Larteh-Akuapem, Oct 11, GNA - The chief of Larteh, Osabarima Asiedu Okoo Ababio 111, has called on the government not to abolish the existing education system but it must nurture it to grow with adequate human and material resources.
Reacting to the recent statement by President J.A. Kufuor that the Presidential Educational Reform Commission has recommended the extension of the Senior Secondary School (SSS) to four years, he said the current education system was "not bad in its itself as some people see it."
Speaking at a durbar to mark this year's Odwira festival at Larteh on Sunday, Osabarima Ababio was of the view that instead of changing the SSS to Senior High School and extending it for another year with its attendant colossal costs, the government should rather continue to provide the system with inputs to make it more functional by retraining and motivating teachers to work harder.
He said the shortcoming of the current system was that it did not begin with the necessary infrastructure. ''Teachers were not trained to handle the new subjects, resulting in some of them leaving the classroom due to lack of motivation.''
Osabarima Ababio, who retired as the Director of Finance of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), also cited the lack of adequate classrooms, workshops, equipment, text-books and furniture and said most of them were being solved by the government.
He said since Ghana is planning to enter the West African SSS Certificate Examination that is based on the 6-3-3-3 system, "We should be circumspect before taking any move that can jeopardize the future education of our wards."
Osabarima Ababio said the Akuapem Guan Education Trust Fund instituted by the people awarded 10 needy students with scholarships last year while efforts were under way to establish a vocational technical training centre and cottage industries for the unemployed youth.
On the 10-year-old Akuapem chieftaincy dispute, he said the three-member Larteh Accord signatories involving Larteh, Okere and Anafo and the Okuapehene Oseadeyo Addo Dankwa were holding dialogue towards reaching an amicable resolution.
On the forthcoming elections, Osabarima Asiedu Okoo Ababio advised politicians to play their political game with civility and be prepared to accept defeat.
"Anybody who preaches war and rumours of war should not come near us because we are not prepared to listen to any unacceptable speeches." He commended members of the Larteh Ewuebi Club for organising medical personnel from the town to offer free medical care to over 500 aged persons last month.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo-Mensah, appealed to the chiefs and people to take advantage of the annual festival to settle feuds peacefully to enhance the image of the town and also pave the way for initiating development projects.
He urged them to embrace the District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme to obtain health care without financial constraints. On the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Dr Osafo-Mensah reminded the people that the region has the highest prevalence rate in the country with about 8 per cent as against the national rate of 3 per cent and called on them to change their sexual behaviour to avoid infection.
He told the people that since elections involved people exercising their constitutional rights to elect the government of the choice, there should therefore be no incidence of violence and called for peaceful election in the spirit of friendship and unity.
Osabarima Asiedu Okoo Ababio conferred the "Osabarima Award for Distinction" on five citizens.
They are the late Joseph Richardson Asiedu, First Speaker of the National Assembly and late Nana Yaw Adade Asiedu, a late traditional herbal practitioner.
Others were Mr Amoah Awuah, a Minister in the First Republic, the Akuapem Mamponghene, Osabarima Otu Pabi1V and Mr Samuel Kofi Dankwa, founder of the Larteh Ewuebi Club.
An amount of 24.6 million cedis was realized in an appeal for funds in aid of nurses' quarters for the local clinic.