06.04.2005 General News

C/R GES questions "wee smoking competition" story

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Cape Coast, April 6, GNA - The Central Regional Director of education, Mrs. Justina Torjagbo on Wednesday, expressed concern about the publication of a story in a private newspaper on Monday, that some second cycle schools in Cape Coast had organized a "wee smoking competition".

The publication said the Mfantsipim School had won the competition.

She queried, who organized the competition, who awarded the trophies, and who received them?" and said that it was an allegation which the paper should have crosschecked, stressing that, the media should endeavour to "show concern".

Mrs. Torjagbo, who expressed the concern at a press conference at Cape Coast in reaction to the publication, said it was "shocking" and had caused panic among parents, who have made numerous telephone calls to her office.

She said in as much as it was the role of the media to educate, inform and entertain, some of the information, tends to cause panic and anxiety among the public and everything should be done to critically crosscheck facts.

According to her, although the story was attributed to the PRO at the Municipal Education Office, it should have been crosschecked with her office, before publication.

Mr Muniru Arafat Nuhu, Municipal Chief Executive, also expressed concern about the publication, which he said had dented the image of schools in the municipality.

He urged the media not to "sensationalize trivial issues just to sell their papers", but to be circumspect in their reportage and address issues that would help in the growth and development of the municipality and the region as a whole.

Mr Cosby Eshun, headmaster of Mfantsipim Secondary School deplored the fact that the publication, has given the impression that schools in the municipality were training students to be misfits in the society, and urged journalists to always publish the truth. Present at the press conference were the regional executives of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) and some heads of some second cycle schools in the municipality. 6 April, 05

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