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06.10.2008 Education

GETFUND boss decries immorality in schools

By statesman

The Administrator of the Ghana Education Trust Fund, Fosuaba Akwasi Mensah Banahene, has called for concrete measures to address the degeneration of moral standards among the youth of the country to save the Ghanaian society from eventual collapse.

In his view, government, teachers, parents and the church must show much concern about the current state of morality being showcased by the youth, especially students, saying "we see clearly our students slipping away from good conduct but we appear to be helpless to do anything about it.”

Fosuaba Banahene expressed worry about the situation in which some academicians tend to use their “great minds” to promote ends that are rapidly moving students away from what is Godly, which he said, is against the common good of the Ghanaian society, adding: “their ideas and thinking are fast seeping into the mentality of our students.”

The GETFund Administrator, who was delivering the keynote address at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the St. James Seminary Senior High School at Abessim, near Sunyani, also noted that the abuse of modern tools of communication such as the television, video camera and the internet, has worsened the situation as “many students use these facilities not as a source of useful knowledge but as a source for the inculcation, consciously or unconsciously, of immoral habits and practices.”

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, advised students against the practice of occultism and the use of drugs in their studies. This, he said, has plagued the lives of many students in the country.

“It is common knowledge that students in institutions of learning in this country tend to seek the occult to help them to pass their exams or sometimes to enhance the performance of campus rap groups,” Mr. Baffour Awuah emphasised.

He therefore entreated students to believe in themselves by using their God-given talents to harness their full potentials by grabbing the various opportunities being offered by the government, parents and teachers.

On his part, the Catholic Bishop of the Sunyani Diocese, Most Rev. Mathew Kwasi Gyamfi, said St James School has been able to establish and maintain its reputation for academic excellence, high moral and spiritual formation, and high level of discipline.

According to the Bishop, the school has produced close to a hundred priests and hundreds of responsible and disciplined lay men who are now successful in their respective fields and are contributing greatly towards national development.

Cataloguing the enviable achievements of the school within 30 years of its existence, the Rector, Rev. Father Alex Ansu Ebow, said St James School has a “brilliant academic track” spanning over the years. Most of its students, past and present, he said, continue to win national awards for their academic prowess.

He stated that the school in 2005 was presented with an excellence award by the West African Examinations Council for producing the overall second best candidate in the 2004 SSSCE.

Again, St James was ranked first on the Senior Secondary School Examination ranking list in 2006. A position, the Rector noted, the school is currently enjoying. According to him, in 2007, the school's Debating Club won the Jubilee edition of the National Second Cycle Debate.

As part of the ceremony, some deserving students, staff and individuals were honoured for the distinguished roles they have played in enhancing the academic excellence of the school. Among them was Kwadjo Adjei Darko, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and MP for Sunyani West, who was immortalised for the singular role he played in the school's infrastructural development.

St. James Minor Seminary SHS was founded in 1978 by the Late Bishop of Sunyani Diocese, Most Rev. James Kwadwo Owusu. Within the first 15 years of inception, the school admitted and nurtured only boys who aspired to become Catholic priests.

However, in 1994, the school admitted its first non-seminarians to study alongside seminarians and thereby became a government assisted school with the Catholic Church preserving the right to administer it.