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16.07.2005 General News

Emphasise moral training -Botwe


Accra, July 16, GNA - Information Minister, Dan Botwe on Saturday urged educationists not to emphasise only academic performance of children but also build in them sound moral values to enable them to withstand the challenges of the future.

Speaking at a Speech and Prize-Giving Day celebration of Jack and Jill school in Accra, the Minister said attaining academic excellence alone was not enough to secure a good future since a successful life depended more on values and habits cultivated over time.

"Sound education consists not only of excellent academic performance but also the building of good character," the Minister said.

Mr Botwe was not happy about the declining standard of discipline in schools, especially in areas of truancy, drunkenness, drug abuse, immoral sexual behaviour and acts of vandalism and destruction of school property, and called for urgent steps to reverse the situation. As a first step, the Minister called for the inculcation in the youth, respect for authority, honesty, hard work, patriotism and respect for public property.

He was emphatic on good parenting and urged parents to stop over-pampering their children and avoid siding unnecessarily with their wards whenever there was a confrontation with school authorities.

Mr Botwe, therefore called for stiffer punishment for parents who attacked teachers in retaliation for disciplinary actions taken against their children, saying such behaviour must be dealt with according to the full rigours of the law.

Parent Teacher Associations meetings must also go beyond issues of fixing schools fees and building structures to discussing discipline in the schools.

He urged students to read widely to improve their standard of English and develop the intellectual curiosity since learning was a life-long process.

Mr Marshall Hadzah, Headmaster of Jack and Jill, said the school had not recorded any failure in the Basic Education Certificate Examination since its inception.

In 2003, 77 out of the 82 students presented passed with distinction. He said the school was working over-time to equip the students with relevant skills such as computer knowledge to enable them to meet the challenges of the future.

Students who excelled in their various class examinations as well as best behaved students were awarded prizes. Jack and Jill was founded in 1975 and currently has a total of 882 students.