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09.07.2005 General News

Minister warns students about engaging in occultism

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Tamale, July 9, GNA - Alhaji Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister, has said that the recent phenomenon in some schools where students consult mallams, priests and engage in occultism could spell disaster for the country.

He said such negative practices had the tendency of moving the nation backward since it de-emphasizes hard work. The Regional Minister was addressing the first speech and prize-giving day of the Bethel Methodist School Complex in Tamale. Alhaji Boniface used the occasion to remind teachers to ensure absolute fairness in the assessment of students saying, "remember at all times that the beneficiaries of your partiality are usually the same persons to betray you."

He noted that when deserving students were denied the opportunity, it bred indiscipline and sometimes produced chaotic situations. The Minister was not happy about the exploitation by proprietors of some schools that cash in on PTA's to demand virtually everything "from chalk to school buildings".

He warned proprietors of schools who were guilty of the practice to desist from demanding such unreasonable bills from parents. Alhaji Boniface said the announcement by the sector Minster to relieve parents of the difficulty of paying the school fees of their wards in basic schools come September was an indication of government's effort to ease the burden on parents.

Mrs Victoria Maud Brown, Headmistress of the school asked the minister to intervene and help check the unnecessary intrusion and destruction caused by residents and motorists who drive across the school compound thus putting the lives of pupils at risk. She called for the upgrading of the ill-equipped school library in order to measure up to appropriate standards to support learning. Mrs Brown thanked the Child Aid Volunteer Group a Christian based NGO for donating five computers to enable the school to set up an ICT center.

Prizes were awarded to pupils who performed creditably in various subjects.