The West African Senior High School Examinations for 2015 started on March 30 with integrated science as the opening subject for sitting. I must say WAEC is really on top of exam malpractices. As I advised my students to learn and forget about cheating; “ap)” as it is popularly called, I couldn’t help but notice others hiding many things when they saw me.
They being uncomfortable told me of their mischiefs but they soon learnt their lessons when they got to the examination hall and realised whatever they were fed with were no ingredient in the pots of their papers.
Today, I heard from a junior brother that some questions were circulating on social media and they were believed to be authentic. I laughed wondering if some of the students have not learnt their lessons at the same time wondering if yesterday’s victory was a sham but WAEC again delivered to perfection. None of the questions in anticipation surfaced.
I would like to commend the exam council on the measures they are putting in place to ensure authenticity in the grading of students on the West African Continent. I hope this continues to help realise the true results of candidates who pass through the system.
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When we do something for a good cause, our consciences bless us even before God does. On April 2, 2015, there is going to be an Autism Awareness Walk from the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre at Kokomlemle to the Children’s Park at 8am. This initiative is by the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre. Knowing that April is Autism Awareness Month, the A. A. Opoku Doe Autism Help Foundation entreats all those who can make it, to make it a point to be there. I won’t say God will bless you but you know He will.
During the SADA rebranding, SADA Business and Investment Forum (SABIF) was born. Stakeholders and representatives from all regions converged at the Tamale Sports Stadium from the March 24 to March 28, 2015. The first day saw many youth mentors together to mentor many youths who came in their numbers. Many of the mentors came from the Barcamp Organisers in Tamale. Issues discussed were from education to challenges of the youth to opportunities for exploration in the Savannah among others.
Hon. Koh, a global development expert from Singapore, addressing the audience on the March 25, 2015 said, Singapore will buy anything Ghanaians have to sell provided it is of good quality, because they cannot afford to grow or make many things in Singapore, making them even import sand and will be glad to import from Ghana. He also mentioned that heavy duty cars tear up roads no matter how well constructed. He called on SADA to construct rails to help the goods get on the market cheaply. He also said skills need to be trained in order to help the system. Mr. Koh emphasized that SADA needs to identify their market before they start working. He added that there should be a look at integration; so the government should send some experts to places to study fishes which can adapt to the Ghanaian weather. He added that from grains, one can produce animal feeds, milk, powder etc. so Ghanaians should explore.
The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister said his area is the best place in the savannah because they have a lot of untapped resources. Even those who say they are broke have rocks and are in zones where shea nut picking abounds. He said the SADA project failed at first because young people were pushed there and getting money, driving huge cars and attending conferences were their main motives. He said they could revive the Burkina Tomato Factory but for the challenges they face. He also mentioned that they only have only one motorable road which is from Tamale to Paga. He mentioned that the bad roads affect business because all the cattle, onions, groundnuts etc. come from the Bawku road but it is so bad that it impedes on the growth of businesses. There is no free zone enclave so no one would bother to come and do business there because it would be more costly and there are no incentives but there are lots of tourists’ attractions
The representative of the Upper West Region said the Upper West Region was the last region created in 1983 and has a population of 700,000 people with 70% engaging in agriculture. Nine out of ten people in the upper west region, he noted, are poor. It also has health and educational challenges. They engage in millet, maize, sorghum etc. production, irrigation is their main problem because only four months out of the whole year give them rains. The representative also stated that, the Upper West Region has an advantage in international trade because they share a border with Burkina Faso. He also reiterated the fact that they need good roads because they are the least in terms of tarred roads in the country. He also said that there is the potential of producing a lot of cotton but there are challenges that need to be addressed. He mentioned the challenges of education and health; there are no doctors present so he appealed for help. He mentioned the need to promote environmental protection because most people are burning charcoal by cutting trees. He also added that there are many tourists attractions that need to be worked on to attract the tourists.
The representative of the Volta region said they have three take off points where paragliding is concerned whereas the Eastern region has only one but nothing is being done to generate income. She said that the Voltarians are vulnerable because the lands are fertile but water is a problem because the pipe borne projects have been abandoned. She also mentioned that Krachi is surrounded by water and so they should be able to have irrigation but because of poverty, they cannot do this adding Krachi is a fishing zone so they can also help in aqua culture. She mentioned that the new SADA is asking regions to tell them what needs to be done, this involvement she thanked the new SADA for. She appealed to SADA to get to the Volta Region to establish a stone quarry adding they are hardworking but they lack the basic resources.
