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30.05.2004 Education

Govt is addressing challenges of educational reforms

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Tema, May 30, GNA -- The government has set up a commission to look into challenges and problems that arose out of the introduction of the educational reform system introduced by the previous government. Captain Nkrabea Effa-Darteh, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development who announced this on Saturday at Tema stated that reports indicated that the educational reforms had been confronted with problems and challenges.

He was speaking at the second speech and prize-giving day of Our Lady of Mercy (OLAM) Senior Secondary School at Tema, which also marks the fifth anniversary of the school.

The day was celebrated under the theme: "discipline, as the bedrock to academic excellence".

The school was founded by the Reverend Father Francis Beemsterboer (SVD) who was then in-charge of the OLAM Church at Tema and was continued by the current parish priest Rev. Fr. Aloysius Hoguth, who is also the local manager of the school.

Both priests personally supervised the construction of the school and provided basic needs.

He said the government, in demonstrating commitment to improve the educational sector has provided funds to develop about 40 deprived schools in the country.

To this effect, it had been decided that funds from the Getfund should be channelled through the district assemblies instead of the Ghana Education Service.

Referring to the theme of the celebration Capt. Effah-Darteh stated that discipline should be the watchword among the youth and embraced the idea establishment of religious institutions which would inculcate the fear of God in students in order to live disciplined lives.

The Minister called for discipline among students and advised them to use their precious time profitably to study hard to pass out successfully since they have less responsibility at this time when they are young.

He said when they miss this golden opportunity at their disposal learning becomes difficult and stressful in adulthood as they would be faced with domestic and official responsibilities, which create divided attention and definitely affect performance.

He therefore, advised against indulging in social vices that would mar their lives and rather concentrate on their books and also join educative social clubs to help develop their talents.

While urging teachers to play effective role to instil discipline in students so that they do not abuse the trust reposed in them by parents, so must parents ensure that their children and wards are directed to become responsible adults.

Capt. Effah-Darteh stressed the need for stakeholders to show interest in the development of schools by providing them with their basic needs such as teachers' accommodation so that they can respond promptly to the academic request of students.

He therefore asked the Tema Development Corporation and Tema Municipal Assembly to consider providing accommodation for teachers of the school as requested by the headmistress.

For students and the entire citizenry to have absolute peace to go about their duties, he stressed need for political parties to go about their electioneering campaign in a healthy atmosphere devoid of inflammatory remarks in order not to flare up tempers.

Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Tema Municipal Chief Executive lauded the numerous contributions of the Catholic Church to promote quality education saying that the activities are impacted positively in all spheres of the society.

He said in Ghana, religion has largely been used to complement the efforts of the state in promoting development in all sectors of the economy and expressed government's gratitude for that.

His Grace Dominic Kwadwo Andoh, Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Accra noted that in spite of the campaign against contracting the dreadful HIV/AIDS the disease continue to spread.

He therefore advised the populace to have the fear of God in them and lead moral lives so that Ghana would have a brighter future. Mrs Robetta Mary Appau, Headmistress of the school said with only 12 teachers and 160 students at its inception in 1999, the population has increased to 30 teaching staff, 12 supporting staff and 561 students.

She said following its good academic performance, the school was absorbed into public school system in 2001.

On the league table of the 2003 senior secondary School Certificate Examination, OLAMS placed 99 out of 476 nationwide, 13th out of 36 in the Greater Accra Region and third out of seven in the Tema Municipality.

Mrs Appau noted that the deboardinisation policy of schooling rather promotes indiscipline among students as they take advantage to play all sorts of tricks.

She said day schools are associated with many social problems and cannot be the best to raise the fallen standards of education at this level.

All the speakers paid tribute to the two priests whose immense contributions have made the school chalk success in its five years of existence.

A multi-purpose hall was opened to mark the occasion. 30 May 30