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Opinions of Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Columnist: Ali, Prince Justice

The marginalization of sissala east district

in terms of education again

Education has been universally acknowledged as the greatest and most effective panacea to human civilization, emancipation and development. Nelson Mandela (R.I.P) for instance views education as the “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” whiles John Dewey, a former American philosopher and educational reformer underscored that “education is not preparation for life; education is life itself”. However, when one takes a critical overview of governments’ (both current and previous) commitment to ensuring and promoting accessible and quality education in the Upper West Region, it becomes apparent that most often than not, the region has consistently been marginalized and deprived in very unacceptable ways. Out of the over 500 Senior High/Tech. Schools (SHSs) that currently exist nationwide, as few as 20 SHSs (which is 4%) are in the region and out of the about 40 Teacher Training Colleges across the country only 2 are found in the region. Out of the about 20 SHSs in the region, the Sissala East District which the most relegated among the districts (in the region), has only 2 SHSs - both located in the district capital. The district was originally earmarked for the location of the only university in the region, University of Development Studies (UDS) but for very mysterious and obscure reasons, it was denied.
Besides, most of the few SHSs in the Sissala East District and the Upper West Region as a whole are uninspiring and uncompetitive due to poor infrastructure such well-furnished libraries with up-to-date relevant textbooks, well-furnished laboratories with up-to-date state of the art equipment and chemicals, inadequate classrooms and teacher bungalows, poor lightening system, absence of fences around schools and very dramatic among these deficiencies is inadequate teaching staff to cover all subject areas especially technical subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and English language. These appalling revelations coupled with poor monitoring, evaluation and delivery have culminated in the abysmal performance of students in the district in recent times. Given the deplorable situation of education in the district, government must begin to build more SHSs, more teacher/nursing training colleges as well as addressing the numerous challenges and setbacks currently confronting and impeding the growth of education in the district.
Furthermore, communities in the district such as Walembelle, Nabulo, Mwanduonu, Kulfuo, among others, have been craving and making plethora of appeals to governments for more than a decade now, to provide them SHSs but governments have always turned their appeals into toothpaste for politicians to brush their teeth and canvass for votes. The illiteracy and poverty rates in the district are despicable and worrying and the intervention of government is most need in the promotion equality, affordable and accessible education in the district in particular and the upper West Region as a whole.
Given this unspeakable antecedence of systematic, continuous and conscious relegation of the district (and the region) to the background in the educational sector, the allocation of the government recently commissioned 50 SHSs project to the Sissala East District and the Upper West Region, is very astonishing, incredible and unacceptable. The allocation has further deprived the district and the region to the extent that the district is allocated none and the entire Upper West Region is allocated only 1 SHS (out of the 50 SHSs) as the other regions’ allocations are as follows: Ashanti 4, Brong Ahafo 5, Central 8, Eastern 3, Greater Accra 5, Northern 10, Upper East 6, Volta 4 and Western 4. It is lamentable that the 50 SHSs project which is a good opportunity for the government to address its educational infrastructural deficits and indebtedness to the district (and the region), it has rather exuberated the imbalances and marginalization the district has been suffering.
We the Young Democrats of Sissala East is therefore making a humble appeal to the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama to ensure that the Sissala East District which suffers much the deprivation in the Upper West Region in the educational sector, gets fair share of the government educational project which was commissioned recently to build 50 SHSs across the country. Moreover, furnishing the 2 existing SHSs in the district with adequate infrastructure and logistics to meet the standards of modern educational facilities and structures would be much appreciated.

Written by: Mr. Prince Justice Ali; Director of Communications of Young Democrats
Cell: 0204803328
Email: princejusticeali@yahoo.com