So Precious!!

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Along the beautiful, winding road to the East


The easiness of the heart is like none but falling manna


Sure! That smooth curve is so perfect a shape, just like banana

Look! Beyond the edge lies the panorama of a savannah

My body, soul, and spirit worship the Lord for this creation

Who but Jehovah has perfectly established this nation

And so much more; the skies, the rivers, and mighty oceans

Thank God for perfect revelation, else a painful evasion

Indeed the Mighty One is only righteous

His mighty deeds are so marvelous

He parades great works so virtuous

Even my beloved so … precious!

Inspired by wonderful thoughts flooding through my mind as journey from Accra to Koforidua one weekend. later dedicated to Adwoa Amuah

ICT UNDERUTILIZED IN GHANA’s EDUCATIONAL SECTOR , THE CASE OF KNUST

This article is the original work of Nana Esi  Egyirba Amuah, a participator of the SRC genus competition held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana.

Background

t is evident that the information age is far advanced and consistently improving. There are the challenges, opportunities and the potentials in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Ghana for Education, Research and Development. Ghana’s ICT vision portrays the transformation of Ghana into an information-rich knowledge-based society and economy through the development, deployment and exploitation of ICTs within the economy and society. Ghana is ranked the fifth among the first and best ten ICT developed countries in the continent. KNUST has the ICT centre with about 210 computers running online which is open to student and staff use for a good number of hours of the day. There is also the wireless service on campus now and its active in all the halls at varying strengths. There is also the connection of the offices of lecturers and administrative offices onto the internet. But what percentage of the student population own laptops in order to enjoy the wireless? Many KNUST students don’t even know there is an ICT centre. Several faculties, colleges and departments have collaborated to benefit in the area of ICT facility. Students who discover the facility think they have to pay for it and hardly know fees for ICT is incorporated into their school fees. How much and to what extent do the students take advantage of the facility? How far have the students been benefiting? How many students and staff are computer literate? How effectively is the internet facility and pc skills utilized among teaching and non teaching staff? The general question is; how is Ghana especially the youth taking advantage of these technologies towards development as far as it is available so far?

IT can be seen to have at least six areas of complexity which were mentioned earlier as software, hardware, databases, datasets, procedures and knowledge of people. Hence it is no mean task to implement an IT project as many people think.

As compared to other tertiary institutions, KNUST has about one third of the number of pc facilities in Legon and as compared to other institutions, its better off,

Many secondary schools don’t use it.


Many homes don’t have pcs because they are beyond the budget of the average Ghanaian. The average university student cannot afford pcs. People own pcs for fancy sake and scarcely for seeking and development of information

Timing for availability of services is bad – within working hours in KNUST

We are in the information age and there is no doubt information is very vital in all spheres of our lives. The right information just when needed could solve so much problem

With this in mind, man thought of and made the computer, a device that serves as the prime machine in expediting the processing and distribution of information. The world today can boast of millions of computers hooked up onto the internet or as standalones.

Information Technology (IT) is all the software, hardware, databases or datasets, procedures and knowledge of people that are used in a way to satisfy requirements of an entity.

Ghana over the past few years has seen in-floods of hardwares and software of all forms but is seriously lacking a very vital aspect of IT, which is knowledge in IT. There have been cases where firms – small and large – made IT policies and went ahead to implement them. Unfortunately, these laudable projects more or less find their way in the wrong hands. Why am I saying this? Chief Executive Officers or people who have the power to initiate these projects mostly render their friends or loved ones the opportunity to take these projects up, and in most cases, these people may not be competent enough to handle these projects.

IT can be seen to have at least six areas of complexity which were mentioned earlier as software, hardware, databases, datasets, procedures and knowledge of people. Hence it is no mean task to implement an IT project as many people think.

The aforementioned factors and undue politics in initiating IT projects often cause these laudable projects to fail hence making people or end users have a bad perception about IT in general.

Elsewhere in the world, these projects are well implemented by the experts and it has resulted in cases where medical doctors can be assisting in operations in remote centres, lecturers instructing students on various University campuses at the same time, quick checking-in at train and bus terminals, but to mention a few.

The egocentric interests of some Chief Executive Officers have also contributed to these bad perceptions. In some cases, competent people could be found in the country to undertake these IT projects, but because of the selfish interest of some of these Chief Executive Officers, they tend to either bring people from other countries or use incompetent people. After the implementation, maintenance becomes a problem because experts are from outside or the project was poorly executed by non-experts. Looking at the bigger picture, much more harm has been caused than the purchase money which goes down the drain, and this basically creates a bad image for IT.

The knowledge of many in IT in the country is woefully inadequate and it is recommended that, IT be made a sole field of study at the higher level of education to help produce the requisite manpower to man the up-and-coming IT projects.

Furthermore, the few local experts in IT should be rendered the projects allowing for quality and relatively cheap project cost. This will also help in the building of the country’s IT capacity.


The above article is the original work of Nana Esi Amuah, a participator of the SRC genus competition held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana.

Ray Boltz. Truly Created So?

As one of his classics, “I Wouldn’t Go Back”, rolled in my very serene environment this last Thursday in the month of October-the second of such a month in the second leap year of the new millennium, I couldn’t help, but ponder over the latest and famous decision of its renowned author – Ray Boltz.

