Friday, 28 February 2014

State of the Nation 2014

I’ve been silent. I know. I was getting my health back in check as I came down with another bout of Typhoid. This time it was from cauliflower…that I cooked myself. Cauliflower has to be cooked for more than 5 minutes and that heat resistant bacteria lives within the cresses. Needless to say, I won’t be touching cauliflower for a very long time. I also had anemia which was making me very tired and drowsy. And thanks to the wonderful support of herbalist Dr. Asare of PAMA health, yours truly is back better than before. I say better than before because being sick makes you more compassionate. At least, I became more compassionate during that period. I realized that I had to look at the world and individuals through a compassionate lens and not be as critical at people’s mediocre attempts.
My compassion leads me to the topic of today’s blog. I watched the State of the Nation address by President John Mahama on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. I watched it alone; not with hubby, the diehard patriot, but by myself. And I saw Mahama in a new light. Not that new; I always liked him. He laughs like my father. I like his father vibe..but I digress.
Mahama started the address with a bang…deciding to focus not on what Ghana has but who Ghanaians are as a people. I thought that was a great way to go. Ghana’s wealth is its human resource and if threatened, Ghana has nothing left. I like that. The speech was thorough, touching base on all aspects of Ghanaian society that needed a touch up, but Mahama failed to mention the FAMILY. The building block of all societies and the foundation for all countries. How could he fail to analyze and shine light on what has been happening to the state of family in Ghana? That parents are too busy to parent. That children do not see their parents until the weekends. That the cases of child molestation is on the rise? That the everyone is amazed at what children “pick up” from school because parents are not doing their jobs? That most parents do not know if their children ate or passed a bowel movement the entire week? That nannies, house boys/girls and drivers have been given the job as guardian while parents work. How is that not an important aspect of what is wrong in Ghana? How can children learn entrepreneurial skills if they spent their days watching television with nanny dearest? Who is there to guide their passions? Not the schools, as he mentioned, we need more qualified parents, passionate about their jobs and willing to show up for their children as often as they show up for work.  Honestly, I feel we need to stop blaming teachers for the state of our children. When did blaming others for not doing your job become acceptable? Parents and teachers are in a partnership. Teachers can only teach children who have received the foundation of love and support for the teacher to build upon. They cannot manage children who are acting out for the sole attention of mommy and daddy; no amount of money can solve that problem.
I felt Mahama confused physical buildings as schools. President Mahama stated the solution to rectifying the education problem was to build more schools. Seriously? There are no teachers! Does it matter if they are under a tree or in a building if no one is there to teach? Is a school in a building more worthy without a teacher than one under a tree with a teacher? Again, the priorities are lopsided.
The same goes for his presentation on hospitals. Buildings do not make hospitals. Trained health care professionals outfitted with equipment to save lives does. And right now, Ghana is lacking both.
I felt the conclusion of the speech “made mention” of me in a way. He stated that Ghana belongs to the many men and women who wake up every day to make sure their children get quality education and put food on the table. The men and women who are making this country go around; not by sitting back and complaining, but by being part of the solution. How did he know? Good news does fly. I felt he acknowledged all home scholers in that line.

Apart from the discrepancies mentioned, I loved the speech. I’m not saying he said anything new. He acknowledged the depreciating GHC; so did we. He “mentioned” everything we expected of him. I like that he mentioned ordinary citizens doing their part for the nation. He was jovial throughout, making jokes and cracking up everyone who understood him. Even with jeers and boos, he maintained a good disposition and demeanor. Go Ghana! Go GHC!