Justice Agyei, representing the Brong Ahafo Region, said they are described as the food basket of the country, their lands are fertile and they produce about 30% of the foods in the country. He explained that they produce yam, cocoyam, cocoa etc. They have a lot of tourists sites, the only challenge is that they have not been able to develop them. The people, he noted, are very poor and they have not been able to raise resources to finance those projects. He stressed that many regions are able to produce a lot of cashew nuts but the people cannot afford to process them because of finances. He said he believes they can produced more than the 30% if they are given the needed boost. He appealed to investors to come in and help with instrumentations and help to process what need to be processed. He also mentioned the challenge of roads and that many are not able to transport their yams, cassava, etc. If they are able to beat the challenge of getting the machinery of processing etc., they can move forward in the right direction.
The northern regional minister said the northern region is the largest region in the country with 70 kilometres of the landmarks of this country. He mentioned that the congregants should have moved round to see the things for themselves instead of meeting to talk about them. He stated that his portion is to facilitate whatever it is anyone wants to do in the Savannah. He stressed on internal tourism and said many people in Ghana have not set foot in the Mole National Park. He added that the role of the engineer is very important and so are looking for engineers who would come in and help in building good and affordable houses to support the housing scheme here and it would cost 20, 000 cedis to put up a two bedroom apartment. Institute of engineers should whip up the engineering zone to help recruit many engineers to help grow the regions. He went on to state that some farmers do not have monies to buy tractors but others even have the monies and can’t get the tractors to buy. He appealed to Ghanaians to not let the white man’s view that if you want to hide something from a black man, put it in a book, be the case.
The Deputy minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Honourable Abla Dzifa Gomashie corrected that the ministry is not only about tourism but also about creative arts and culture . She said that shea butter on the market lacks the ingredients to improve upon it and the packaging is not the best. She said that every opportunity we get is an opportunity to sell what we have. She mentioned that even the music of the north was not incorporated into the programme and that is bad in its own right. She said the ministry under the leadership of Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare is ready to support in any way possible, perhaps not in monetary terms because government has been decentralized but in any other way possible.
Deputy Minister for Science, Environment, Science and Innovation, Honourable Bernice Adiku Heloo, was disappointed in the fact that the ways the baskets were woven twenty years ago have not seen any improved changes. She stressed that there is the need for us to innovate to attract investors emphasizing if we destroy the environment, we cannot get it back so we should make sure that the lands used are sustainable. She ended her speech by saying “Preserve the environment”.
Mr. Saani, a lecturer at UDS said that it saddens him that 60years down the line of independence, Ghanaians still need foreigners in order to develop. When the Koreans wanted to build trains, they sent their delegates to other countries to learn and when they came back, they built 36 trains, he said sadly. He noted that the basis of our development is to rely on technology, advising Ghanaians shouldn’t be looking at economic development in isolation. He suspected that the scientific community could be challenged to produce sustainable energy but we still have problems with energy. There was an exhibition of assorted products to crown the occasion.
Authorial note: Some entrepreneurs got sponsorship from the investors who were there at the end of the day. The decoration was simple beside the fact that too much food that even the stakeholders could not consume went waste leaving one wondering why rebrandings should come at high cost, all the drink ups and cocktails in evenings at fanciful places with kelewele and other chewables were unnecessary. If things continue the way they have started, maybe, just maybe, the birds who consumed our feed in huge monies and flew to Burkina Faso, might reconsider to come back and roost on Ghanaian trees until they produce our moneys with interest.
I decided to take a break from my laptop to see what my proud country’s television stations had for me.
I tuned in to METRO TV to catch a glimpse of the great match between our own Accra lads,Olympics, which now has ‘Olele’ (our forgotten goalkeeper) in goal post against the herdsmen from the North who are striving for a place in the league. It was an eyesore.
I’ve glued myself to foreign soccer that just watching them play I remembered those days when I used to play football behind that old woman’s house who used to chase after my friends and I. They played the same way just like us, no professionalism. I wondered if it was really future National team players who were at play.
