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Patricia Addae
Patricia Addae

Raising our voices to celebrate remarkable achievements - Miss Patricia Addae wins national spelling bee

I was once rattled by a question from a reader of this column who asked why I continued to spend so much time, energy, and research for this column, Education Matters, knowing darn well that the principal culprits who fritter away the nation’s resources were themselves the so-called educated. 

The worst part – and the caveat - was that a substantial number of the educated culprits were once pampered with various scholarships and free university education paid from the nation’s coffers to study economics, law, physical and social sciences, etc. 

For the likes of John Mensah Sarbah, J.E. Casely-Hayford, Kwegyir Aggrey and Kwame Nkrumah, it was in the hope that — one day — sooner than later, the beneficiaries would rise to the occasion with the acquired knowledge to commit to help out the less fortunate countrymen and women.

Today, that anomaly ought to raise deeper questions than flighty answers.

The concern was that while no person was truly angelic, the ones who truly devastated the nation and perceived stashing off huge sums were hardly the plantain or coconut sellers, nor the indigenes by the roadsides vending their hard-won harvests of fruits and vegetables. 

Ethical leadership

When everything falters – when the economy fails, when greed seems the order of the day when holy charlatans seize the airwaves with dubious heavenly promises and claims – what’s the nation to do?

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Providential gifts and solutions seem to avail themselves from unusual places, sometimes from the pure innocence and feats of the nation’s children. 

Raising the youth to have successful lives — and thereby have them contribute meaningfully to the larger society — is a most sacred responsibility which could not be traded for pots of gold.

In a previous article, subtitled: ‘A new generation capable of extraordinary feats’, I noted that of all the things that youthfulness brings, dreams and effort are possibly the most important of them all.

To quote a noted Korean industrialist, “People with dreams know no poverty, for a person is as rich as his or her dreams”. 

Youth is the time of life when, even if you do not own a thing, you have nothing to envy if you have a dream.”

In the trajectory of my own lifelong experiences teaching various nationalities across the board, plus the different ethnic groups across Ghana – it is clear that neither the innate cognitive abilities nor the better angels in the nature of people are that different; It is all in a commitment of those that choose to raise them properly, and the social milieu in which they are nurtured to grow.

As Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr puts it: “The mind is a terrible thing to waste”.

All that brings to mind the mission and commitment of two tertiary institutions in which I have had the opportunity to teach adolescents in their first years.

One was in “Leadership Seminars” at Ashesi University, where there was a code of ethics in their mission statement, and the other was in “Creative and Critical Thinking” at Accra College of Medicine.

The mission of Ashesi University is to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within the students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others, and the courage to transform a continent.

The mission of Accra College of Medicine is to provide world-class medical education that is relevant, research-oriented, and tailored toward solving Ghana and Africa's health problems, producing unique graduates who are committed to excellence and have the “Heart Power” to help the less privileged.

In these institutions, and others like them, lies the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

It's a testament to the transformative power of education when coupled with a ready commitment to ethical leadership for social good.

Inspiration ought to be drawn from the indomitable spirit of our youth, for in their dreams lie the blueprint for a better world.

Young Patricia Addae

In the pursuit of education, we often emphasise that it's not merely the destination but the lifelong journey, marked by continuous growth and learning. It's a sentiment echoed in the words of those dedicated to the noble task of nurturing young minds.

It was with pride and joy, then, that AGA School was awarded the prestigious 2024 Presidential Award, and one of the outstanding students in JHS1 has achieved remarkable success in the Spelling Bee competition.

Miss Patricia Addae — the top-performing student among the JHS 3 cohort - has been nominated by the Ghana Education Service to receive the President's 2024 BECE Award for the Best Graduating BECE Student in the Ashanti Region.

This esteemed award ceremony will take place on March 5, 2024, at the State House in Accra. 

Miss Patricia Addae achieved the highest raw score of 358 out of 400 in the Ashanti Region, marking the second-highest raw score nationwide for the 2023 BECE Exams.

In addition to this remarkable achievement, the school's sole representative at the 2024 national spelling bee finals, Miss Rejoice Tantuoyir, aged 12 in JHS 1, clinched the title of Overall Best Winner of the Vocabulary Test.

She outshone 160 national spellers and was awarded a Citation and medal for her outstanding performance at the final event which was held at the Christ the King Hall in Accra on Saturday, February 3, 2024.

AGA School's participation in the spelling bee dates back to 2019, and this is the first time the school or any of the contestants received a national award in this competition. 

The writer is a trainer of teachers, leadership coach, motivational speaker and quality education advocate.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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