By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Predictably, rather than boldly and honestly face up to their gross professional inefficiency and dereliction of duty, it shockingly appears that the leaders at the headquarters of the Ghana Education Service (GES), whose abject neglect caused the headteacher of the Kukurantumi Prebyterian Primary School to suffer great humiliation at the hands of Ghana’s Second Lady, Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, prefer to further complicate matters for themselves by farcically attempting to scapegoat Mrs. Juliet Oppong.

If Rev. Jonathan Bettey, the Acting Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GES, does not come clean in his dastardly efforts to cover up the gross and scandalous inefficiency of his institution by attempting to intimidate Mrs. Oppong, he might soon find out that he no longer has any job to wake up in the morning and think of going to (See “GES Investigates ‘Chalk Headmistress'” / 7/21/15). Rev. Bettey claims that since March this year, at least 82,391 boxes of chalk have been allocated to the Eastern Region where Kukurantumi is located. Now, what he needs to do is tell the nation what amount of chalk was in stock prior to March 2015.

We are asking the preceding question because the Kukurantumi Presbyterian Primary School, where Mrs. Oppong is the headteacher, or principal, was in operation well before March 2015 when Rev. Bettey claims 82,391 boxes of chalk were dispatched to the Eastern Region. The GES PRO would also do himself and the rest of then nation a lot of good by informing us precisely when the Kukurantumi school’s share arrived at its destination. Merely attempting to spring an ad-hoc auditing exercise on Mrs. Oppong will simply not work. The Adontenhene of Akyem-Abuakwa and the people of Kukurantumi should not tolerate this mischievously calculated act of vendetta. It was absolutely no fault of Mrs. Oppong’s to call for the assistance of Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, who had apparently converted her husband’s half of the presidency into an all-purpose non-profit foundation.

Now, let’s get straight to the point: the fact of the matter is that if the GES had been up to its statutory responsibilities, the Kukurantumi headteacher would not have sent an S-O-S to Mrs. Amissah-Arthur. Then also, why is the GES’ PRO not calling for a comprehensive auditing of its Koforidua Regional Head Office, and then the East-Akyem District Office, before proceeding with its intended auditing of the supplies stock of the Kukurantumi Presbyterian Primary School? We also know perfectly well about the political dynamics of what is happening here. But we are, of course, too sophisticated to simply matters here. The fact of the matter is that one cannot gainsay the fact that the acute shortage of school supplies prior to the Amissah-Arthur Scandal, had remarkably to do with the fact that Akyem-Abuakwa, in general, is not among the political strongholds of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Kukurantumi is only one victim among a legion of victimized townships. It is almost certain that the problem of scanty school supplies – or stationery – is broadly generalized around the country. And the recent Talensi by-election sent an unmistakably disturbing signal that the only moment that the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress perceive of development, especially rural development, is when the next election is around the corner. We witnessed a slew of light poles go up in Talensi, even amidst the seemingly chaotic and intractable regime of Dumsor – or erratic power supply. And then we also saw roads and streets that had not be touched by the roadbuilder’s equipment get converted into first-class motorways overnight.

One benefit of the Kukurantumi Scandal, I prefer to more appropriately label it as “The Kukurantumi Trauma,” is that now a revolution of Arab-Spring proportions has been set in motion. And that revolution, of course, has to do with the need to relentlessly hold the frozen feet of the movers and shakers of our public educational system to the proverbial fire of accountability, probity and transparency. And those who are found wanting must be made to promptly pick up bag and baggage and make way for those who are better qualified, dedicated and willing to earn their keep.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]


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