Bole (NR), April 12, GNA - The Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama has called on northerners to discard the notion that the north is poor and put their heads together and device measures to rejuvenate the fallen standards of education in the area.
"The times we used to throw our hands up in despair and say that we are poor are gone. We owe a primary responsibility for the education of our children and we must use the scarce resources at our disposal to educate them," he said.
The Vice President said this in a speech read for him by Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris at the 28th Annual Congress of the Gonjaland Youth Association (GLYA), at Bole at the weekend.
The congress was on the theme: "Enhancing education in Gonjaland - the role of the youth" and was sought to review activities of the previous year and to see how best citizens of Gonjaland could contribute their quota towards developing the area.
More than three thousand citizens who stay outside Gonjaland, both within and outside the country attended the congress.
Alhaji Aliu said a lot of concern had been expressed about the fallen standards of education in the north after the publication of the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination results and that it was necessary for northerners to show interest in the education of the north.
He indicated that there was the need to transform the northern education system to reflect the age of the current information knowledge to ensure that every child of school going age became IT literate.
He said the top most priority of the NPP government was to offer quality education to all children in the country saying; "There is therefore the need for us to show concern to encourage and promote teaching and learning in our schools to improve the current trend".
The Vice President cautioned youth groups in the country to stay away from divisive politics, chieftaincy and land matters to sustain their existence and advised them to work closely with their Districts Assemblies for development.
He entreated the youth to continue to preach peace, which was a surest way settling differences to ensure development.
Mr Ahmed Ewura, National President of the Association announced that an annual Award Scheme had been instituted for brilliant students in the Pre-tertiary level as well as hard working teachers in Gonjaland as an initial step to improve the fallen standards of education in the area.
He therefore called on chiefs and opinion leaders to use their influence encourage parents to invest in their children by sending them to school particularly the girl child to take are of them in future.
Mr Ewura commended the government for the creation of the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba and the Central Gonja districts and appealed for the creation of a new region in the northern region due to the vastness of the region.
Mr Ernest Debrah, northern regional Minister, in a speecENh read for him, commended the youth of Gonjaland for sustaining the association for the past 28 years and urged them to use the advantage of their annual forums to educate the youth on the dangers of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Mr John Mahama, MP for Bole Bamboi commended the administration for the good projects it had embarked in the constituency particularly the creation of the two new districts and gave the assurance that an NDC government would do more if it resumes office in 2005.
The Yagbonwura Bawa Doshie I, assured the government the traditional council's support in helping the government to achieve its objectives including voting it to power.
He however, said the people of Gonjaland would lose faith in the government if the Damongo-junction-Sawla road was not finished on schedule adding that the current mode of work was slow and the people contractors were not showing seriousness on it. He appealed to political party leaders and their supporters to make clean campaigns in this year's elections to ensure peaceful elections.