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GHANA RAPED OF ITS NATIONAL RESOURCES "– DANIEL OWUSU-KORANTENG




Daniel Owusu Koranteng addressing the gathering


President of KAWSEC Past Students Association, Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, says Ghana’s poor performance at the negotiating table with multinationals over the years has contributed to the prevailing harsh economic conditions.

He said by so doing, the destiny of future generations has been destroyed, stressing that, ‘most of the agreements are signed by the so-called elite in society’.

“Through bad agreements, our nation has been raped of its resources and by so doing, we have destroyed the destiny of future generations who unfortunately did not participate in the loot , neither were they part of the wrong decisions of those who have been educated to protect national interest.

“The so-called illiterates of our nation are not the people who negotiate and sign bad agreements that kill the hopes and aspirations of current and future generations of our nation,” he added.

Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng who doubles as General Secretary of the Maritime and Dockworkers Union, made the observation in a speech delivered at the 50th anniversary celebration of Nkawkaw Senor High School on Saturday.


Below is the full statement

SPEECH DELIVERED BY DANIEL OWUSU-KORANTENG (PRESIDENT OF THE KAWSEC PAST STUDENTS ASSOCIATION) AT THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF NKAWKAW SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL ON 9TH NOVEMBER 2019.

The Chairman of the 50th Anniversary Grand Durbar, Dr Emmanuel A. Opoku;

Hon. Eric Kwakye Darfour , Minister for Eastern Region;

Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II, Kwahuhene;

Nananom;

The Kwahu West Municipal Chief Executive

The Regional Director of Education;

The Kwahu West Municipal Director of Education;

The Past Students’ Association of Nkawkaw Senior High School;

The Board of Governors of Nkawkaw Senior High School;

The Headmaster, Teachers, Staff and Students of Nkawkaw Senior High School;

Parents and Teachers of Nkawkaw Senior High School;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Today marks a pivotal moment in the history of our great school, Nkawkaw Senior High School which is well known as KAWSEC.

I thank the 50th Anniversary Committee of our great school for honouring me with the privilege of being the Guest Speaker for such a momentous occasion.

Pondering over the theme of the Jubilee Celebration, “ Fifty Years of Contributing to the Development of Ghana Through Education for Service: A Milestone for Reflections and Projections” brings to fore the importance and relevance of education to national development.

As I stand before this august gathering to deliver the jubilee anniversary speech , my mind goes back to the days when I entered the then Nkawkaw Secondary School in 1970 as a poor 15-year old boy who had a burning desire to have education but lacked the financial resources to achieve my dream . I had gained admission in one of the secondary schools on the Odweanoma mountain but my mother, a widow with four (4) children was unable to pay for the school fees and the prospectus. I wept all the way from the top of the mountain until I reached Nkawkaw. I was readily given admission to Kawsec as a Day Student and that marked the beginning of my academic life.

I was not alone in my fate, because many of my classmates were from similar poor backgrounds. It was not by chance that this great school we see today, started with a humble beginning because the founder of the school. Rt. Rev. Victor Buer Titriku Nartey-Tokoli had a dream to bring together children from poor backgrounds to form the foundation of our Great School.

KAWSEC brought together the poor in society and nurtured them into well-trained and disciplined students imbued with the spirit of excellence and prepared to serve their nation.

The vision of the Founder of our great school which was supported by Mr Peter John Moss , a British Volunteer who later became an Anglican Priest in UK , found expression in the School’s motto, “ Education for Service”.

Today, the late Rt. Rev Victor Buer Titriku Nartey-Tokoli and Rev. Peter John Moss would be happy to see how the small seed they sacrificed to sow and nurtured had grown into a big tree to provide shade and comfort to thousands of people. It is said that immortality means being loved by many anonymous people. The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Nkawkaw Senior High School and the achievements of the school so far measured by its influence on many people immortalises the Rt. Rev. Victor Buer Titriku Nartey-Tokoli and his able lieutenant Rev. Peter John Moss.

Chairman of the 50th Anniversary grand durbar, Dr Emmanuel A. Opoku , our School has a rich history of excellence , discipline and dedicated service to our nation. Though Rt. Rev. Victor Buer Titriku Nartey-Tokoli and Rev. Peter John Moss are dead, those of us who had the privilege of drinking from the legacy and knowledge of “Education for Service” have never failed to pursue higher education with the aim of serving our great nation.