Getting frustrated, I tuned to Adom TV to watch a local movie which will take the pains and sorrows away. After all, rumor has it that our local movies keep the dead alive through laughter. But to my surprise,after ten minutes of watching, my sorrows got to another higher level. Everything about the movie was disgusting.
TvAfrica had this preacher on and I am not a fan of media preaching so I skipped. Tv3, my favourite station had the repeat of the audition of Ghana’s Strongest which took place in Tamale. I wasn’t interested so i skipped for my muscles cant even lift a half filled gallon of water.
Gtv,the station of the nation had one of it’s irregular programs on display.
For the three Crystals, their programmes are always predictable even without the programme lineups, local movies on one, preaching, more like for money on another, and talk shows on the other.
KTV and TopTv which I don’t get clearly got me angrier and wondered what is happening in my country.
UTV the station of the people, the station almost everyone likes didn’t have anything better to offer. Just another documentary which wasn’t interesting one bit.
Indeed,frustration built inside gradually. I thought my country could be my line sort of happiness but i was wrong. It worsened the woes and I don’t think I’ll forget it.
Just then I remembered I had a phone with a whole different genre of music. I took that option and to my uttermost surprise music was doing me good.
I had betrayed the friend which had been with me all these years. I also remembered for sometime now,”music has been my only escape from all the bullshit in life.” What a bad friend I had been.
Aside everything, music helped me to be where I am now. The bond between music and me is stronger than the covalent bond. If you feel neglected and all is lost I’ll be up counting my demons,I’ll be singing out loud to keep myself alive.
Music has been my only friend through my rise and fall. Music, I thank you for being there for me.
I wore no clothes
But came to be worn by air
Every visiting day asked me to shed
And wear thoughts of the older
And these thoughts keep getting colder
Mamaa! I only need a smooth sail
Why must I wear a whipping tail?
Papaa! Like one you knew existed,
Couldn’t you have kept me in your waist wallet
And helped me shine like a starlet
While being my blanket?
I am now a socket
Although sometimes I turn plug
And other times I turn power
This whining conscience cracks its house
And I’m mostly left like a scared little mouse
Why does the canoe mostly survive while arms drown?
Isn’t arms the carver of canoes?
Plunging plagues pun prying brains
Answers may dance as my spirit hovers over my expired bottle
Sad, I might be gone
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015
(I ask for permission to rest for a while following the launch of my book. I will be back soon but to keep you entertained in my absence, Gerald will help by giving you his thoughts on this platform. So please welcome Gerald and his thoughts as you did welcome me. Again thank you for your visits on amoafowaa. Blessings.)
(Happy World Poetry day! Hope all poets found the day creative and all poetry lovers who visited amoafowaa.com were fulfilled. My way of saying I am drawing my curtains for the day from my side of the world. Thank you for visiting, I hope you come more often)
(This poem is for all those women who think themselves superior to men. Be yourself, love yourself, fight for respect with hard work and good deeds but never think of disrespecting men, they too are humans, humans we deliver and so must cherish)
(Today is World Poetry Day. Let me start my day with a walk with my president. I love and respect the headship because he represents Ghana, my motherland. When things go wrong, writers have the pens. And this is how I choose to use mine today)
Nothing is by mistake
I would’ve said by mistake,
You were chosen to follow,
Then by death’s mistake,
You were chosen, after being pursued, to lead
A young shoot leading a mountain
A star leading suns and moons
A small star ruling the sky
Interesting and all eyes were keen in watching
Many thought your small light
Will make it easier for you to zoom in on the sky
And I can’t say you have not tried!
But then you took on corruptive fireflies
Fireflies hungry to feed
And many see you as one yourself
As for me, I have no voice in the matter
Whether you gathered and others stole
Or gathered and stole with them,
I am no witch to know, so I won’t judge
But all blame heads if legs and hands rebel
Stars can’t shine brighter than the moon
Or sun, that I understand,
But must that be taken literal?
If promises developed long running legs
From your abled-mouth,
Must “dum” accompany your eyes to see?
Upon our walk, we stumbled on a SADA stealing
Upon our walk, we stumbled on a GYEEDA stealing
Upon our walk, many mouths have been shut by failure;
With dum, how many enterprises can stand on weak kwashiorkor legs?
That rumours walk in whispers
Of your familiar richness
Is one of the scary hushnesses
A walk with you has seen many striking deaf and dumps
If even they heard or saw enough to strike
Then which good annals will have your name in ink?