A Great Tree Has Fallen – Professor Andam is Gone! (as published by Obeng Mensah Richard)

It has been said that Men die but once, and the opportunity of a noble death is not an everyday fortune. It is a gift which every noble spirit prays for. An individual whose aim was to assist in the development of a nation, if left to the wishes of human, should not die at a tender age, but when life was planning; death was laughing at it. Besides the wish of humans is not the wish of God and death. The greatness of most great men is seldom felt in their life time; but their great works are reflected in the background during their eternal rest.

Humanity, especially well meaning Ghanaians was thrown into a state of despair when the unexpected news, Prof Andam’s passing was released into the atmosphere on the fateful Friday, 14th December, 2007. Death finally succeeded in laying its icy-hands on the noble professor. Indeed, even inanimate objects were not only very motionless and flabbergasted but also felt great sense of irrecoverable loss. Some of us still find it very difficult to accept that Prof. Andam is dead. The truth however is that that spectacular technocrat and God-fearing man have really joined our ancestors in the spiritual realm. The scientific luminary and icon has unexpectedly departed from the midst of the living. Indeed death has robbed us of a precious gem. Indubitably, a great tree has fallen; the nation has lost an achiever, a fearless, candid, lucid, sympathetic, charismatic, the down-to-earth and a God-fearing man. Oh! A BIG ‘GIANT’ is gone.

Professor K. Andam did not only transform the institutions he lead but also touched scores of lives in a positive way. Space will not allow us to tabularize the numerous reforms and infrastructural developments Prof. Andam’s administration accomplished on KNUST campus and beyond. In spite of the above, posterity will not forgive us if we blindly refuse to point the most noteworthy and novel policy of Prof – the less endowed senior high school admission programme. This affirmative action programme was introduced by the ‘Geat Iroko tree’ to facilitate the admission of students from the senior high schools with poor academic record, especially those located in the remotest areas of the country. Through this human face policy thousands of youth who would never have make it to university in this day of avowed fee-paying syndrome and strict admission requirements; have now found joy for their souls. These students will no doubt serve as sources of hope and inspiration to their family members and prepare a brighter future for their descendants and several generations that will come after them. This exemplary paradigm is something that all our leaders should take a lesson from- their decisions should embrace the needs of the poor, vulnerable and the downtrodden in society. Prof. Andam! Indeed is an impressive hero. He has truly illustrated that one does not become great by doing extraordinary things but by doing ordinary things extraordinary.

Prof. Andam’s unexpected death once again affirms the biblical truths that, ‘to everything there is a season …a time to be born and a time to die’-Ecclesiastes 3:1-2. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living (Romans 14:7-8). We therefore have consolation in the LORD that Prof. is resting in the bosom of God. He has completed his tasks. Though you are gone, we will always reflect on your great works and priceless service to humanity. REST PEACEFULLY.

Prof. Chen to go.

Below is Tuesday’s news item as published on MyJoyonline concerning Prof. Chen’s termination.

A visiting Canadian lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Steve Chen has been fired for expressing his views about the University.

His appointment was terminated following statements he posted on his web site that appear unfavourable to the University.

Prof. Chen told Joy News that he questioned the rationale for spending huge sums of money on expensive cars instead of stocking the university’s library.

According to him the Canadian High Commissioner visited the school and was appealed to for assistance by the university authorities.

Meanwhile the High Commissioner, he noted drove a car half the price of the vehicle used by the University’s administration, something he found incomprehensible.

The Associate Professor expressed disappointment at the situation, saying he thought there was freedom of speech in Ghana and so did not understand why he was victimized for expressing his views.

He stressed that he would discuss with the Canadian authorities the manner in which Canada’s aid is being applied in Ghana.

However the University authorities have denied sacking Prof. Chen

The authorities explained that the Professor’s appointment covered only one semester adding the University decided not to renew his appointment because there were other lecturers who could teach the course he taught.

Prof Chen on air over his termination of appointment

A Canadian lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Steve Chen has been fired for expressing his views about the University on the internet. Below we present what he wrote in his blog

Cars that bug me

Friday, February 8, 2008
(In Author: Terri, Thoughts & Ideas) Back home, there are few things that bother me more than seeing people drive SUVs in the city. They’re little more than gas guzzling air polluters. Why anyone would need them to navigate perfectly smooth concrete is beyond me. I’d be interested to look at the percentage of SUVs that actually make it off road.

