? ? ? ? ? ? Whoever invited Ghana’s longest-reigning first lady ever to deliver a lecture on Ghanaian and African formal education at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, Arizona, did a great disservice to both the host institution and the wife of Chairman Jeremiah John Rawlings herself (See “Nana Konadu Cautions Against Wholesale Adoption of Western Education” MyJoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 11/25/13).

?Konadu-Rawlings

According to Mrs. Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, as widely reported by the national media, the greatest dilemma facing Ghanaian leaders and citizens is that “formal Western education, while containing crucial elements for keeping us in touch with rapid technological and economic developments, which control the shape of international relationships, also bears the seeds of disempowerment and dependency.”

 

There are several problems with the foregoing quote attributed to the president of the so-called 31st December Women’s Movement, a veritable propaganda wing of the Rawlings-minted National Democratic Congress (NDC). The first of these problems regards precisely when did Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings attain recognition of the fact that Western education “bears the seeds of disempowerment and dependency”? And also, why even as she came to the sobering realization of such a scandalous reality, nonetheless, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) alumna persisted in shipping all her children abroad for schooling.

 

Then also must be underscored the fact that even while they schooled in Ghana, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings’ children are widely known not to have attended her own husband’s government-sponsored public schools, but rather the tuition-prohibitive and privately-owned Ghana International School, notorious for having a curriculum that is highly skewed in favor of Western cultural values.

 

It is also rather pathetic to hear Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings scandalously claim that “Western education…[merely contain] crucial elements for keeping us in touch with rapid technological and economic developments,” rather than the healthy acquisition of such high-end know-how being wisely adapted and constructively appropriated for the development of our country at large.

 

I tend to believe that when the former first lady talks about Western education “bearing the seeds of disempowerment and dependency,” she is unmistakably, albeit inadvertently, alluding to her husband’s expedient use of the Western-manufacured arsenal of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to literally and savagely reduce Ghanaian citizens to the shameful status of modern-day slaves for some two decades. Needless to say, Ghanaians are still experiencing the deletrious effects of the predatory and brutal use of Western technology by Mr. Rawlings for the undemocratic installation and entrenchment of administrative mediocrity and rank and abject corruption.

 

In other words, Mrs. Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings cannot fault our erstwhile Western colonial overlords and benefactors for our massive and progressive leadership failure. For, like an automobile, all forms of education, Western or non-Western, are capital instruments readily available for the potentially positive transformation of society in accordance with the talents and ingenuity of the users.

 

If Ghanaians have not succeeded in making science and technology, and the liberal arts and the humanities, positively advance our level of intellectual and cultural engagement, as well as the material improvement of our livelihood, such negative phenomenon is squarely predicated on the morbidly exploitative and morally reprehensible leadership of citizens like the Rawlingses and their depraved legacy of the primitive political juggernaut that is the so-called National Democratic Congress.

 

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

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

E-mail: [email protected]

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