A former Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has revealed that his headmaster nearly deboardenised him because he had been outspoken on issues he deemed critical.
According to him, during his time at the Achimota School, he organised a demonstration against one of his teachers who was “misbehaving.”
He said it was a platform that allowed other students to voice out their concerns against the teacher in question.
”One of my teachers wanted me to remain a Day – student because unknown to myself, I was also radical in my thinking and so because he was misbehaving, I helped to organize some students to demonstrate against him, and we organised a meeting with him in the Gyamfi House, that’s the house I was in. There was a barrage of accusations against him. So he got very red in the face and walked out the common room.”
He added that his school prefect had revealed to him that his master was quite unhappy with his approach.
According to the politician, the master had wanted to expel him from the boarding house but found out his parents’ diplomatic status.
Recalling what his headmaster had written on his report card, he said “were I not to know that his father is serving Ghana as an ambassador outside the country, I would have no hesitation to recommend that you should be made a day student.”
Dr Spio-Garbrah explained that at the time the situation occurred, late former President Jerry John Rawlings lived near his home and must have heard about it.
He said the incident must have influenced the decision of the late President to appoint him to lead the communications team of the National Democratic Congress and “speak better to the people of Ghana.”
The politician revealed that he was recruited together with other children into a “young pioneer movement” and were taught public service skills.
He is of the view that today’s young people do not understand what being a pioneer was at the time, saying many youth only care about big houses and cars.
He explained that his mother would normally emphasize that public service is service to the people and that had stuck with him forever.
Dr Spio-Garbrah was appointed as the Minister for Trade and Industry from 2014 to 2017 under the Mahama administration. He was the Minister for Education under late President Jerry John Rawlings from 1998 to 2001 and also served as Ghana Ambassador to the United States of America in 1994 to 1997.