Nana Prah Agyensaim VI, Paramounnt Chief of Assin Owirenkyi
The Paramount Chief of Assin Owirenkyi Traditional Area, Nana Prah Agyensaim VI has condemned the situation where some SHS students pass their final exams with flying colors but are not able to enter university either because of no space or lack of funding to continue their education.
He said “there is no justifiable excuse to prevent brilliant students from entering the university because there not enough space or that the parents of those students are poor. That is a criminal waste of talent and a national sin.”
Nana Prah was speaking at a ceremony organized by Bayport Financial Service to present 10 SHS students with scholarships to cover the full cost of their education from now through university.
During the ceremony, a number of speakers told stories of students who have passed the WASSCE with flying colours but are unable to enter university either because of no space or no money.
Nana Prah, who was a former Member of the Council of State, lamented the way universities tend to raise the entry requirements so high to cut off several brilliant students who could become great people when given the opportunity.
“I entered university in London with a BCC grade in my ‘A’ Level – today I am a lawyer. But if had been in Ghana I would not have had access into the university and I would have probably been a labourer by now,” he said with a lot of passion.
Nana Prah said he had personally seen the results of some SHS students which are way better than his, when he was their age, but those children are unable to go to the university because of the reasons mentioned above.
The chief urged the managers of the education sector to think outside the box and start building tents in the universities to accommodate the brilliant students who would have fallen off the education ladder due to lack of space.
“It is expensive to build concrete structures to accommodate all these brilliant students – but we can get away from the old ways of thinking and think outside the box and know that students can be schooled in tents and they can still become excellent professionals,” he said.
Nana Prah lauded Bayport and other organizations that give scholarships to needy students but insisted that those philanthropic organizations are not government, and the ultimate responsibility of funding education lies with the government.
Touching on upbringing, he argued that the kind of adult a child turns out to be is solely the responsibility of his/her parents, saying that if the child become a good adult the credit goes to the parents, and if he/she becomes a bad person the blame goes to the parents.
Nana Prah therefore urged parents not to shirk their responsibility on teachers for the upbringing of their children.