By Abdul Razak Bawa
At the end of the contest:
St. John’s Grammar School-35pts
Bishop Herman College-29pts
Ghana National College-21pts
This is the ridiculous result that sent my Alma Matter, Bishop Herman College, packing out of the 2019 National Science and Maths Quiz.
I am not by any stretch of the imagination looking down on any school, but in the scheme of things, a school like St. John’s Grammar, should not be the one to kick BH out of the competition.
When the tears, are finally dried, can we go back to asking critical questions, on why the school for three years running, has not been able to make it past quarter finals.
After the final results were announced, the first comment on the 1998 year batch Whatsapp platform was; better luck next year.
Last year, this comment was made on the platform, that next that, our luck will shine, never comes.
Bishop Herman College over the weekend celebrated its 67 Anniversary; a sterling performance last Thursday at the NSMQ, should have been the icing on the cake.
The bane of many schools, Bishop Herman College, no exception in recent years, as far as the NSMQ, is concerned is luck of adequate preparation and the failure, most importantly of the Old Boys Union to support the course of the school.
The preparation for this year, like previous years, was nothing to write home about. The school put in below par performance in the preliminary stage, as well as the 1/8th stage.
In both instances, the students, were not able to answer the question of the day. A friend joked that, the quiz mistress saw a problem, but the students didn’t.
I was not surprised at our early exit after the preliminary contest, whiles some schools were scoring between 50 and 70 points, BH, could only manage a paltry 33 points, against less fancy schools, like St Mary’s Boys SHS and Zebila SHTS.
It is sad to say that, the golden era of Bishop Herman is over. Not much can be said about our achievements that, was once the pride of every student of the school.
Bishop Herman, has now become a village champion, when it comes to the regional contest, we do not struggle to shrug off competition from other schools, the problem is when we find ourselves at the national level.
Interestingly, competitions are won by early and adequate preparation, grit, and determination.
Gone are the days, when names used to intimidate other competition, but today, every school and student has equal opportunity and can hold their own against so-called first class schools.
Bishop Herman, since the beginning of the competition, has never gone beyond1/8th stage. We have to do a thorough analysis of the whole project and find solutions to this apparent perennial disappointment.
I reproduce verbatim what a mate who was among the teachers in in charge of identifying and grooming the students for NSMQ posted on our Whatsapp page.
“Guys, we are very sorry for the disappointment this year again. It is really painful n we can’t take that away from anyone.
We tried, we did try. Mr Tormety n Alanga can attest to this fact not bcos we are on campus together, but they shared in the sacrifices.
At points we paid from our pockets for these boys to hv trial contest.
We are deeply sorry but truth is if natin new is done this is going to be a vicious cycle n we cannot go beyond the 1\8th stage.
I spoke to Charles sometime back about our challenges.
The NSMQ is business, u can disagree but normally apart from having astute students, countless factors play a role.
We should have a discussion on this some other time”.
There was a time Bishop Herman College was the pride of the Volta region, but it is not anymore, as the glory of the past has and continues to elude the school.
When talent is not natured, guided it goes to waste and sometimes becomes destructive. You can find the best of the best in BH, this is manifested when we progress to the tertiary, but unfortunately the school is like the jungle; survival of the fittest.
Everyone, who has ever had the privilege of attending Bishop Herman, will tell it is a school that, does not care how you are able to make it.
One clarity in Bishop Herman, is the refusal or rarity of the old students, who should get on board to shape the young ones for the common good.
From what we all know now the 2019 winners of NSMQ, St. Augustine’s College, the school through the help of the old boys made a conscious and deliberate effort, by way of investment in infrastructure to ensure that, they came to Accra to be counted.
So a place to begin is the kind of support the old students are prepared and willing to give.
BH, has no shortage of old students, who occupy sensitive positions in this country, both in private and public space.
The Lakeside College can boast of some of the most influential people who bestrode the nation as titans in their chosen field.
There are foremost academicians, finance experts, international relations experts, businessmen, and military men like Prof. Ernest Dumor, Fiifi Kwetey, Prosper Bani, Alfred Agebsi Woyome, Larry Gebvlo Lartey and many others.
These people command attention both in Ghana and outside because of the uniqueness of their thoughts and vision.
At the time secondary schools are jostling for relevance, it is sad, where BH is. The executives of the Old Boys Union, are fighting among themselves and so they do not have time to think of helping to improve infrastructure in the school.
Gold in its raw state means nothing, cocoa when it is not processed is sold for pittance, no matter how good a student is, if he does not the support to help him unearth his hidden talent, he is just like any other student.
BH, has that raw material in the form of the students, the government, has demonstrated over the years that, it is not able to do it alone, we have to come in, as old students to help.
To nip the decadence, BH must now look inward and adopt a disruptive model that provokes purposeful introspection and propels new thinking, this is why BHOBU 98, is rolling out a programme to help groom those, who will be representing the school next year and subsequent years.
It is my fervent hope that, other year groups will also find the need to lend their support. Our noise should mean something, our love for our Alma Mater, should mean something, because BH is our first love.
To begin the journey towards changing the fortunes of the school, the old students must help in the provision of basic infrastructure such as conducive learning environment, 24/7 supply of electricity, water, internet facility etc.
It is said that, when the heart is not working, it means you are dead no matter what you do with the body, we have to put our money, where our mouth is.