In Ghana, the road conditions are a little harsher, so I understand when rich people want to buy SUVs. However, it still irks me to see all the SUVs (really expensive ones) on campus that are purchased with non-private dollars. Few people I’ve asked can say exactly where the money comes from, but most suspect it’s either the university budget or the GET (Ghana Education Trust) Fund money. In addition to what I consider to be unnecessary spending of Ghanaian tax payer money, I’m concerned about the link to Canadian tax payer money. (Forgive me yet again for being Canadian centric on this post.)

Canada reportedly contributes money directly to the Ghanaian government’s budget. According to the Government of Ghana’s website, direct foreign contribution makes up roughly $350 million of their budget. In turn, the Ghanaian government funds things like the GET fund (according to the GET website) and universities. I don’t like the thought that Canadian tax dollars might be used to buy luxury SUVs to shuttle administrators around campus. (The argument that they need these luxury SUVs to travel afar in nasty road conditions doesn’t hold much weight with me. If that was the case, the Land Cruisers would be spotted much less often on perfectly paved campus roads. Also, why does everyone need their own Land Cruiser, why can’t they share and sign out the good car for the long journeys? Is that the cost of attracting top talent?)

If Ghanaians are okay with their tax dollars being wasted, that’s for them to decide. As a Canadian, I’m annoyed at the potential that our tax dollars are coming here to get wasted in the same manner. When we first arrived, there was an article on the UCC website reporting on the Vice Chancellor’s meeting with the Australian High Commissioner. A request was made for the Australians to assist in medical training as well as to drill bore holes in the surrounding communities (in order to reduce the strain on the University water system — read our posts on the frequent water outages). From the webpage, I was led to believe that bore holes must be very expensive. According to a friend here, a bore hole will run roughly $2,000 USD. Now, someone please correct my math if it’s wrong. A Land Cruiser costs in the $65K ballpark, and a Jeep Grand Cherokee is in the $35K range. Instead of buying a Land Cruiser, they can buy a Grand Cherokee and save around $30K. Use the money to drill 2 boreholes for each of the 7 surrounding villages and stick an extra on campus for posterity. Or, do Australians want their tax dollars used to subsidize luxury lifestyles?

Forgive me for feeling offended by the luxury cars bought with public dollars. The Ghanaians I’ve spoken to aren’t nearly as offended — most don’t like it but say “that’s the way it is”. Any attempt to speak out against wanton spending will earn one the wrath of the rich and powerful. As a Canadian, if we are to directly contribute to anyone’s budget, I’d like a higher degree of accountability. Call me a grouchy taxpayer, but if our money is used for SUVs, I’d rather have a tax cut (or how about taking care of our own poor?).

UIC holds induction service for Rev. Anum

..The church building under construction was pregnant with guests. The colourful ceremony was greatly represented by groups and individuals alike from near and far.

Pressure is fast mounting !!

Registration for students ends tomorrow (Sunday). Finalist in the Faculty of Education will however have a grace period of one week to complete their registration process. The return students to school

Bronze at last

..

Ghanains gradually recovering from shock

The blow was certainly hard. The motto “host and win” was finally meaningless as the Indomitable Lions snatched the first-place ticket from the host nation- Ghana.

Following the match between Ghana and Cameroon was the cracker between Egypt (the current champs) and Cote D’Ivoire-  another hard nut.The final score line was far from expectation. Ghanaians had company at last ! The Ivorians ‘ humiliating defeat seemed to have consoled the mourning Ghanaian funs. 4-1 in favour of the Egyptians was unbelievable. Ghanaians could be bold to say they lost honourably. That didn’t erase the hurt of the previous game involving their home team.

The blame game started there and then. The over “20 million Ghana coaches ” started the postmortem. Criticism came from everywhere, ranging from the coach’s selection to the players’ commitment. Some were clearly at a lost as to what to say. Pain was scribbled on every forehead.

Analyzing present phone-in sessions on radio and TV speaks of recovering funs.

Our encounter with Cote D’Ivoire  awaits us tomorrow. What about “host and bronze”?