Alongside this educational topic, I intend to write briefly on PEACE FM which is celebrating its 10th anniversary of its existence and operations in Ghana. But before I do so, let me quickly react to two sets of rejoinders which have been received since last Saturday through telephone calls and my e-mail address printed in this column.
The first set (containing four reactions) concerns the heading of my last week’s article which appeared as “Mills Revise Nkrumaism” The word “revise” was not what I wrote, since by its two interpretations, I cannot ask President Mills to ‘revise’ Nkrumaism, which is a downright impossibility; nor can I ungrammatically proclaim to the world that “Mills ‘revise’ Nkrumaism’ meaning to say “Mills ‘revises’ Nkrumaism” which is a funny postulate. What I wrote was “MILLS REVIVES NKRUMAIST MEMORIES” – watch the key word ‘REVIVES’.
I do not know why the word REVIVES eventually became ‘REVISE’ when it appeared in the newspaper. As an experienced journalist, I am inclined to consider this as an ‘editorial error’ which sometimes occurs in the press when a sentence or phrase is being tampered with, in order to replace it with a word to suit the short newspaper space. My heading last week was probably considered too long, and in order to shorten it to read; “Mills Revives Nkrumaism” it was mistakenly written or printed “Revise”.
The concerns shown to me by my readers who either complained to me or bitterly condemned the wording of the heading are acknowledged. We apologise, anyway!
The second set of rejoinders (they were three reactions) were somewhat parodic and derogatory in style probably meant to cast a slur on me. They were asking whether I have now become an NDC journalist writing in praise of President Atta Mills and his Ministers and his policies, and have thus become an NPP apostate, no more writing commendations about ex Prez Kufuor and Akufo Addo and their pronouncements.
It’s a pity that a few of my precious readers have not still discerned the philosophy and general style of this ‘Controversy’ column. Let me say it plainly that this is an ‘objective’ column – admiring and praising when a Head of state, Minister or public official does or says something which is good, and condemning such high profile personalities or their policies or actions when they go wrong. I did it to ex-President Rawlings who, to me, did or said very few commendable things and rather kept desecrating the sacredness of democracy.
I often easily “gave” it to him. But I often wrote in support of Prez. Kufuor, for his good policies, but when he began to err unforgivably, I ‘gave it’ to him too.
Prez. Fiifi Atta Mills has just assumed office, and despite the fact that we are Nkrumaist comrades of the erstwhile Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute, Winneba, and that we have similar political perspectives, I will criticize him when he errs or does or says something unpopular or unpalatable. In the same way, if comrades Akufo Addo or Paa Kwesi Nduom or PNC’s Mahama or any other official politically goes off the mark, this column will not tolerate that and thus will give it to him.
But if any of them does anything good, he will receive the column’s rich praises. The basic tenet of this column is objectivity – praising where praise is due, and criticising where criticism is due. I personally do not belong to any party, even though, as I have often said, I am a dyed-in-the-wool Nkrumaist. However some people who do not understand this terminology misconstrue it to suit their own political whims and caprices. But I don’t care a hoot about this!
Let me repeat that if Prez. Fiifi Atta Mills errs, I shan’t, in the least, hesitate to slam him, putting aside for a brief while all charismatic brotherliness and political comradeship spiritually existing between us. But fact is, even though to err is human, …. I can believe that his positive moral disposition won’t allow him to err so abjectly as to warrant my critical reaction. As I see, he is a peaceful, spiritually-inclined careful and honest man! God be with him!
Now to my brief argument about the curriculum (the array of subjects) existing in our basic education. Just talk to any Junior High School graduate, and ask him how much he knows about the “Big Six”; what parties fought for Ghana’s independence; where why and how was the CPP formed; how did Kwame Nkrumah, fight for independence, and the answers you will get will be mere gash – just rubbish. The JHS graduate doesn’t know what you are asking! In fact most of our modern-day students from the basic school to the university do not know about the elementary history of Ghana, and thus do not have rich appreciation of our culture, valour in war, how some towns were formed,the then lack of schools, hospitals, roads during the colonial era, how Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah fought for our independence and quickly built our educational, health, transport, industrial etc. infrastructure.
