekyi may also want to know that the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, which also boasts of the oldest higher educational institution in the country – Akropong PTC (1848) – has been fighting the central government to return its mission schools to their original owners and founders to no avail. We Presbyterians have educated more Ghanaians than nearly every major religious institution in the country. The Kukurantumi Presbyterian Primary School, like all the others, are controlled by the Central Government, if Mr. Sekyi cares to know. The key operatives of a government that appears to be far more interested in the external trappings of education – namely, school uniforms and sandals – instead of the teaching and learning tools that make education worthy of its designation, ought to be unreservedly condemned for the gross misplacement of its priorities. It ought not be commended, as Mr. Sekyi clearly seems to be doing.