I started meditating deeply on his pieces with relish in the early years of my university education. My big brother, Clemence Fomevor- a young man with so much passion and zeal for the Lord had an album of Ray Boltz. It was captured “The Concert of a Life Time”. The exquisite lyrics of the individual tracks wove together beautiful twines, resulting in a very powerful and consistent theme. Of much interest was the concise and meaningful rationale behind the various songs to further give it a vivid impression. I could almost hear myself soliloquy, “where else could such an inspiration come from?” Of a truth out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

The faithfulness and love of God is nonetheless diminished by any act or thought of man. The joy of the Lord remains our strength.

The powerful introductory section of the Book of Romans provide such deep insight:

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.(NKJV)

55 year-old Ray Boltz has truly come a long way. We are still on our knees: trusting God to give him a deeper insight into the salvation concept and life of the believer.

Their last in Cape Coast

Time to go….

The 15 Julie\'s departure day

The Last Night in Cape Coast

The black and white pair stepped down from a rather rickety “trotro” (a lowcost commercial vehicle in Ghana). Their steps alone was ample evidence of the stressful day. They seem to love it though. After greeting me with a warm hug, they greeted the old lady of the house. “Maadwo” (meaning good evening in the Akan language of Ghana).

These two are part of a 15 member team from the United States of America with the purpose of joining the Ghana Fellowship of Evangelical Students (GHAFES) for SICE (Student in Church Evangelism) in the Nkwanta district of the Volta Region of Ghana. After a successful week stay in Kwame Nkrumah Hall, they embarked on a home stay with christian families on the University of Cape Coast campus. Kasey “Yaa” Alwood and Jonelissa were assigned to I East Hill Top, the residence of Dr. Peter K. Kwapong and family.

The mother of the house, Mrs. Lydia Kwapong, had to rush for a praise and worship meeting as she is committed leader of the team. She subsequently missed dinner. Daddy was however there to take up his position for the very insightful dinnner, which revealed great lessons through the sharing of experience especially on the part of our foreign friends.

Notable among the many insights was their peculiar challenges here in Ghana. Kasey was quick to point out the “food issue” explaining she loves to eat frequently in bits, but was compelled to take the whole bulk at a time back in the Sasakawa restaurant as they were encouraged to do so. Touching on the outreach programme organized at the University Interdenominational Church (UIC), Jonelissa compared it to the Jehovah witnesses in the state, stating emphatically it was quite weird in their setting.

Kasey loved the newly born bunnies and held them warmly throughout the evening. She actually planned spending the night with her newly discovered friends.

They saw me off the junction amidst hugs and little pleasantries. Indeed how beautiful it is to dwell in the creator’s love.

When all apears meaningless…

Time has unsuspectingly been flying consistently very similar to Ghana June’s unabatting torrential rainfall. It wasn’t until I took one of my long reflective walks along the University of Cape Coast’s brightly-lit main road towards the science faculty that I discovered my long-term plans were not going as ordered.

A lot has happened since I started my National Service (also coined National Suffering by a host of notorious Ghanaians). A good number of activities have certainly been done with relish: My impact with the kids and youth of the University Interdenominational Church, by God’s grace, has been awesome; remedial students, especially those resident at Kwame Nkrumah Hall, have received great guidelines and inspiration from Charles; My moves in GHAFES have equally been so fruitful; my service at the computer science department and computer center has yielded great gains; who knows what else…

The one question that had ripple effects throughout that week was the question from my boss: “What are your plans after service?”. It compelled me to think through my career path for a long while. I soon developed proactive ways of clarifying my priorities, needless to say that was short-lived. Resorting to my natural style of life seem to give me great fulfillment. It also seem to align me to great opportunities. Two will do for now.

It is typical of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) to train student missionaries. Part of this big group is the Ghana Fellowshiop of Evangelical Students (GHAFES). On hearing that a 15 member team from the United States of America has arrived in Kwame Nkrumah, I had no other choice than to contribute my time and resources to ensuring that they had the best of times. My personal interaction gave me a deep insight into several areas of lifes. The many radiant smiles which travelled across their rather smooth faces was really refreshing to me. Guiding them to the Elmina and Cape Coast castles was really emotional on their part, especially the Afro-americans. Analyzing and interpreting the various instances in a godly manner revealed a great deal of truths and assurances. With about two days more to join their counterparts else where for the village outreach (missions), there is no  two ways describing this period as a great blessing.

Seeing Prof Turkson at the computer center of the University of Cape Coast was certainly inspiring. He is one of the many members of UIC who challenge me continuously with his academic life. My task was to help him troubleshoot a problem he had with his anti-virus. Though my task was accomplished, the experience he shared and a suggestion to consider Central University College as part of career development and fulfillment of personal vision.

Don’t you believe it’s a beautiful thing to plan? I certainly support it. However when frustrations pop up here and there and life seem meaningless our mindset and style of living can always bring great relief to the heart. This I think is the creator’s natural gift to them who he created.

When all seems meaningless, always remember the “little” things in life possess priceless packages.

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.