The erstwhile Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), of which Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa was a Deputy Education Minister, fiercely and vigorously fought against the Akufo-Addo-implemented fee-free Senior High School policy initiative on grounds that it was fiscally impracticable. So it is scarcely strange for the North-Tongu NDC’s Member of Parliament to pooh-pooh the decision by the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to auspiciously introduce a Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) Program into the country’s basic school system, on grounds that this all-too-progressive policy initiative is “not based on our national needs, cultural values and priorities” (See “Sex Education: Wait Till Our Children Grow to Convert Your Cathedral into a Brothel – Ablakwa to Akufo-Addo” Ghanaweb.com 9/30/19).
Such cynical response from Mr. Ablakwa is inexcusably absurd, if also because at absolutely no time during their 8-year tenure did the leaders of the National Democratic Congress constructively demonstrate that they had any concern or awareness of the needs, cultural values and any priorities for the healthy development of the country. For instance, instead of progressively restructuring our basic and secondary school curricula to synch with pedagogical best practices around the world, especially to synch with what prevailed in the most culturally and technologically advanced countries, the Mills-Mahama Posse chose to distribute one-size-fits-all school uniforms, sandals – to selected schools in party strongholds – and drinking mugs embossed with the portraits of these faux-socialist NDC leaders. They would also resort to the widespread distribution of condoms and sanitary pads or tampons.
In other words, these self-proclaimed “culturally conscious” NDC politicians provided our schoolchildren with everything, except the primary learning tools which these children most needed to improve themselves academically, morally and intellectually or to enable them to meaningfully prepare for professionally and economically successful lives. But what is even more ironic on the part of Mr. Ablakwa’s decision to roundly reject the proposed visionary Comprehensive Sexuality Education Program is the fact that not very long ago, one of his own fellow NDC operatives, Mr. Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, the Parliamentary Minority Chief Whip, or Deputy Leader, I suppose, stood on the august floor of the House, with the staunch backing of the North-Tongu MP, vehemently insisting that the marital age for Ghanaian women ought to be pegged at as low as 14 years old, at least for some cultures and ethnic groups in the country. For those of our readers who may not know this, this is tantamount to statutory rape in most civilized nations. A Class-A Felony that is punishable by imprisonment.
Implicitly and unmistakably, Mr. Muntaka was making a special pleading for the male members of the Muslim community and predominantly northern-descended Ghanaian citizens to be licensed to rape the most vulnerable and relatively socioeconomically and culturally underprepared Ghanaian women. It would be shortly revealed that, indeed, Mr. Muntaka was living with a legally underage woman as one of his several known spouses. We are also talking about a veritable case of incest here, for any 14- or 15-year-old woman – actually girl – could easily be the daughter of this clinical rapist and sex predator. I don’t know whether Mr. Ablakwa, whose own wife is also known to be of northern-Ghanaian descent, deems this dastardly and inexcusably benighted act of barbarism and statutory rape as part of “our national needs, cultural values and priorities” as a people. In all probability, Mr. Ablakwa may very well be on the same bestial moral page as his bosom friend and ideological crony, that is, Mr. Muntaka.
You see, Dear Reader, I just spoke to my 13-year-old 9th-grader son about whether he had yet received any sex-education lessons in school while drafting this column for publication. “Yes, Daddy. We did in Seventh Grade,” he told me matter-of-factly and promptly added, unsolicited, that it would, indeed, be more meaningful, socially responsible and personally protective for our minors, if sex education in schools began as early as the fourth or fifth grade, instead of as late as the seventh grade, when most schoolchildren, especially our young cyber-culture-oriented generation were already sexually active and could very well be dangerously exposed to deadly venereal diseases and the possibility of unwanted premature pregnancies. My son, who turns 14 tomorrow, October 1, also told me that here in the United States, girls enter their pubertal stage as early as 9 years old, for quite a remarkable percentage of them, and definitely by 10 or 11 years old. “These kids need to be introduced to sex education at a much earlier age, so as to enable them to readily ward off pedophiles and adult sex predators” like Messrs. Muntaka and Okudzeto-Ablakwa.
What the preceding shows is that self-absorbed and morally self-righteous, albeit decadent basket cases, like Mr. Ablakwa may be well out of kilter with the times, as far as the sexual development of our youths – the so-called “Millennials” – is concerned and may very well need to shut up and let those who are more knowledgeable and professionally equipped on the subject of human sexuality, especially the sexuality of our children and grandchildren, do most of the talking. Advertising their ignorance and arrogance in the crassly cynical manner in which Mr. Ablakwa and his cronies appear to be doing, would only further complicate matters in ways that could be needlessly costly to the nation in the offing.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 30, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]