Epistle 2 – Education: Is There an Easy Way for Everyone?

Good day ooo Agyaaku. I know Odomankoma is showering his blessings of strength and good health on you and everyone in our family and our Mesuaamehunu village.

Guess what I’m doing Agyaaku. I know you are not off: I’m listening to music while waiting for my keteke train. Positive vibes are raining down my humble body, through my ears.

Playing now is Brigadier Sabari by Alpha Blondy. And it goes like ‘‘Opération coup de poing (2x); Opération coup de poing yeh!! Opération coup de poing. Néko wohouho woyo yohi; Brigadier Sabari...’’ Ah well, he is not blonde but he is called Blondy. And of course he is right; we are punching. No, not physical ‘ntokwa’ punching. We are punching our common enemy poverty, with education as the fist.

Any obstacle to the education of any individual should also be punched down. So yes, ‘Operation punch down poverty with Brigadier Education’.

Agyaaku, with all the benefits of education to the individual and the society, I wonder why not much effort is made to get everyone educated. Education should be the foremost priority of every serious nation, should it not? There should be no waiver or trade off to education of any individual. Nana, please remember, like the first epistle, ‘I would write this epistle not as an academic or expert, but as a reasonable human being who has a conscience’.

The people of Omanfoforo Town recently changed their chief, you remember? You know they do periodic voting to maintain or change their chief. That process has always been successful and peaceful. It is very commendable.

They have two major families from which they vote for one leader. Each of these two major families presents a leader for the public voting. Nana nie! You are wondering why this information, right? Let’s ride on, please. See, the contention between these two families of chieftains is educational infrastructure and wholesale education to high school level.

One of these major families prefers infrastructure before high school wholesale education. The other family has affinity for high school level wholesale education NOW, and infrastructure will follow. Sounds interesting, does it not? It is like Osagyefo’s ‘self-government now’ mantra. I have reminded you of those Sikampoano days, Nana. Gone are the days, I know. Well, both families agree there should be infrastructure and they both admit there should be high school level wholesale education, i.e. education for everyone to the high school level, at least contemporarily.

Both families have supporters among the people of Omanfoforo concerning this contention. Opinions are divided and expressed by followers and non-followers of these families in connection with this contention.

In the thinking of the ‘infrastructure first’ family, they want to build the school infrastructures first before, oh yes, BEFORE wholesale admission at the high school level. To them there should be adequate buildings in place before people are allowed to study, on a wholesale basis. And yes, like previous overlords before them, they were building the infrastructure before they were voted out by the town folks.

Since 19-kwadwo-hoo-hoo, these Omanfoforo people have been building educational infrastructures, but it seems not to be enough. It is simply being overtaken by the growing population. The rate at which their population is growing is far exceeding the rate at which they are building educational infrastructures.

As such there would always be an educational infrastructure gap! It would thus, only take the Miracle of Amirikatuo before they can match up their educational infrastructures to their rate of growth, and by extension, before high school education can be wholesale. Holalaaa!! Is it not ingenious, Nana?  Agyaaku I know you giggled when you heard the Miracle of Amirikatuo. You like it when we remember and apply the stories you told us, I know.

In the Miracle of Amirikatuo, it only took a miracle before the tortoise was able to overtake the rabbit. Same applies to the current circumstances of Omanfoforo Town, should the inhabitants opt for the infrastructure first option. Oh lest I forget! In one of their Town Hall Adwentotoa meetings, one farmer asked the proponents of this option two simple but thought provoking questions. Agyaaku, that farmer looked like Opanyin Nyankomago, hɛɛɛɛ nipa di nsɛ. 

Firstly, he asked ‘should we stop giving birth till there are enough educational infrastructure for our kids?’ Secondly, he asked ‘can we freeze our kids who are, and who will be at high school going ages until there are enough infrastructures to accommodate them?’ These two questions sent the leaders of this proposition to thinking school, and they are yet to graduate to come out with a concrete answer. Maybe the answers would be forthcoming in their next adwentoatoa meeting. Nana, I will let you know as soon as I get the answers from them.

Now, let’s look at the other school of thought, Nana. They suggested and are implementing wholesale admission at the high school level. I must say they are the ones ruling Omanfoforo Town now. To them everybody of high school age, and who qualifies, should be allowed to go to school. It should not matter whether the infrastructure is enough or not. It should not matter whether they can pay or not. They should have unhindered access to education to the high school level. Sounds weird, does it not? Go to high school from krenkren to krankran without paying a dime? How are they going to fund it? Some people are even thinking it will make parents irresponsible. Others say it will never work. Well, it is working now.

Others say it will affect the quality of education. To them, still some should go and others should stay home, basically; just as it has always been. There are a lot being said. But the new chief and his guys are resolute. They have balls. Not the ‘kwankwan ball’, or ‘socks ball’ or ‘case 5 ball’ ooo. You get it now, Nana? Oh I know you do, smart Agyaaku. These guys are not giving in to the naysayers at all. They are determined to make their choice work. But I think they should listen to the other party, or? Nana, what do you think?

Oh my train is here in a few minutes, Agyaaku. A meeting beckons. You know Amanone way of life. I will get back to you to tell you more about how this stand taken by the current chieftains are panning out. There are a lot to talk about on it. The people of Omanfoforo Town have spoken a lot about it. Some are all for it while others are not for it, na ɛmom sini awieyɛ na yɛbɛhunu kyale.

Yɛbɛtoa so Agyaaku.

Mekyea obiara!!