Sun, May

rodney nkrumah-boateng

    • Today, the railway station stands forlorn and miserable, peeled of its paint and beauty in as much as it is peeled of its former glory.

    In secondary school at Opoku Ware School in Kumasi, whenever I was asked where I lived and I said ‘Tarkwa’, it elicited wry smiles and comments either about the town’s gold mines or its railway station.

    • Experts agree that the right age is 4, and the law, under the Education Act 778 of 2008, which brought the KGs into the basic school stream, reflects this accordingly.

    One of the most nerve-wracking moments in every learner’s life is their first day in school, at whatever level of the education system.

    • Then perhaps the ‘pii porr, pii porr’ and the flashing blue lights of last week may make some sense, however much you may want to hold your nose in disgust.

    Last week, the presidential commissioning of 307 ambulances at the Black Star Square, in all its pomp and circumstances, was the climax of a long, drawn out process with quite a number of twists and turns and one false start.

    • I think that this year’s WASSCE results have been the most eagerly awaited of its kind in many years by parents, candidates and political watchers. The reason is not far-fetched.

    One evening in September 1985, my heart did a somersault and landed on my tongue as I watched the 7pm news on GBC-TV. The GCE ‘O’ level results had been released and candidates could check from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) the next day.

    • But the jewel in the crown was a brand new school gate, an edifice of magnificent proportion bathed in the school’s gold and blue colours, with a giant clock sitting atop.

    I was in Kumasi over the weekend for the 67th anniversary homecoming and speech and prize-giving day of my alma mater, Opoku Ware School.

    • If that process can and should be engaged, how is that different from a new voter registration exercise in terms of social distance and hygiene protocols within the context of COVID-19?

    It appears that all across sub-Saharan Africa, general elections are very much a ‘do-or-die affair’ with violence and allegations of rigging as part of the menu. In many cases, beyond the glossy manifestoes and the fine, high-brow speeches, the political parties run along ethnic and/or religious fault lines and ancient, deep-seated animosities easily light up with the spark of the ballot box.

    • It is said that Ghanaians are generally stubborn and that unless you apply physical violence, they will refuse to obey simple instructions or allow education to sink in. I do not share in this view.

    The dreaded coronavirus seems to have a mind of its own and keeps popping up in different parts of the country. In a space of one month, we have moved from two cases to 566 (as of Sunday evening).

    • We all feast on updates from other parts of the world, as well as the happenings in this Republic, from the imported cases to our preparedness to our public education campaign.

    This week, I had planned to write on something other than the latest, scary buzzword in town: coronavirus, a.k.a COVID-19.

    • The notion that a legislator is undeserving of police protection but suddenly becomes deserving of same when he is appointed a deputy minister is one I find difficult to swallow. I mean, ...

    The recent murder of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Mfansteman Constituency, Ekow Quansah Hayford, has led to predictable demands by the parliamentary leadership that MPs should be given personal police protection paid for by the state.

    • Apparently a committee of various stakeholders sent delegations to Rwanda to learn from a similar system in place.

    Many Ghanaians who are familiar with drones have encountered these wonderful little machines at weddings, funerals or other social events, where they hover in the skies capturing amazing panoramic views of the occasion.

    • The Free SHS programme remains the government’s most visible intervention in the past three years, without doubt. This has led many to complain that nothing is happening in the basic sector.

    Growing up in Tarkwa and Prestea, both in the Western Region, I attended the Tarkwa Goldfields Preparatory School and the Prestea Goldfields International School, respectively.

    • Now we are on course for the 2020 elections, and campaign has all but started.

    Written By Rodney Nkrumah Boateng - Ghana has had several bitterly fought general elections since independence. Indeed, even before independence, each of the 1951, 1954 and 1957 elections came with its own drama, with the Convention People’s Party (CPP) winning all three.

    • As a matter of public record, the Vice President, Dr Bawumia, has set these out in detail what the government has done and is doing. We can have a debate on the veracity of the claims that he has publicly set out.

    Written By Rodney N.Boateng - I am not a veteran of demonstrations, with only two under my belt after more than five decades on this earth. Looking back, I regret this and wish I could clock up a few more ‘demo miles’ to make up for the dearth.

    • If we cannot enforce these, then any new law will simply go the way of the current – beautifully ignored adornments in our statute books.

    There is talk of amending the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) to make corruption a felony, criminalise private corrupt acts and domesticate international anti-corruption conventions that Ghana has signed.

    • Many feel their MPs do not represent their interests and are in the house for their own needs. Of course, ...

    The last week or so has been quite a stormy one for the legislative arm of government, with news that the Parliamentary leadership is gearing itself up for the construction of a new, $200m, 450-seater parliamentary chamber.

    • If someone asked you to describe Ghanaians in one word, what would your choice be? Whatever word you would use, how did you arrive at that conclusion?

    I recall an interesting anecdote from many years ago that said an European academic had heard that Ghanaians typically answered questions with questions, so he decided to fly to Ghana to conduct some research into this.
    On arrival at the immigration desk at the Kotoka International Airport, he is said to have asked the immigration official, “I have heard that Ghanaians like to answer questions with questions. Is that true, please?”

    • It is a national disgrace that for so many years, the uncompleted concrete footbridges have stood forlornly and jutted out uselessly towards the heavens.

