Minister of Public Sector Reform, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom says there could not be a prosperous country without successful people and that Ghana needs successful people in order to become a prosperous nation.
Dr. Nduom noted that Ghanaians spent the first 50 years of independence laying a foundation for success as a country and that it was now time to work to achieve the status of a successful, prosperous country during the next 50 years.
Dr Nduom made these remarks on Saturday as the Guest Speaker at the 77th Speech and Prize giving-day of the St. Augustine's College under the theme, “the impact of Catholic education on Ghana-prospects for the next 50 years.
The Minister observed that success that was earned through hard work lasts forever, and that it was like money, which when earned the hard way would be spent carefully and with discipline so that it could last for a long time.
Dr Nduom, who is also the MP for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem District said it was unfortunate that Ghanaians quite often act as if the concept of success and discipline were alien to their traditions, culture and beliefs.
He stated that Ghanaian traditional society cared about success, prosperity and regretted that some people spit, urinate, sell, build and throw garbage anywhere they wanted, which he said, were practices which were incompatible with culture and traditions.
He urged the students of the school to resolve to be the new breed of successful men that were going to lead Ghana into prosperity during the next 50 years and that they were the ones going to become the “grand old and distinguished people” when the country celebrates Ghana at 100.
According to him, if the students were going to be successful in life, they should consider that individual merit was important and any society whose citizens did not believe in merit was tended to become insignificant in the league of nations and such a society was often crowned with poverty.
Dr Nduom stated that politics and government policies must necessarily be directed at fighting the critical problem of poverty and that all must be conscious in recognizing that where there was no hope or peace, development could not take place.
He underscored the importance of Catholic education, which, he said laid much emphasis on the core values of life including discipline, hard work, selflessness, fear of God and caring for ones neighbours with the view to achieving success and prosperity.
The Minister noted that through 50 years of independence, Catholic education has made an important contribution to all aspects of the national life and that Catholic educational institutions have established a great tradition not just as institutions of learning but also homes for the shaping of values.
Dr Nduom congratulated the Catholic Church for the wonderful work that it has been doing for several decades in educating the youth throughout the country.
Mr Francis Gabriel Amissah, headmaster of the school for his part said the school performed well in last year's West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations and that 72.3 percent of the candidates who wrote the examination have qualified for admission into the universities.
He appealed for the construction of a 16-classroom block for the school to enable it to cope with the new educational reform which has increased the duration for the SSS course from three to four years, starting from next year, which, he said, would definitely increase the number of students.
The headmaster pointed out that a promise by President J.A Kufuor during the Diamond Jubilee celebration to provide the school with a block of flats for the staff and street lights have not been fulfilled and therefore appealed to the President to fulfill the promise during this jubilee year.
Mr Patrick Gyan, president of the 1982 year group of St Augustine's Past Students Union (APSU), the sponsors of this year' celebration urged the students to cultivate the habit of giving back, as they were also receiving today, and not relent on this value after they have completed their education at the school.
Master Siegfried Anyomi, the School Prefect, appealed to all stakeholders in education to give the teacher what was due him in order to forestall future occurrences of strike actions by teachers to disturb the academic calendar.
He also appealed to the Patron of the School, His Eminence Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, all past students and parents to help the college complete a Chapel it is building to enable it to also have a Chapel befitting its status.
Mr Kwesi Cab-Addae, chairman of the Parent-Teacher-Association (PTA), announced that the PTA has completed the construction of a 500 million cedis two-unit staff accommodation for the school to help address the problem of accommodation in the school.
Earlier, a four-unit three-bedroom flat accommodation built at the cost of 1.2 billion cedis by the school was commissioned.
The Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur, an old student of the school was honoured by the school with a plaque and a citation.