How can Ghanaians be proud of their historical and political heritage if they remain ignorant about events that led to the formation of our Gwana Empire in the south of Israel about 4000 years before Christ was born, and how Ghanaians moved to Egypt, Western Sudan and thence to West Africa to form the Ghana empire near Mali? And how Ghanaians dispersed in three groups: the presently- called Ewes to Togoland, the currently – called Gas to Nigeria and the greatest mass of Ghanaians called the Akans to Techiman, and other places down to the South of Gold Coast?
One can bet that the old Middle School graduates who did not attend Secondary schools are more knowledgeable about Ghana’s history than the present JHS and SHS graduates. When it is asked: why does such ignorance exist in our modern secondary school scholars, the answer one gets is that History and also Music and Civics etc. are treated as inessential subjects and thus categorized as one subject under the name Social Studies. But which subject – from Science to English Literature is not Social? Such dirty and bogus categetorisation like social studies, integrated science ( what about integrated art?) which was made in 1972 during Gen. Acheampong’s rule, under the auspices of Zdogo who was the Chairman of the Educational Reform committee, took away much of the verve of knowledge that admirably characterized the period before the educational change was prosecuted.
Can’t you see that most of our modern – day students do not know how to sing beautiful songs. Music is not taught at school! Students do not know the elementary tonic solfas – d,r,m,f,s,l,t,d’ and its reverse, from which beautiful songs are formed to be sung in treble, alto, tenor and bass. Is there any wonder to hear hiplife songs sung by sheer growlers, with ‘abochie’ unison voices? We must consider teaching History, Music and Civics in schools. (I shall revisit this theme in future).
PEACE FM ‘AYEKOO’
Just stroll along the streets or take a random walk behind a few houses in Tema and Accra or in the Central, Western, Eastern, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Northern Regions and you will hear “Peace Radio, nie 104.3” (‘This is Peace Radio 104.3’).
And if it’s in the morning of the week day, you will hear the rich voice of Kwame Sefa Kayi being addressed as ‘Chairman’ doing his Morning Show, with his panellists discussing some pertinent issues read from the morning’s newspapers in Akan (Fante and Twi). Kwami, sometimes humorously, sometimes seriously interacts with and manages his discussants very well. And his telephone calls to remote areas of the country to interview some officials on some burning issues, and the logic he uses to elicit some facts, all mark him out as a great broadcaster, who draws several intellectuals, students and illiterates to his interesting programme. His only fault is his frequent usage of the sentence “Yeeya no ntee se…” which is grammatically wrong. It must be “yeate se….. (we have heard that). Anyway, Kwami my heartfelt congrats for steering successful morning shows.
Kofi Kum Bilson who comes next after Kwame’s programme is an “angel’s incarnate”, who employs research, humour, oratory and linguistic flourishes to excavate and drive home his interesting “hidden stories” which were mysteriously unknown to many people, an act which appropriately makes him – the true “Minister of Anwawasem” (the Minister of Mysterious Stories”). Kofi’s fault is his predeliction for pronouncing sexual profanities which do not help to build the moral uprightness of the youth. Most of his “Agommea” “solute” sex stories are not morally healthy to his decent listeners. He must stop or change the style of such sex narrations. Kofi, I love your rattling of French and Germany. And I say “Gut Morgen” to you!
Mention also must be made of Nana Yaa Konadu, Odiahenkan Kwame Ahenkan, Afia Konadu and others who have made Peace Fm a famous radio station. To the humble, hardworking Managing Director, Kwame Despite, it’s ‘Ayekoo’ on the 10th anniversary celebrations of Peace Fm. God bless all workers of Peace Fm!
By Apostle Kwamena Ahinful