There is an old Akan saying that “ s3 ako ba a, nea onim ko no na y3de no gyina anim” akin to saying that, in times of war, it’s the skilled and experienced warrior who is stationed in the front lines, not the sharp tongued. Leadership matters.
In times of crises, in the moments leading to total despair and utter hopelessness, before the distress signal of May Day, May Day, rolls of the tongue of a visibly concerned Captain, mediocrity acknowledges, prostrates and cedes leadership to the expert. Suddenly, you become overly aware of the cruising altitude of the aircraft, 35,000ft above sea level.
The sudden turbulence will force you to pray for a Pilot you’ve and may never see (n). Death or total annihilation gives Man a better perspective of their choices and settles the ambiguity of leadership. This, I believe, is one of the lessons Jesus taught his disciples in Matt 8:23-27. He only used a boat instead of an airplane.
In the words of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcom X), Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. The wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, in placing premium on the education of his citizenry is still too loud even for those with ear plugs glued to their ear lobes. To put it mildly, the education of the next generation is so important and critical that, we cannot afford to experiment with untested hands.
The stakes are just too high and we just do not have the fuel (TIME) to be running around in circles. When you are racing against TIME in the need to dock a lunar module on the moon, you have no business experimenting with Mr. Bean when Captain Neil Armstrong is taking a nap on the spacecraft. Today, we shall all do a purely intellectual and dispassionate analysis of the Ghanaian future; Education.
The deepest and clearest manifestation of the intentions of any leader for their people, I believe, is carried in the succession plan or structure of leadership in the various key sectors of governance. Indeed, success without a competent successor is equal to failure. Since we are projecting into the future, our focus cannot be on the current head of the sector but most importantly, our focus must be on the successor or in our case the Deputy Minister.
Let us all do an important exercise. In the sincerity of your hearts, how does the thought of any of these fine gentlemen in the first and second scenarios below, leading the Education of our nation into the future years make you feel?
Scenario 1: The Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP of North Tonge, former NUGS President, a proud Odade3, a Political Science student from the University of Ghana and the longest serving Deputy Education Minister under the Mahama era, is going to be the heart and brain of the Education of your children and our nation, Ghana, for the next four years.
Scenario 2: Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum (MP), of the Chiefs and people of Bosomtwi, an alumnus of Gyakye Pramso and Kumasi high Secondary schools, a Land Economy student from KNUST, experienced Teacher, founder and CEO of the NDEG schools in California, USA, where he employs and pays over 200 Americans every month to educate Americans, holds a PhD in Education Policy and Administration from the University of Southern California and a Deputy Education Minister under the Akufo-Addo led government. This, in the wisdom of Prez. Akufo-Addo, is the experienced man on whose tender shoulders lean the leap-frogging concept of our nations Education.
I have successfully completed the exercise above and I dare say that, one of the two scenarios is an invitation into the realms of absurdity.
During the Presidency of H.E. John Dramani Mahama (JM), Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, an astute academic, was the substantive Minister of Education. She was ably deputized by the outspoken lawmaker from North Tongue.
The Hon. Samuel Ablakwa was next in line and in the wisdom of our President at the time, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, the future of Ghana’s Education. In the next NDC government, if the good people of Ghana so decide, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa could become the substantive Education Minister. In the spirit of teamwork, harmony and second chance (as would have been shown to JM), Madam Victoria Hammah will deputize Hon. Ablakwa. The two, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Madam Victoria Hammah, will thus epitomize the future of Ghana’s Education under JM. The risky rescue mission is on indeed.
Grapevine sources have it that, Ursula Owusu Ekufful, the intelligent and strong willed lawmaker and Communications Minister may take a short and early shower for maternity reasons. If this is true, then in her short absence, the experienced lawyer, honest and unassuming Catholic from Nandom, Hon. Ambrose Derry (MP) will be a perfect replacement.
This will create a vacuum at the Ministry of the Interior. Who can best fill this vacuum than Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, affectionately called Napo; the big brain and charismatic medical practitioner from the Oyoko royal family in Ashanti. Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh (MP), has succeeded in doing the unimaginable; successfully implemented the Free SHS policy in the first 8 months of the Akufo-Addo led government. Napo will now go and revolutionize the Ministry of the Interior, i.e. the Police Service, Prisons Service, Fire Service, Immigration etc. As a matter of fact, Napo excelled as the CEO of a private security firm at some point in his illustrious career.
In Napo’s departure, his longest serving deputy, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, the future of Ghana’s Education under the Akufo-Addo led government, will step forward and continue with the good works of his boss, Napo.
As the storms raged, Peter and the other disciples (who were themselves fishermen) run to Jesus and said, Master, danger looms and we can no longer afford to experiment with our half-baked, ill-trained and comparatively, vastly incompetent hands at such depth. Please Master, come and take over the wheel.
Peter, nicknamed, an Outcrop or Boulder or simply; Stone. He was hard like an Odade3 but when danger loomed, he was wise enough to surrender leadership to the expert. It is my prayer that my discerning readers and the Ghanaian people/electorates, learn from Peter the disciple, and thrust our Education, the future of Ghana into competent hands for a secured future that starts today.
God bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong.