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Opinions of Friday, 29 November 2019

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

You can’t blame gold-footed Zanetor

Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings

She is in politics not because she has any remarkably distinguished herself, but merely because she is the daughter of the bloodiest and longest-ruling dictator in Ghana’s postcolonial history.

She also had her political albatross father, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, break a few legs among the National Democratic Congress’ party chiefs, as well as twist the arms of some lily-livered Supreme Court jurists, to have the legitimately earned parliamentary seat of a former minion of the bloody chairman’s literally commandeered and handed over to her on a diamond platter.

Her Klottey-Korle Parliamentary Seat is thus far less deserved than the posts of those Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) that a democratically responsible President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been fiercely and healthily fighting to have directly determined by popular franchise.

You see, Dear Reader, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings also never really struggled to get admission into any of the elite government-supported secondary schools in the country, not also having attended any publicly sponsored middle or junior high school in the country, so it is not clear but quite understandable that Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings would come by the criminally asinine idea that a fee-free Senior High School policy initiative is the practical equivalent of the unconscionable and irresponsible production of abjectly low-quality graduates (See “Free SHS Will Reduce Quality of Graduates – Zanetor” 11/24/19).

The Dublin-, Republic of Ireland, schooled physician is reported to have made the foregoing statement, widely attributed to her by the media, at a handing-over ceremony of the Tertiary Educational Institutions Network (TEIN) of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the newly created fictive Republic of Western Togoland (Lol). Needless to say, the latter geographical location is about the only place in Ghana that any robber-baron-descended politician can dare to facilely make such a scandalous statement. The Klottey-Korle kleptocrat’s daughter was also quoted to have made the following blasphemous observation about the Akufo-Addo-implemented fee-free Senior High School system: “It’s not only about education, it’s about quality education.”

Well, maybe somebody needs to remind this brash and brazen political upstart that for most of the 11 years that Chairman Jerry John Rawlings Rawlings extortionately dictated governance policy to Ghanaians, as the maximum “revolutionary” leader of the so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), most of the country’s colleges and universities were on a Rawlings-imposed vacation, as Chairman Rawlings studiously capitalized on the least demonstration or protest by students against his anti-people and anti-intellectual policies to shut down these sacred citadels of our brain trust for as long as it satiated his ego and those of his cronies and toadies. You see, Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, that was what “quality control” of Ghana’s public education, especially at the tertiary academic level, meant to your beloved father, The Chairman, and the PNDC Abongo Boys and Girls.

To be certain, the situation was significantly no better under the 8-year faux-democratic tenure of a slyly and megalomaniacally civilianized President Jerry John Rawlings. Zanetor may also do herself and her Amen-Corner of supporters and Rawlings fanatics great good by comparing the per-capita investment that her own father infused into Ghana’s public education system to the current public-education investment “executed” under President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and then tell the rest of the nation and the world which of our Fourth-Republican leaders has best shown greater or better appreciation for the meaning of a qualitative public education, that is, Chairman Rawlings or Nana Akufo-Addo? The Klottey-Korle “parliamentary cannibal” also needs to be reminded of the fact that it was the John Dramani Mahama-led regime of National Democratic Congress that summarily and unilaterally abrogated the age-old Nurse- and Teacher-Trainee Allowances, which were only restored with the civilized, progressive and visionary election of President Akufo-Addo.

That is what Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings and her double-salary drawing operatives of the National Democratic Congress mean when they talk about “providing quality education for [Ghanaian] schoolchildren.” At least the Double-Track System provides equal opportunity for every able-bodied and/or qualified Ghanaian child to access the taxpayer-underwritten tools of intellectual and vocational skills training which, of course, is the inalienable right of every school-age child.

And if she also cared to look at the global rankings records of our public-school system under the tenure of the Mills-Mahama regime of the National Democratic Congress, as published by the prestigious UN-sponsored and Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings would have realized to her complete shame, that is, if she really has any sense of shame or good conscience, that less than five years ago, Ghana was ranked at the very bottom on the ladder of global public education.

But, really, who expects the largely foreign-educated Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings to even half-appreciate the apocalyptic damage done to our nation’s public education, in the dubious name of “revolution,” by the former Flt-Lt. Jerry John Rawlings?

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York