Accra, March 5, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday asked students to be guided by discipline, tolerance and honesty as their way of life and for the nation because these virtues were prerequisite for proper development.
He said they would do well to imbibe these virtues since they were necessary for their proper development as individuals and of Ghana. President Kufuor made the call when presenting the President's Independence Day Award to 20 students at the Banquet Hall in Accra. They were a boy and a girl from each of the 10 Regions, who excelled in the 2003 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
The award package included a certificate jointly signed by the President and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, a three-year scholarship award valued up to seven million cedis for each award winner to cover boarding and lodging tenable in any Senior Secondary School (SSS) in the country.
Additionally each award winner would receive 400,000 cedis in cash, 100,000 cedis for books and a special book prize. The criteria for the selection in addition to their academic performance were community services, exemplary conduct and good moral behaviour.
The award ceremony forms part of the activities to mark the 47th anniversary of Ghana's Independence being celebrated under the theme: "Discipline, Tolerance and Honesty - Essential Qualities for Deepening Democracy".
President Kufuor expressed concern about the increasing acts of indiscipline, intolerance and dishonesty in some educational institutions over the past years and deplored the recent incident at the Bawku Technical School, where the students disagreed with the school authorities about the hours to be spent at evening studies. "As a result, the students started rioting which resulted in wanton destruction of school property. This course of action should certainly be condemned in absolute terms by all, especially students in Ghana and the perpetrators should be made to face the full disciplinary measures of the school", he said.
Referring to the allegations of the use of fake certificates by 41 second year students of the Nursing Training College in Kumasi to gain admission and the 38 students, who absconded for the same offence, President Kufuor asked: "What type of future can this nation have, if sections of its youth under training resort to such acts of indiscipline, intolerance and dishonesty?"
To the award winners, President Kufuor said they would now be in the public eye, every movement by them would be scrutinized and commented upon, therefore, they should learn to take their new celebrity status in their strides without being overly self-conscious. "You should neither be pompous or self-defeating but try to be yourselves", he said.
Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports said the Government had put in place elaborate efforts to improve on the education of the youth.
He said three of the award winners would be selected to attend "Camp Rising Sun" in the United States and Denmark.
The school children read an Independence message to the Government in four Ghanaian languages, Akan, Dagbani, Ewe, Ga and English, which they presented to President Kufuor.
Miss Rachael Dordunoo, 14, a JSS 3 pupil of the Services Basic School at Burma Camp in Accra, who read the English version, appealed to Public Officials to be modest in all their endeavours.
The children said: "It is our fervent wish that they respect each other's views; exercise a lot of caution and self-control in the management and protection of state resources and properties".
"This year being an election year, we pray for a peaceful, free and fair elections without intimidation or any form of violence", they said. The children pledged to be obedient, humble, courteous and respectful not only to their parents and teachers but to all Ghanaians. The children in addition presented a congratulatory message to President Kufuor.
It read: "Good things are happening in your way, they don't come easy. They come as a result of hard work, dedication and perseverance. You symbolize excellence.
"This is your honour of Glory! Arise and shine. The Glory of God is on you. Your glorious successes are a source of immeasurable pride to all. This is for many more years of remarkable achievements. Congratulations. We are proud of you". Twenty students honoured for their performance in 2003 BECE Accra, March 5, GNA - Twenty students, who excelled in the 2003 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), were on Friday presented with the President's Independence Day Award at the Banquet Hall in Accra. The award package included a certificate jointly signed by the President and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, a three-year scholarship award valued up to seven million cedis for each award winner to cover boarding and lodging tenable in any Senior Secondary School (SSS) in the country.
Additionally, each award winner would receive 400,000 cedis in cash, 100,000 cedis for books and a special book prize.
Three of them would be selected to attend a summer camp - "Camp Rising Sun" in the United States and Denmark.
President John Agyekum Kufuor flanked by Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, and Miss Christine Churcher, Minister of State, Primary, Secondary and Girl Child Education, presented the awards to the recipients.
They were, Miss Hannatu Abdulai and Master Sherif Issahaque from the Upper West Region; Miss Joyce A. Apanga and Master Jonas Mba Togyeni from the Upper East Region; Miss Ayisha Tamimu and Master Joshua Kewura from the Northern Region.
The others were Miss Martha Poku and Master Stephen Gyau-Kyere from the Brong Ahafo Region; Miss Ruth Agyeiwaa Ofori and Master Salisu Mohammed Braimah from the Ashanti Region; Miss Patricia Ama Afari and Master Nana Kwaw Freiku Baidoo from the Western Region; Miss Dina Abban-Ampiah and Master Kwaku Sarpong-Anane from the Central Region.
The rest were, Miss Dillys Dede Amega and Master Wellington Asuah from the Volta Region; Miss Irene Koramah Frempong and Master Samuel Brenya Sanful from the Eastern Region and Miss Sophia Doyoe-Amenyah and Master George Tetteh from the Greater Accra Region.
Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama presented awards to the winners of the National Schools Debate for Senior Secondary Schools (SSS). Prempeh College from Kumasi won this year's debate with 204 points when they beat Presbyterian Boys Secondary School (PRESEC), Legon who had 198 points in the finals.
The winners took home a 29-inch colour television set and a video deck while the runners-up had a 21-inch colour television set and a video deck.
The ceremony forms part of the activities marking the 47th anniversary celebrations of Ghana's Independence, which is under the theme: "Discipline, Tolerance and Honesty-Essential Qualities for Deepening Democracy".