Mother weeps over son’s admission to PRESEC
The Presbyterian Boys Senior High School, Legon (Legon PRESEC) is arguably one of the best senior high schools (SHS) in Ghana, and many a parent will jump in ecstasy when their sons gain admission there.
But Lydia Ofei, a resident of Suhum in the Eastern Region, burst into tears in utter dismay, when her son gained admission to Legon PRESEC.
Due to poverty, Lydia, a single parent of five, working as an attendant in a nursery school at Suhum, had advised her 16-year-old son to choose one of the three SHSs in Suhum as a day student because that is what she could afford.
However, Isaac Obeng, brilliant and ambitious, rather chose Legon PRESEC as a boarding student, and that is what generated inconsolable tears from the mother.
“When the results were released, I was happy and equally sad. I don’t have money and so I told him to choose a day school in Suhum. But he said that (Legon PRESEC) was the only school he desired.
“And so when his admission came, I was very sad,” Lydia staggers her words through heavy sobs, even three months after the school selection.
Isaac, deviant of odds
Isaac is a deviant, not only of his mother’s words but also of the odds. He speaks refined English, one that defies the norm of a boy from a poor home and who attended Suhum M/A (Municipal Authority) Experimental ‘C’ Basic School, which is obviously not an ‘A-rated’ basic school in Ghana.
Even more defiant, Isaac, obtaining ‘Grade 1’ in all subjects except Social Studies and ICT, gained admission to Legon PRESEC, the school he describes as the best in Ghana, which school is normally dominated by children with privileged backgrounds.
He is excited about being a student of Legon PRESEC and is relishing every moment of it, thanks to the benevolence of some good-hearted people who mobilised his needs and sent him to school.
The Director of the Suhum Municipal Directorate of the Ghana Education Service, Mrs Angelina Aba Osei-Bonsu, who led that cause, says she also contacted a teacher friend at Legon PRESEC, who bought some textbooks for Isaac.
According to her, the teacher, Alidu Baba, also introduced Isaac to some of his (teacher) colleagues to take him up for extra tuition at no fee.
Mrs Osei-Bonsu is also grateful to Daniel Bekoe, an officer at the Suhum Municipal Education Directorate, who brought the case of Isaac to her attention. Mr Bekoe had been following the progress of Isaac after discovering him at an inter-school quiz competition.
“The way the guy was answering questions, I knew that the guy was good,” he remarked.
The Headmaster of Suhum M/A Experimental ‘C’ Basic School, Paul Asumaku, says he was disappointed to see the BECE results of Isaac because “he is worth more than what he got”.
“We were aiming at the Presidential Award….He’s an exceptional student,” he adds, expressing the hope that Isaac will get the needed support to continue his education.
Future of Isaac
Mrs Osei-Bonsu is very happy Isaac is in school but she is equally worried support from the good-hearted people may not suffice for his continuous stay in school.
Her fears may vindicate the tears of Isaac’s mother — that she cannot afford to take him there and also maintain him there.
And with her eyes still teary, she says that when the initial benefactors withdraw their support for Isaac, she may not hesitate to also withdraw her son from Legon PRESEC and send him to a day school at Suhum.
Meanwhile, Isaac is unfazed by the tears on his mother’s face, focusing on his studies as a science student and his dream of becoming an engineer in the future.
He finds the academic competition at Legon PRESEC a perfect drive to achieve his dream in life.
“Almost everybody coming to PRESEC was first in their school. That is where you meet the ‘sharks of sharks’ (i.e., the most intelligent people).
So you see everybody serious with their books,” he remarks.
Isaac, described by his headmaster as an excellent keyboardist, recalls meeting a Form One student who had almost completed learning the Elective Mathematics syllabi for forms One, Two and Three, and inspired by that academic zeal, he has also covered the syllabi for forms One and Two of Elective Mathematics.
From all indications, Isaac, at Legon PRESEC, is driving towards his dream of becoming an engineer in the future, but with no financial support, he may soon be driving in a different direction, in terms of school and dream.
The writer is the General Secretary, Ghana Journalists Association/Communications Lecturer, Wisconsin International University College, Ghana.