A retired University Professor and former pupil of the Sesiamang-Sisi District Assembly Basic School, in the Upper Manya Krobo District of the Eastern Region, Prof. Jonathan Narh Ayertey, has constructed a four (4) bedroom ‘Teacher’s bungalow valued at about one million Ghana cedis (GH¢1,000,000.00) for his alma mater.
Prof. Ayertey, who is also the Council Chairman of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD), at Somanya in the Yilo Krobo Municipality, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Tina Ayertey, handed over the four-bedroom house to the Headmaster and school on the 2nd of March, 2023 at a colourful durbar on the premises close to the school.
It was attended by members of the community, including the Sipim (traditional ruler) of the Dorm Division of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area, Nene Olesu Tetteh and some subchiefs in the Sesiamang enclave-Dadematse Daniel, Dadematse Kweku and Dadematse Sosee. The former DCE of the area, Mr. Joseph Tetteh Angmor also graced the occasion.
A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School and a former chairman of the Upper Manya Krobo Rural Bank, Mr. James Otieku, was the Chairman of the programme.
Addressing the gathering, Prof. Ayertey, who referred to the facility as a Teachers House said, the project is the first of two phases he is constructing for his former school. It is expected to house four teachers, with Four bedrooms, two living rooms, two kitchens, two store rooms and four (4) modern washrooms and toilet facilities It also has an unlimited water supply from a borehole operated by an electric pump and three separate metres.
He said, the second phase, which is at the foundation level is a five (5) unit single room self-contained facility, envisaged to house five (5) more teachers.
Sesiamang- Sisi D.A. Basic School
Sesiamang Sisi is a farming community, which is about fifteen minutes’ drive from Asesewa near Odumase-Krobo. The basic school there is one of the few public schools within the Sesiamang-Sisi area. Sesiamang-Sisi D.A. Basic School, like other rural communities, has had its share of challenges, including lack or inadequate basic amenities, like potable water, poor telecommunication connectivity, recreational centres and the inadequate number of teachers, which impacts adversely on teaching and learning.
Recounting his early years, the renowned educationist said, he was born 80 years ago at Pletsidornya, one of the communities in the area and attended the Sesiamang-Sisi D.A. Basic School, from 1951 to 1956. About 66 years ago, he sat for the local Common Entrance Examination, where he excelled with flying colours through hard work, and as a result of the motivation and frequent assessments by his teachers.
Prof. Ayertey acknowledged that with the firm foundation given by the teachers, he subsequently excelled throughout his educational journey, from Sesiamang-Sisi D.A. Basic School to Presbyterian Boys Middle School and later the Presbyterian Boys Secondary School, Legon, (PRESEC) through to the University of Cape Coast and to the University of London’s Imperial College, where he obtained his PhD in Applied Entomology in 1976.
The Entomologist who has Lectured at the University level for 43 years, retired from active service about 10 years ago. He is currently serving as Chairman or Member of a number of National/Professional Boards or Committees, particularly under the Ministry of Education
He told the gathering that, two of his teachers, Mr. Offei (94 years) and Mr. Tawiah (91 years old) are alive and happy about his achievement and also the project he has undertaken in the community.
Explaining the motivation behind the construction of the Teachers’’ bungalow, the renowned Educationist who recently celebrated his 80th Birthday in February, stated, ‘’having been born and raised here, (SesiamangSisi), I have a natural affinity to this village. It is my childhood home. However, when I reflect over what I have been able to achieve so far in my life, I am tempted to attribute my success to the training I received during the early stages of my education here,’’ he stated.
The old student of PRESEC said, he traced the trend of poor performance by pupils in the BECE levels over the years, which he attributed to lack of basic facilities and accommodation for teachers who have to trek long distances to and from school, which in turn impacted negatively on teaching and learning. He paid glowing tribute to teachers who despite the difficulties, ‘’always maintained their dedication, compassion and passion by sacrificing their convenience, just to ensure that he and his colleagues and others after them turn out well in life.’’
For such selflessness, he was therefore convinced that there cannot be any better way to give back to his community than by putting up this edifice, which wholistically attends to the overall challenges of the school; to accommodate the teachers of the school.
He said, he has always explored ways to help the school that made him. Fortunately, about 14 years ago, one of his junior colleagues, Mr. Henry Amanor, who was the Headmaster of the school, invited him to a fundraising event to raise money to install doors and windows of the JSS classroom, which happened to be his former class, which was then Class 6. He observed that the school had two female teachers during that visit, and this fascinated him because during his time, there were no female teachers in the school, and so he thought of doing more to retain or attract more female teachers to the place and also encourage other girls in the community to take their studies seriously.
Prof. Ayertey expressed appreciation to all those who contributed to the successful completion of the “Teacher’s house”.
The Headteacher of the school, Mr. Bless Tetteh Nuertey, was full of gratitude to Prof. Ayertey for the, ‘’ pleasant gesture by an illustrious son of the area.’’
Referring to the saying that whom much is given much is expected, Mr. Tetteh Nuertey said, he is not oblivious to the results of the improvement in academic performance required of them, and that, he, together with colleague teachers, will do all it takes to utilize the facility to advance the course of the school academically.
There were goodwill messages from the invited guests including Dadematse Adjo-Teye, a subchief in the Sesiamang-Sisi traditional area and Madam Margaret Mavis Teye, Board member of the Asesewa Rural Bank, and many others.
The common theme that run through the messages was the need for parents to pay more attention to their wards’ education, irrespective of the part of the country they are located in. They indicated that if Sesiamang-Sisi could produce a native to become a prominent member of society, then it stands to reason that the sky is indeed the limit, once parents make conscious efforts to support their children academically.
The Chairman, Mr. James Otieku reiterated that the gesture by Prof. Ayertey ought to be emulated. He called on past students of learning institutions to always think of ways to contribute to promoting their alma mater for this is one sure way to achieve significant development across the country.
The other dignitaries present at the inauguration were; Mr. Eric Tettey, CEO of the Upper Manya Krobo Rural Bank, members from the Manya Krobo Foundation and the P.T.A. Chairman of Sesiamang-Sisi, Elder Moses Kwame Narteh.