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26.02.2005 General News

Minister calls for collaboration between past students, GES

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Accra Feb 26, GNA- Mr. Yaw Osafo-Marfo, Minister of Education and Sports on Saturday called for effective collaboration between various past students associations, the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education to enhance quality education in the country.

"It would be appreciative for old boys and girls association make conscious effort to regularize such interaction with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service in order to advance a genuine cause of participation in education within the frame work of the constitution. " ''Ideas for effective collaboration in Ghana's education development can come from different sources, but are the best when they originate from the people who will benefit most from them. "Since you are the people who know best your local environmental conditions, you should be more committed to solving any problem you are confronted with."

Mr. Osafo Marfo said this in a speech read on his behalf at the second Annual General Meeting of Notre Dame Seminary School Old Boys Association in Accra. The meeting, which was aimed at taking stock of Notre Dame Seminary School, was under the theme: "Contributing towards enhancing quality education in Notre Dame."

The Minister said old boys associations also constituted stakeholders in education and urged them to galvanize themselves into action instead of having talk shops. "In my view the concept of collaboration symbolized a new era of development strategy in Ghana's socio-economic relation in development. The cardinal issue here has been the desire to safeguard the interest of the large majority of Ghanaians who, as it were, have been left out in the development process, especially educational development." He therefore, appealed to old boys associations to open new chapters of initiating modalities that would enhance effective collaboration between the Ministry and Ghana Education Service.

The Minister said, "it has become apparent that many old boys associations are not discharging their responsibilities seriously and urged them to take interest in their respective schools by way of motivating teachers to settle down and perform their duties very well." Mr Osafo Marfo reminded them of the need to regularise their interactions with Ministry of Education and GES in order to advance genuine cause of participating in education. "Let us therefore, guard the relationship between the Ministry and old boys associations jealously for the common good so that the positive strides we have chalked in the educational sector would be maintained." The Minister said government was delighted in the achievements of old boys associations saying, "these go to supplement the effort of government in improving educational standards of schools in the country." The Minister commended the positive strides made by the school, saying Notre Dame is first among equals because of "our effective collaborative efforts in contributing towards enhancing quality education." Notre Dame Seminary School in the Upper East Region was first among the four best schools in the 2004 SSCE examination league table. In 2003, it took the 12 position on the table.

Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Manpower Development and Youth and an old boy stressed the need to intensify career counselling in schools to enable students to make informed choices on their future career. He pleaded with past students to assist the school with some basic facilities to enhance effective teaching and learning. He pledged to provide more computers to the school. Reverend Father Francis Kodelogo, Rector of the school, recalled the achievement of the school in last year's Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination and promised to embark on "zero tolerance for "Fail" in the school.

The Rector appealed to all to assist the school to reinforce discipline, adding with that, things would drastically be improved. Rev. Father Kodelogo told the meeting that most structures of the school were in a deplorable state as result of old age and lack of maintenance. "We have to embark on massive renovation of some of the structures in order to create a conducive atmosphere for effective learning."

Mr Mark O. Woyongo, Deputy Director in-charge of Finance and Administration, Ministry of Information, who chaired the meeting, suggested that, the Ministry of Education and Sports, in compiling the league table on the performance of school, should establish an award scheme for teachers and students in deprived areas. "This would boost these schools to come up with their best," Mr Woyongo added.