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02.04.2007 General News

Chief slams national youth document

By Nii Kwaku Osabutey ANNY

The Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Area Nana Kobina Nketsia V has described the National Youth Policy document as empty words which do not reflect the aspirations and hopes of the youth.

“A youth policy should be grounded in the philosophy of the people's culture and aspirations,” but the current document he contends is driven by western ideas which have no correlation with the country's cultural dispensation.

Speaking to the dailyEXPRESS in an interview in Cape Coast, Nana Nketsia V known in private life as Dr. Kojo Maison described as unfortunate the continuous attitude of always borrowing from the west, ideas and values that are completely at variance with the cultural and spiritual aspirations of the people.

“We are bringing up youths who are not community conscious and that is worrying,” he said.

He also cautioned the youth to be mindful of what they learn and copy from the west, adding that the current generation has more or less internalized 'useless' songs from the west that glorify violence, immorality and disrespect.

This, he said, should be avoided if the youth are to make any impact in the development of the country.

Nana Nketsia V who had earlier presented a paper at an Abusua Foundation-organized Conference, lamented that Ghanaians have become a bunch of laughing stock, always looking for the least opportunity to please their big western bosses by borrowing from them irrelevant cultural attitudes that end up segregating the entire society.

“You just go and borrow from the west and factor those things into your youth document thinking you're doing the right thing,” he said with a sarcastic smile.

On the country's educational structure, Nana Nketsia V said the current structure does not reflect the socio-cultural values of the country because it is heavily influenced by the British system which dwells on individualism.

“The paradigm of the British system is self-centred. It dwells on the individual and it's me and me only. That is what we've been practicing in this country for the past fifty years and this is not good.”

The system, he said, is making people become more self-centred and “looking for their personal interest instead of that of the society.”

The Essikado chief noted further that individualism breeds suspicion which manifests into dishonesty, adding that people don't trust each other anymore.

“We have become a people with no roots of our own and this is pretty much worrying, especially for a country that has just turned 50,” he said.

He also observed that the trend is destroying the family system in the country. “People should appreciate the importance of family values and how that shaped the society together, but the situation has changed as people now identify more with the so-called nuclear family system that is breaking down the family system.”

Nana Nketsia V decried the current level of political polarization, saying it's gradually weakening the communal spirit of the entire Ghanaian populace while creating a culture of silence.

“People nowadays cannot comment on any issue in this country. If you say something that is perceived to be harsh by those in power, you're branded opposition and it's the same way round. Gradually we're sliding into the days of the culture of silence where the mouth of every Ghanaian, at least those perceived to be opponents, was forcibly shut,” he said.