Opoku Ware Old Boys Protest Headmaster’s Age

Confusion has erupted between the Old Boys’ Association of Opoku Ware Senior High School in the Ashanti Region and the headmaster of the school, Fidelis Matthew Oppong-Mensah, over his age. Members of the association have accused him of deceit and forgery.

The headmaster, who also happens to be an old boy of the school, has been accused of altering documents about his actual date of birth so as to extend his stay in office, even though he is believed to have reached his retirement age.

Mr Oppong-Mensah’s initial response to inquiries by DAILY GUIDE was a total denial, saying he had not changed his date of birth or forged any documents to extend his stay in office as had been speculated.

He then agreed to provide documentary evidence to dispute the allegations against him but later backtracked on that decision.

In a letter dated Monday, January 5, 2015 and addressed to the Director, Human Resource of the Ghana Education Service (GES), the national president of the association, Augustine Kwabena Kessie, stated: ‘We write formally as the Old Boys’ Association of our alma mater to lodge a complaint about the headmaster’s double dates of birth.’

Attached to the letter were two documents – profile and mission statement Mr Oppong-Mensah submitted for the job and a copy of his investiture programme.

Even though as old boys of the school they claimed to had played an instrumental role in getting him the appointment which he applied with a curriculum vitae with his date of birth stated as July 13, 1954, they noted that ‘It has now emerged that unknown to us, in the brochure for his investiture, the age has changed to something different, December 30, 1957, and it is presumed this is what is operating now.’

This new date of birth, they said, falls four years below the one the headmaster initially gave on his curriculum vitae when he was applying for the job, for which reason they suspected a foul play.

In their own words, ‘In fact, if you do calculations with the new age, you see that there is something wrong and the story does not make sense.

‘Thus while we expected him to have retired last year, by this act of deceit and forgery, it may appear that not only has he deceived us as Old Boys Association that supported his candidature, but he is also deceiving his employers as well as blocking the chances of others who could have the opportunity to head the school.’

Head of Human Resource Department of the GES, Anthony Boateng, confirmed to DAILY GUIDE his outfit had indeed received a petition from the Opoku Ware Old Boys’ Association to that effect, which he said they were investigating but could not tell when the report would be ready.

However, the association indicated that Mr Boateng had actually confirmed to them that records at the GES had the original date of birth and that he had written to the Regional Director, Mr Sarfo Kantanka, to initiate action to ensure that retirement processes for the headmaster commenced.

After several weeks of back and forth queries and communications with this paper, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GES, Charles Parker-Allotey, also failed to explain the Service’s position on the matter, even though he promised to furnish the paper with the full details of it.

 By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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