By Nana Asare Barimah
A sixteen-year-old boy left paralyzed after he was stabbed during a rally of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run-up to the 2016 election is not giving up on his education despite failing to report at a Senior High School he was posted to at Kwahu due to his paralysis in 2017.
Determined not to allow his condition to deny him an education, Prince Boateng has been studying feverishly to resit this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) to get reposted under the free-fee senior high school policy despite being bedridden.
Boateng was in form 2 at Koforidua -Asokore Salvation Army Junior High School in the Eastern Region when he was stabbed whilst returning to the house from a political party rally organized in the Asokore vicinity by the then opposition NPP and addressed by then-candidate President Akufo-Addo.
Boateng was accosted by his assailant who forcibly took away GHC8 from his pocket and subsequently stabbed him on the spinal cord.
Boateng instantly went into coma and only saw himself at the hospital when he regained consciousness. He has since been bedridden.
Doctors say the spinal cord damaged and had led to the loss of function of the lower part of his body as the nerves coordinating signals from the brain to the lower body were affected. He could not attend classes throughout JHS 3 due to his predicament.
That notwithstanding, Boateng was carried in the arms of his uncle to take part in 2017. He wore pampers throughout the exercise. He obtained aggregate 30 and got posted to St. Joseph Technical Institute at Kwahu Tafo.
Several efforts made by his uncle for the school to be changed for a nearby one to enable the family to take care of him were not successful.
“Because of his situation, we didn’t let him go there so we decided to change his school for a nearby one. We went to GES and they said because the free SHS is a coding system what we had to do was to go to the Ministry of Education to change the code.
“We did everything that we could but nothing good came out. We were disappointed and frustrated because we thought the nation could help this boy,” the distraught uncle, Kofi Agyei, told Starr News Eastern Regional Correspondent.
Agyei lamented that the Member of Parliament for New Juaben North, Nana Adjei Boateng, and Executives of the NPP had failed to assist the family despite appeals.
“Sometimes I find it difficult to bring the party into this matter because initially that was what we decided to do but the kind of comments we started getting like ‘if the boy is injured go and take care of him. ‘Why do you have to worry about the party?’ And these things became a worry to us so we decided, well we should accept it as destiny but if the party after hearing this will come to the boy’s aide glory be to God,” he said.
Boateng is currently studying on his own again to resit the BECE in February. His incapacitation has drained the family of its finances making it difficult to pay physiotherapy bills as well as acquiring foodstuffs
The family is thus appealing to philanthropists and NGOs to come to its aid in supporting the health and education of Boateng who currently needs an electric wheelchair to enable him to move around on his own