Feature Article of Saturday, 10 November 2012

Columnist: Yeboah, Raymond

Nunu Games: GES robbing school children in Sunyani

Ghana Education Service (GES) is a massive institution, bonded by discipline. So their activities must be recognized and accepted nationwide. The organization of any game that involves a title sponsor must be financed only by that sponsor.

Nunu, the milk producing company in conjunction with GES, organize sporting games yearly for the basic schools in some parts of the country. Anything that brings children at one place together is the best for their development, but this year's Nunu Games at Sunyani was no other thing than the robbery of the little school children of their money. If you look at this statistics after I have completed my argument, people will understand why I am sounding this controversial. At this year's event, Sunyani alone had about 57 basic schools that took part in the event at the Sunyani Coronation Park with each school child paying one Ghana Cedi (GH¢1) to gain entry to the stadium. You can only imagine the capacity of public schools in even one class; let’s say one Cedi each for a class containing 60 pupils.

GES must know that minors don't pay for any gathering they take part in, from infancy till now children gain free entry to any gathering they intend to participate in. That’s why the Ghana Football Association sometimes allow free entry for children under 15 years into Premier League matches. Also, public transport especially metro mass transport do not take fares from such school pupils. So how come GES who should know better, be using this Nunu Games as bait to rob the children? Nunu, as a title sponsor of the games, should take responsibility for every cost incurred during the event but not to put the burden on innocent children who I believe they were told to patronize the event under duress. Again, games of this nature which have title sponsor like Nunu, must have participation fees for the participating schools. So what GES and Nunu are doing is a pretext of robbing the schools.

My advice to these people is to learn from Milo Games organizers. I can't remember the last time a fee was charged at gate in Milo Games. I will entreat the sports ministry to come in and probe what GES and Nunu are doing with such huge money they get from the children.

The most annoying part of it is that after stripping the kids off all these huge amounts through gate fees, the winner of the event only gets a FRIDGE as their prize. That is plain insult, how much is the price of fridge?

I can convincingly state that, the first day of the games fetched the organizers almost 30,000 Ghana Cedis at the Sunyani Coronation Park and l understand they shared it equally, 50 percent each. So this Nunu Games must be completely abolished, they are killing the parents of these poor children.

One bad aspect of their poor organization is that, there is lack of security as the children have no protection at stadium. They are left astray, not even an ambulance is made available to deal with emergency situations at the stadium. We witnessed a child who collapsed at the stadium because of the heat. Nunu does not even supply the children some of their product as Milo does in their organized games.

A good citizen of this country, Sunyani based businessman, Raphael Cubajee is planning to summon them to court for certain claims which l believe we are all in support. They should come out to tell us who and who apart from GES are behind these games because many of the GES’ top hierarchy are tightlipped over this matter. I am done.