General News of Friday, 9 November 2012
Source: The New Statesman
The attempt by President John Dramani Maham and members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to claim credit for unrealized developmental achievements continues to expose the apparent lies they keep telling the electorate in their desperate effort to win their mandate.
President Mahama and the NDC see the claim of having eliminated over 1,700 schools under trees as one of the topmost achievements of their government.
This claim was even touted by the late President John Evans Atta Mils when he had the opportunity to address the 64th Session of the United Nation's General Assembly.
Confronted with the challenge by the Danquah Institute to publish the entire list and locations of the 1,700 schools under trees it claimed to have eliminated in the last four years, Deputy information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, last week issued what he said was the first batch of list of schools the NDC government had removed from under trees.
Even before the nation is served with the second batch of list of the schools, the authenticity of the first list has been called into serious question by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.
Indeed, this reporter can also confirm that many of the schools on the list, which he had known for a long time, had never been schools under trees.
According to the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, its basic schools on the NDC government's published list of schools eliminated under trees were never under trees, citing the Osu Presby Boys Primary, Osu Presby Girls Primary/JHS and Osu Salem '5' Primary as example.
Speaking to citi news, the District Minister of the Osu Ebenzer Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr Nana Opare Kwakye, explained that government only offered to renovate the schools, which were not under trees, insisting that the schools had had classrooms for a very long time.
“It was an existing building, not a school under a tree. Government only helped to refurbish the building by re-roofing and changing door locks,” he explained, adding: “The Osu Presby Cluster of schools are very old schools and most of the people in the church and community have come from that school, so these are not schools under trees”.
A retired educationist and a catechist in the Kwahu Mpreaso District of the Presbyterian Church, SD Amankwa, yesterday told the New Statesman none of the Presby schools on the list were schools under trees.
“The Presby Church never established a school under tree; we always made sure buildings were available. For instance, the list includes Kwahu Jejeti Presby Primary, but I can tell you that school which was established in 1951 had never been a school under tree. The government only put up a new building for the primary section, which is a basic duty of every government, because the building was old, but I can tell you we still use the old building for our church activities”, Mr. Amankwa stated.