President John Agyekum Kufuor has advised parents and guardians to support school authorities to instil discipline in students.
This, he said, would enable them, particularly girls, to be morally upright at all levels in society to grow up and develop their potential to be useful to the nation. "As parents and guardians we must boldly correct and counsel our children instead of making excuses for them and seeking out scapegoats either in the school or in society at large," the President stated.
The President made this remark in an address read on his behalf by Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, Special Advisor to the President, at the first speech and prize-giving day of the Kade Senior High Technical School on Saturday.
The event, which was on the theme: "The New Educational Reform - A Catalyst to National Development", and which was used to award both old and current students who had distinguished themselves in the various subjects, was attended by a number of dignitaries including the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, Messrs Kwabena Sintim Aboagye and Boakye Yiadom, the District Chief Executives for West Akyem and Kwaebibirem respectively, as well as the Kadehene, Osabarima Agyare Tenadu II.
The school, established in 1982 with only eight male students, currently has a student population of 983 comprising 547 males and 436 females.
Ranked 152nd in 2003 on the national ranking of senior high schools, it has achieved a lot of academic laurels moving from 102nd in 2004 to the 16th position in 2005.
The President noted that the practice whereby most parents and guardians left the upbringing and training of their children solely in the hands of school authorities did not augur well for the realisation of their full potential.
"On several occasions there have been shocking incidents of indiscipline among students such as bullying and indecent dressing especially among girls, who could be vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and susceptible to "sugar daddies," the President said.
"We as parents, therefore, must accept that we are the ultimate disciplinary authority for our children and share some responsibility for their actions," he said.
On the educational reform, the President said the programme was intended to equip students with the relevant skills and knowledge required for the job market.
"The aim of the educational reform is to pursue a deep and holistic education system which will promote productive employment with increased productivity to enable Ghana to attain a middle income status by 2015," President Kufuor noted.
He, therefore, called on stakeholders, including teachers and parents, to support the reform to ensure that students would pass out with skills which would improve their potential to secure jobs.
The President also urged the students to take full advantage of every opportunity offered them by concentrating on their books to enable them to realise their future ambitions.
Mr Affram-Asiedu reiterated some of the government's interventions in the education sector such as the School Feeding Programme, the Capitation Grant and the model school concept, which he said had ensured increased enrolment at the basic level across the country.
The regional minister, who said the government had voted ¢3 billion for the construction of an ongoing dormitory block to accommodate the increasing female student population, also mentioned the provision of a 33-seater bus by the government to ease the movement of students, teachers and non-teaching staff of the school.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr Rexford Boadi Danquah, who commended the government, the Kadehene and old students for their support to the school, however mentioned the lack of dormitories, particularly for girls, and classrooms as some of the problems facing the school.
He, therefore, called for further assistance from stakeholders to enable the school to admit more students especially those from rural areas.
For his part, Osabarima Agyare Tenadu also thanked the people especially the old students for contributing immensely towards the upliftment of the school to its present state and called on the people to support the school authorities to sustain such achievements.