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Opinions of Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Columnist: Aikins, George

ADISCO: Headmaster's Image On Letter Head

Very interesting times indeed in Adisadel College; why? Shareholders are being sought to buy shares in the school which has been bought by the current headmaster. He owns 98% shares and the remaining 2% are being floated in the open market for investors; that’s why he has the rare temerity to advertise his egoistic image on the school’s Letter Head. For the first time in the history of the school, a sitting headmaster has managed to “acquire” an honorary “doctorate” degree (so he claims) in Divinity through the A.B.U. (American Bible University), a program offered online via the magic of internet. Ordinarily, obtaining an honorary doctorate degree shouldn’t be News but this cheap way of short-changing the world of academia has become a topic for discussion because the expenditure that is being put in this fictitious honorary degree for advertisement alone is scandalous and outrageous. According to Henry Miller “All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience”. So, what do we see here?

It started with the invite to GTV on 15th Dec.2012 at a ceremony that took place held on the premises of the college. It was followed by two full pages of advertisement in the Daily Graphic and the Daily Guide. How much these advertisement cost could be anybody’s guess. The disingenuous aspect of the adverts is the accompanying statement that the Management, Staff and the Student body congratulate the headmaster on his acquisition. That’s a tremendous and palpable lie. If it’s true, why no such congratulations from the supreme body of the college-The school Board. Investigations show that the bodies mentioned above were only informed by the headmaster himself. Thirdly, by way of popularizing this so-called award, banners were hanged across the college street with the images of the headmaster masterfully displayed in the order of how the headmaster had moved from being an ordinary teacher to being a “chief”, a “Reverend Minister” and now an honorary “doctorate” degree holder. "Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage; the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards."- John Mason Brown. Why are you bent on making yourself glitter where you lack the capacity? You now qualify to join the OPAMBOURS AND THE OBINNIMS? Eei! Dr. Opambour Obinnim Graham.

Now a critical look at the various accolades he has conferred on himself. A teacher, yes he was and now a headmaster but not until he had suffered a demotion as a senior housemaster to an ordinary teacher. He claims to be a chief, who made him one and where does he exercise such authority? It is only in Adisco that one is likely to witness such bizarre stupidity; if one is inducted into office as a headmaster of an institution, how does that person metamophorsize into a chief, even to the level of acquiring the accoutrements that go with being a chief. The only thing he is left with is a palanquin. As for being a reverend minister, the least said about it the better because “any idiot can go court”. Should he be addressed as a doctorate degree holder? A big no. Doctorate degrees are not earned on Herod’s silver Plata. If he wants to be called a doctor he must work for it. Pastor Mensa Otabil and others who bear this title have proven beyond all doubts that they deserve it and not this vindictive evil dwarf who now calls himself Rev. Dr. Nana. Graham. King Solomon once said that all this is vanity. Is this man a true man of God who will not leave any stone unturned just to collect worldly accolades as if there is no tomorrow, and probably believing that the gateway to heaven is by titling oneself?

This is not all, on entering Adisadel College through the east gate from Accra, one comes face to face with a huge image of the headmaster hanging on one of the school buildings, a replica of what appeared in the Newspapers. The question is how much did all these adverts cost? The sad situation is that a school like Adisadel College does not have street lights, yet the headmaster’s priority is a doctorate degree advertisement. How can the teachers and the students go to the campus to learn at night? I can foresee what will happen at the Speech and Prize Given Day; he will take the opportunity to tell everyone why he must be called “Dr.”Graham. My only consolation is that this is the last year of my son’s stay in this God forsaken school. Mr. Kwesi Graham, the best way to advertise yourself is to display your images all across town and sponsor sporting programs like the AFCON. I am aware you only give positions in the school to people who introduce you to their churches where you are giving the chance to preach thereby popularizing yourself. But Mr. Achiever, can’t you use your own church to achieve your aim? Listen to that wizard of a writer-William Shakespeare “Who knows himself a braggart, let him fear this, for it will come to pass that every braggart shall be found an ass.”

The most serious bastardization of the system in recent memory however, is that this over- ambitious headmaster HAS PUT HIS PICTURE ON THE COLLEGES’ LETTER HEAD. Ha! This is incredulous, unbelievable and smacks of an individual living in his own world not knowing exactly what is happening around him. As a parent and a teacher, I wonder what in the world has happened to this great school that, though not an old boy, admired so much. My links to this school through the Anglican Church is still formidable but I must say to you Mr. Graham, stop this behavior; it is disgracing enough, not to talk about the international embarrassment. This is village boyhood behavior and mentality.

Thinking aloud, it beats my imagination that even those schools that were established by individuals such as Sammo Secondary School and Central University just to mention a few, don’t and cannot by established convention place their images on school Letter Heads, how much more a government assisted school with a proud history of genuine stakeholders who have sacrificed their time, energy and resources to bring the school to this level. If Mr. Graham by virtue of being a headmaster thinks he should be called a chief and have his image on the school’s Letter Head, what then should the Sam Jonah’s (generic sense) do? The school should be willed to them.

The old adage says that if one sits unconcerned, foolish decisions and policies affects him. Adisco old boys have sat down for far too long and now the normal grass has grown into a forest. THE GOVERNMENT OF GHANA, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, THE GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE AND THE SCHOOL’S BOARD OF GOVERNORS, SHOULD ACT NOW. Anyone who receives an honorary degree should not even brag about it because it is one common thing these days, not to talk about a fake one. Rabbi Kwesi Graham no no, oye kurasinyi basaa. (Kwesi rabbi, you are still the same village boy I know from Tarkwa.) I leave you with this.” BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE: REJOICE IN THE WAY THINGS ARE.WHEN YOU REALIZE THERE IS NOTHING LACKING, THE WHOLE WORLD BELONGS TO YOU.” ? Lao Tzu

By George Aikins; A Very Worried Parent