    Written By Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng - It was a hair-raising, time-consuming experience waiting to cross as cars sped by, and did involve a fair amount of calculation of whether an approaching car was sufficiently far away to make crossing safe.

    • The June 1982 abduction and subsequent murder of three high court judges and a retired Major (they were shot at point blank and their bodies set alight) certainly shook the nation to its foundations precisely because it was such a rare occurrence.

    Growing up partly on a diet of crime thrillers both on television and in books, it never occurred to me that one day, in this country, the idea of gunmen actually turning up in someone's home, office or car, pointing a gun at him or her and actually pulling the trigger would ever take seed.

    • I have one gripe that some may consider petty, but I think it is important that I rant a bit.

    Written By Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng -  In 1987, the Rawlings regime implemented fundamental reforms in our education system.

    • It was my maiden open letter to any ‘big’ person in this country, never mind one who occupies the top spot and oozes such power that he can sign a piece of paper requiring us all to stay home and we will have no choice.

    On Sunday evening, I began to pen an open letter to the President through this column.

    • While success can be exhilarating and put you on cloud nine, defeat can be crushing, especially when as an aspiring parliamentary candidate you have been given all the sweet assurances by delegates that it is a ‘cool chop’.

    Like any other electoral process, the NPP’s parliamentary primaries at the weekend produced both scenes of ecstasy and pain.

    • I am sure my romantic attachment to the language has something to do with the famed politeness of the Akuapem people, even when they are insulting you. This has been fortified by my forays into the cool climes of the Akuapem ridge,...

    Written By Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng - Of all the Ghanaian languages, Akuapem Twi is the one that tugs at my heartstrings the most and makes me swoon. It has a rhythmic melody to it that washes over you in a gentle way that simply makes you smile.

    • Too often, many of us forget about our kindergarten teachers, but I think we ought to celebrate them more.

    I have always wondered what it takes to teach kindergarten.

    • *They were placed in a school and on a programme and a residency status (day/boarding) that featured in their five choices.

    Let me begin with a sincere apology for my French leave last week and the week before from this column.

    • I have two simple questions. If we had won the title, would Ghanaians, bathed in unbridled euphoria, have noticed our eye-popping financial outlay involved in the tournament?

    In the 1970s, when I was growing up in Prestea, my father, who was chairman of the Prestea Mine Stars Football Club, took me to the local stadium on several occasions to watch the team play.

    • When effected, this will mean that with only a Ghana Card, any student can access the loan and apply some of it to these fees. On page 154 of the manifesto, we undertake to:

    Written By Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng - This week, my guest columnist is the freshly-minted Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwesimintsim, Dr Prince H. Armah, who is also the immediate past Director-General of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA).

    • The recorded assault of a Member of Parliament and another person believed to be his aide, by way of slaps, during last week’s parliamentary bye-elections in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency would trouble any right-thinking member of society and they are utterly condemnable and despicable.

     I do not recall being slapped in my adult life, neither do I look forward to such an experience.

    • In all of this, what I found particularly curious was the fact that in all the years he lived in the UK, Kweku did not seek and obtain naturalisation as a British national, ...

    Last week the Ghanaian news space got quite busy with the arrival back home from the United Kingdom (UK) of Mr Kweku Adoboli, who has been in the news for all the reasons I am sure he did not want.

    • Our country suffers from systemic corruption that is costing us a fortune, and many state institutions are too weak and compromised to deal with it in any meaningful way.

    On March 6, 1957, this country stood on the brink of a new dawn heralding a freshly minted independent Ghana, following Dr Nkrumah’s rousing proclamation at the Old Polo Grounds in Accra earlier at midnight. The Gold Coast had given way to Ghana.

    • He stated “there was a time when to rob a bank, you had to find a gun and a face mask. Today, you just set up your own bank and then rob it.”

    Written By Rodney Nkrumah Boateng - When I left university about a quarter of a century ago, I was confronted with the dilemma of what career to pursue. Initially I thought of the Foreign Service, and then the thought fizzled out due to a couple of practical realities.

    • Many of the parents at the square were ordinary folks whose children had not been successful in any of their five choices. And yet, they were determined that their children must go to school.

    Last week was an interesting, tiring and yet very fulfilling one for me. Monday marked exactly 18,250 days since I arrived on the surface of this earth and let out a piercing cry to announce my grand entry.

    • But as they say in football, it turned out to be a ‘suulia’, engineered by a suspicious Facebook post by the NPP’s Gabby Otchere-Darko, who some in the Minority swear is the de facto Prime Minister of this beloved republic of ours.

    Written By Rodney Nkrumah Boateng - The other day, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) announced the release of this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results.

    • Recently, this country has been agog with the news of a national cathedral to be built, but then that is quite typical of what passes for public debate in this country, where issues develop wings of their own and subthemes, gossip dressed as fact and outright lies ,,,

    Written By Rodney Nkruman-Boateng - I love cathedrals, and by this I do not mean any ‘two by four’ ones that do nothing to awe and inspire. I have been fortunate enough to visit quite a number of them in Europe, and have always been very impressed.

    • After seven years of legal wrangling, the Supreme Court has ordered the sale of the businessman’s assets.

    In the run-up to the 2012 general election, there was no child in this country who did not recognise the name ‘Woyome’. His name was incorporated into a song, to which people danced during rallies and marches and other political gatherings.

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