Takoradi, Aug. 10, GNA - Participants at an educational forum have called on chiefs and parents to actively join the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the government in implementing its policies. They said the non-involvement of chiefs coupled with the shirking of responsibility by parents were major set backs for the development of education in the Western Region.
The participants including teachers, chiefs, students, opinion leaders, retired civil servants, journalists and presiding members made these observations in Takoradi on Tuesday, during a mini-forum on education as part of activities marking the first ever-Western Region Homecoming Summit.
The weeklong celebrations are on the theme: "Education Key to Development."
They stressed that due to poverty, many indigenes did not aspire for higher educational laurels, while many others were engaged in illegal mining, fishing, farming and other economic but risky ventures.
The participants appealed to the government to convert existing senior secondary schools in the region into agricultural and fishing technology institutes, coconut and cashew centres of excellence.
This type of training they said would enable more youths with the desire for specialised training in any occupation to choose and specialise for the benefit of the region and the country.
They suggested that wealth creation, innovative education and skills development should be the new model of education for the youth within the region.
Mr Joseph B. Aidoo. Western Regional Minister said education and development were complimentary and appealed to all to ensure that their children were educated.
He said the fortunes of the Western Region could change for the better if the human resource was properly developed.
Mr Aidoo stressed that the continuous dependence on the government could not guarantee the rapid development of the region and called on individuals, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and philanthropists to join in the development of the region.
Nana Ekra Kojo VI, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the proposed Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA) University said over 200 million cedis had been realised towards the establishment of the university.
He said the Metropolitan University was meant to complement and create more opportunities for indigenes to have access to higher education. It would focus on Information Communication and Technology, he explained. Nana Kojo, who is also the Chief of Anaji said SAEMA needed two billion cedis by June 2005 to enable it to commence its idea.
He assured investors that their names would be engraved in Gold, Silver and Bronze monuments within the Metropolis for their contribution towards university education.
Nana Kobina Nketisah V, who chaired the function, expressed his regret that some parents continued to take education for granted. He said education is very important for the survival, growth and development of any nation.