Thursday, June 13, 2013

Presec of my day, Presec of today

When I used to have my mailing address in the US and I was in Ghana, I would almost always go to Presec. But my surprise, since I moved to Ghana on August 17, 2011, I had never been to Presec. Tonight, I was there for the first time in a long time, visiting the National Science and Maths quiz (NSMQ) team. The visit had been warranted by some turn of events. Read about that here. As usual, I did some comparisons of Presec of today to that of when I was there, and I had a number of Presecans to discuss that with. Here goes.

I used to shii impre aka sleep in class during prep aka evening study period in Presec a lot. I used to get tired easily. Tonight, there was a student who was wearing a white lacoste tonight. Yea, Presecans wear lacostes in school now. I met the assistant school prefect (1st) and he was wearing a lacoste too. He could, this other student couldn't. The latter's oje was gonna land him on trouble. 
I asked these guys about Aburi Girls. I have grown to like the school more than I was at Presec. In fact, when I was leaving Presec, our relations with our sister school was at an all-time low. Because they had revenged on our fraternizing with St. Mary's girls at Interco by 'doing things' with Accra Aca boys. So after they 'huroed' / 'booed' some of our students at their school on Saturday, we unleashed our venom with vim on some of theirs that Saturday night. Presecans were expecting to do "wooo wooo" at entertainment while watching their favorite nonsensical Chinese movies. When the menu was served with Abugiss Drama Club putting sup-bar play performances, the "away away away" boos rang loudly and the poor girls started crying. We were subsequently banned from mountain climbing but some of the prefects hitch-hiked to patch up differences. The Presec boys of today? They are looking at Cape Coast. Kaish!
I talked to the students about my Presec life. From hearing about Paa Kwesi Imbeah and Arthur Musah when I entered Presec to having to lie under a bed for 23.3 minutes on my very first day at Presec in House 1. To being a top student in Chemistry in Form 1 and not being as a good an academic student in Form 2 and Form 3. I talked about joining the Quiz, Writers and Debaters Club because I was a general knowledge whizzkid and then getting interested in writing and debating. I ended up joining the editorial board because it was the cool thing to do at the end of Form 1. I talked through how the editorial board used to 'cause', and how we were the journalistic mouthpiece of students. I didn't fail to mention that I represented Presec in multiple quizzes and debates and never lost. I'm a boss! :-)
The current guys did not know about Dorm C aka Bronx in House 2. When I entered Presec, House 2 was the bad nut. We decided to do what we could to make it a better house. We succeeded in churning out prefects, doing better in school inspection competition, and placing in quiz competitions. Akro House was always a clean and neat house and that tradition has held true still. Apparently, House 5 (Riis) is doing much better too :-)
In my speech to them, I encouraged to focus on gaining skills and being versatile. I needed them to understand that they needed to be well-rounded and world-class. While at Presec, we knew what our American age mates were studying. We were bent on besting them everywhere and anywhere, from MIT to Stanford.
Mr. Peprah asked me to compare SHS students from my time with today's. From interacting with some more recent SHS grads in Ghana, I can confidently say that today's secondary school in Ghana is on the average for versatile and exposed than those in my day. That is a good thing. It helps that these are fuller packages and are willing to learn, do and achieve more and in various ways.
Mr. Peprah agreed with my assertions and continued to say the current students, while more versatile, are not as 'robust'. They are not as hardened. That's easy to determine. Corporal punishment is disappearing, 'homoing' is not as popular and discipline traditions are fading thin. The dadabees come chao!

I have to go to Presec more often. I pass there a lot when I am going to Madina or Adenta. In 2004, while in Ghana as part of an MIT-AITI team, I run a robotics program there (Lego Mindstorms related). I also spoke to the whole school and up till today, Odadees walk up to me saying they remember when I did that. I have to do it again. But more importantly, I want to have another junior camp there after the successful one at Ketasco. I spoke briefly about Barcamps earlier tonight, and the need to inspire, motivate and get more young Ghanaians into action and achievement.

I left them with a lot of vim, challenging them to be influential and creating the Ghana we want now and not later. I encouraged them to pursue their passions and be as excellent as they could. I also encouraged them as brilliant and top students to help their other mates and folks who were around them to be better. 
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