We would forever be grateful to the founder of our great school Rt.Rev. Victor Buer Titriku Nartey-Tokoli, Rev. Peter John Moss and the dedicated team of Teachers and staff for their great vision, sacrifice and dedication in the creation of opportunities for poor people to have access to quality and affordable education to serve their nation. We feel greatly honoured that Mrs Nartey-Tokoli , wife of Rt. Rev. Victor Buer Titriku Nartey-Tokoli and children are celebrating this historic occasion with us.

For us Kawsecans , we regard the Free SHS policy of the NPP government led by Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the renaissance of the vision of our Founder Rt. Rev. Victor Buer Nartey-Tokoli in creating opportunities for children from poor families to have access to affordable and quality education which was supported by Rev. Peter John Moss.

Chairman of the occasion Dr Emmanuel A. Opoku, every transformational leader must be remembered for something phenomenal and Ghanaians would remember H.E. Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo for many things but most importantly, he would be remembered for ensuring that children from rich and poor families have equal access to quality and affordable education.

Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Opoku, our school’s motto “ Education for Service” distinguishes us from other people and there is no doubt that our school prepared us to play our roles in various spheres of life to regard contribution to nation building as the primary objective of education . As a nation, we are endowed with natural wealth such as gold , diamond , oil , bauxite in addition to our human capital endowments but our grim poverty shows the disconnection between our intellectual endowment and our national development efforts.

The economic and social problems of our nation should challenge us to do a rethinking of making education relevant to national development by mainstreaming national orientation in academic curricula. Many years of slavery and colonial rule had eroded our nationalistic sentiments. I humbly suggest that there must be a conscious effort by the state to teach our citizens how to love their nation and this must start from our schools.

As we celebrate 50 years of education for service, I want us to be guided by the statement of the futurist Alvin Toffler who said that, “ The Illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn , unlearn and relearn”.

Chairman for this august occasion, our education can be relevant only if it serves the national interest and not the kind of education that turns people into elites who are ready to be subservient to the dictates of foreign interests. An educated person who has no ideological orientation towards his/her nation fits into the description of a “Colonial Gentleman or lady” who settles for less and causes maximum harm to his/her nation.

Through bad agreements, our nation has been raped of its resources and by so doing, we have destroyed the destiny of future generations who unfortunately did not participate in the loot , neither were they part of the wrong decisions of those who have been educated to protect national interest.

The so-called illiterates of our nation are not the people who negotiate and sign bad agreements that kill the hopes and aspirations of current and future generations of our nation. Sadly, highly educated people who are entrusted with the responsibility to be the eyes of our people-to see the things they cannot see; to be the ears of our people-to hear the things they cannot hear; and the mouths of our people-to say the things they cannot say are the people who sell our nation for a pittance anytime they have opportunity to protect national interest. They are normally people endowed with education to take decisions that will bring hope to a blessed nation like Ghana but they woefully fail to protect national interest.

We are quick to flaunt our academic laurels around but fail to show how education has empowered us to lead the crusade of nation building and protecting national interest.

The expectation of our people of an educated person is not the person who has mastered the language and behaviour of those who had stolen our heritage and resources, traded us as goods and continue to look down on us. The expectation is that, an educated person understands the importance of using the knowledge acquired to protect national resources for current and future generations. If our education does not empower us to bring hope to our people, then we have failed to be counted among the educated people of the 21st Century.

I share the view of Alvin Toffler that we can be counted among the educated people of the 21st Century only when “ we learn, unlearn and relearn “ to be relevant to this critical epoch of reconstructing our nation to build an independent and strong domestic economy through pragmatic and common sense models that would stimulate the potential creativity and spirit of ingenuity of our people .

Chairman of this important occasion, if education does not liberate and empower citizens to serve their nation, then education would create a pool of elites who are disconnected from their people. It is time for us to realize that technical knowledge without national orientation would not help our nation to reap maximum returns from the investment in education. An educated person who is not oriented to serve national interest, pose a danger to society.

This was the reason why the Rt. Rev. Nartey-Tokoli decided to bring together people like us, to be part of the educated people of the 21st Century who are empowered through education to serve our nation . This is what we are celebrating today and we shall forever be grateful to our Founder the Rt. Rev. Victor Buer Titriku Nartey-Tokoli, Rev. Peter John Moss and all the Headmasters , Teachers and Staff who have worked hard to keep the fire of “ Education for Service” burning in the 50 years of existence of our great school.

