ABOUT 10 years ago, when the young Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem ascended the Tepa Stool, he promised to make the traditional council development-oriented.
Today, the traditional council has emerged as one of the most progressive in the Ashanti Region, having come out with initiatives, the latest of which is a scholarship scheme to help change the lives of the people.
Chieftaincy is a revered institution in our part of the world. Over the years, chiefs have played prominent roles in settling disputes, some of which the courts found very difficult to resolve.
However, the attitudes of some chiefs have occasionally led to some people questioning the relevance of chieftaincy in modern society.
The argument can go on but suffice it to say that some chiefs have been very instrumental in complementing the efforts of the government at bringing development to their communities.
A typical example is the Tepa Traditional Council under the able leadership of the Omanhene, Nana Ampem.
The young Omanhene has never relented in leading his traditional council to come up with programmes and projects that have brought some level of hope to the people.
At a time that some chiefs have come under pressure from their subjects for alleged embezzlement of stool revenue, the Tepa Traditional Council has deemed it necessary to use part of its revenue to finance education and kudos must go to the Omanhene and the council he chairs.
It is in line with the development agenda of the traditional council that the council launched its latest initiative in a scholarship scheme to help reverse the falling standard of education in the Ahafo-Ano North District.
The Ahafo Ano North District in the Ashanti Region is where the Otumfuo Education Fund continues to support many brilliant, needy young people to go through their education.
Indeed, the Tepa Traditional Council was benefiting from the Otumfuo scholarship scheme but it took a visionary leader like the Omanhene to realise that the Otumfuo scheme alone could not cater for the many young people who needed some help in advancing their education, hence the need to come up with complementary.
Ahafo-Ano North District has performed badly in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) over last few years. In 2006, for instance, the district placed eighth out of the 21 districts and in both 2007 and 2008 it placed 20th in the region.
The percentage pass for 2006 was 61.9 per cent but it dropped to 41.4 per cent and 36.2 per cent in 2007 and 2008 respectively. This clearly demonstrates that education in the district has taken a nosedive.
The situation has happened in spite of the fact that the district assembly continues to allocate a chunk of its development budget to education.
Clearly, a scholarship scheme is a good initiative that has the potential to change things for the better.
At a ceremony at Tepa to launch the scholarship scheme, the Omanhene stressed the need for parents to send their children to school because it was only education that could guarantee a better future for the district.
Nana Ampem hit the nail right on the head because many parents had been shirking their responsibilities in the proper upbringing of their children.
The Omanhene announced that the traditional council had banned schoolchildren from roaming the streets after 7p.m. This is to get children to stick to their books.
Nana Ampem commended Dr Atta Mensah, a citizen of the area based in the United States, for also instituting a scholarship scheme for needy children.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr David Addai Amankwah, mentioned some of the reasons for the falling standard of education in the area as the unprofessional attitudes of some teachers, lack of accommodation for teachers, wholesale promotion of pupils, and lack of co-operation between the schools and the communities.
He stressed the importance of education at the basic level and said efforts must be made to improve that level.
At the ceremony, the traditional council also honoured 17 illustrious sons and daughters of the area for their immense contributions to the development of the area. They included Miss Claudia Owusua, a motor mechanic at the Metro Mass Transit in Accra, Mr Peter Danteh, a lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr Atta Mensah, Mr David Amankwah, the DCE, Prof John Anarfi of the University of Ghana and Supt Baba Saanid Adamu of the Police Headquarters.