Ghana’s Second Lady, Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur shocked a gathering of the chiefs and people of Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region when she turned down their request for her to convince the government to among other things provide them with chalks.
The Headmistress of Kukurantumi Presby Primary School, Mrs Juliet Oppong, who was expressing gratitude to Mrs Amissah-Arthur for presenting five sets of computers to the school, appealed to her to communicate to the government to provide some “basic” items like logbooks for teachers and chalks which, she said, were in short supply in the school.
“The elderly say if you want to communicate something to God, you say it to the wind. We are therefore requesting of you to tell government to try and come to our aide with these things which are in short supply in the school…,” Mrs Oppong said.
Her request, however, did not go down well with the Second Lady, who instructed that the school makes arrangements to acquire items like chalk on its own.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur urged the headmistress to tap into the school’s alumni base to secure assistance in providing basic educational materials, adding that the government cannot provide everything for schools.
“The Head teacher has shocked me…she said you lack chalk and log books...I am very shocked that you are today asking me about chalk...how much is a box of chalk…I won’t give you chalk today, I won’t give you chalk tomorrow.
“I will not give you chalk today, neither will I give it to you tomorrow. You have teachers; you have the PTA, go and buy chalk for the school,” she fumed.
“The head teacher has shocked me. So if the government has provided free school uniforms and it is not up to the number your school needs, can’t you look for other alternatives to provide these items?
“You also mentioned that your school does not have chalk, log books; all these are not expensive. The government provides all these teaching and learning materials but sometimes, it is not enough for all the schools across the country.”
She argued that schools are made to set up Parent and Teachers Associations (PTA) to support government’s effort in the provision of logistics for schools. “All they have to do is to gather a few resources to buy their logistics for the school,” she added.
“I will even feel shy to go to Accra and call on the government to come and provide chalk...it would be very difficultfor me to do so…,” she said.