Chairman Dr Emmanuel A. Opoku , many of us entered this school as novitiates of life and left the walls of Kawsec armed with the spirit of excellence, hard work and love for our nation which are the tenets of our school’s motto “ Education for Service “.

Kawsecans have lived by the tenets of our vision and distinguished ourselves in many spheres of life including but not limited to Military and Police officers , Lecturers , Medical Officers , Human Resource Management , Trade Unionists , Nurses , Clergy , Traditional leaders , Journalists, Educationists, Public Servants, Parliamentarians, Businessmen/women , Bankers , Surveyors, and Politicians .

I recall that in 1974 when Kawsec had its first Speech and Prize Giving Day , I won the Prize for Literature in English . It never crossed my mind that I would have the honour of addressing a gathering of such high profile personalities on the 50th Anniversary of our great school . Even as this seems like a dream , I marvel at the energy embedded in our school’s motto of “ Education for Service “ which propels us to serve our nation without counting the cost .

Looking back , we are amazed at how Kawsec had transformed us to be useful to our nation . We are happy to congregate here to honour the vision of our forbearers . We have gathered here to thank God for giving us one of the most treasured gifts of our lives and that is Kawsec . But for Kawsec, our lives would have been empty shells.

William Shakespeare said that , “ We know where we are , but not what we may be” . Kawsec has defined our lives so we have come back to the foundation of our education to say that no matter where we have reached in life, we acknowledge with all sincerity and humility that, “It all started from Kawsec”.

Chairman, Distinguished Guests , some of us have been lucky to see the foundation of our great school and the achievements of Kawsec in 50 years of its existence.

We are lucky to stand at the junction of the past, the present and the future of Nkawkaw Senior High School. I can see our school producing great men and women of our nation, imbued with the spirit of nationalism and using their competence, excellence and the can-do spirit to serve their nation.

I have a vision that in the next fifty years, Kawsecans would be branded in gold as people who have contributed actively in lifting our nation from poverty to prosperity. This is my dream for Nkawkaw Senior High School in the years to come.

It is my wish that we live to see Kawsec at the pinnacle of its glory and making positive impact to the building of a prosperous society. Already, Kawsec has achieved so much in the 50 years of its existence with a tall honour list of Kawsecans who are contributing to nation building but we are not going to rest on our achievements.

Chairman for this important occasion, when we learnt of the interest of H.E. Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Nkawkaw Senior High School as expressed in his visit to our dear school on the 12th of October 2019 , we got very excited .

We are very grateful and happy about the interest that H.E. Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo has shown in our dear school. We want to encourage the President of the Republic of Ghana to invest in our school and he would never regret for investing in our school whose motto is “Education for Service”. We will do everything within our capacity to make the needed sacrifice to support teaching and learning so that Nkawkaw Senior High School would become a reference point of excellence in holistic education and education for service.

I wish to announce that the Past Students’ Association of KAWSEC has developed a plan to construct a Clinic and accommodation of the medical staff for our alma mater. We would need the support of government and everyone who loves KAWSEC in the implementation of this project.

Chairman of this august occasion, there is enough evidence in the 50 years of existence of Nkawkaw Senior High School that Kawsecans are trained to serve their nation. We are committed to nation building and our commitment is firmly grounded on the popular statement of Margaret Mead that “ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. We want to play our role to change Ghana for the better and this is our pledge.

Chairman of the 50th Anniversary celebration , Dr Emmanuel Opoku ; Hon Eric Kwakye Darfour ; Nana Akuamoah Agyapong II, Kwahuhene; the Chairman of the Board of Governors; the Regional Director of Education , the Kwahu West Municipal Director of Education ; the Past Students of Nkawkaw Senior High School ; the Headmaster , staff, Parents and Students of our great school, we wish to thank everyone for supporting the continuous development of our great school.

We pray that we meet again at the centenary celebration of our great school to celebrate greater achievements of KAWSEC . In the words of William Shakespeare, “If we do meet again, why we shall smile, if not this parting was well made.”

LONG LIVE KAWSEC

LONG LIVE EDUCATION FOR SERVICE

LONG LIVE GHANA

May God Bless us all

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