A 47-year-old Ghanaian man, Akraba Nana who ignored his old age and enrolled in basic school to gain literacy knowledge has recounted how he and his children, some of whom are his classmates, were flogged together by a teacher who he is way older than.
The elderly man who was born in 1976 spoke to Asaase Radion in Cape Coast and explained why he chose to now start schooling instead of focusing on educating his children.
Affectionately called Schoolboy, Akraba Nana recounted dropping out of school in 1990 following the death of his parents, so his dream of having a formal education was truncated.
“I was in class three when I lost both parents [then] my future ambition crashed,” asaaseradio.com quotes him as saying.
According to the news portal, Akraba, after the demise of his parents, moved from one place to another in quest of greener pastures before finally relocating to Cape Coast in the Central Region. While there, he worked as head porter at the Kotokoraba Market.
Later, he discovered that he had potential in the music business and desired to reach the pinnacle of his vocal skills. His incapacity to write songs due to illiteracy was his biggest obstacle, so he began having the desire to return to school to learn reading and writing.
“All those who wrote my songs for me did not write it exactly the way I wanted to bring out the lyrics.
“The motivation to write my songs forced me to go back to school. After consultation with my wife, I decided to go back to school to be able to read and write,” Akraba revealed.
Having made up his mind to return to school, he now travels about a kilometre each day to the St. Paul Catholic School every morning in the company of his seven children, four of whom are currently his seniors while two are his classmates.
He recounted how the school authorities gave him preferential treatment over other children during his enrollment, admitting him ostensibly due to his age.
“The headmistress was admitting nursery students as at the time I was also seeking admission. Per the school rules, the window was opened for nursery students, [but] the headmistress allowed me to start in class three.”
Akraba, who is currently in class six, pays his own school fees and those of his seven children. He has been in class 6 for the past four years since he is unable to earn the necessary grades to go to junior high school.
Despite his age, he is reportedly willing to participate in all school events such as sports and he is also a member of the school choir. What is also interesting is that he readily submits himself to any disciplinary action that is meted out to him and other pupils.
“I remember how I was caned by a teacher I am older than. Interestingly, my kids and I had to go through that ordeal together,” Akraba recalled.
His determination to gain formal education at all costs has become a motivation for others in his community, with some people now acknowledging that age cannot be a barrier to education.