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23.08.2005 Education

Let us remove negative factors to educational reforms - Rev Odonkor


Accra, Aug. 23, GNA - The Reverend Fitzgerald Odonkor, head Pastor of Harvest Chapel International (HCI) on Tuesday urged stakeholders in education to do away with negative factors that hinder the progress in the educational reform.

He said the reform programme has produced some undeniable achievements, despite the difficulties involved in the process and stressed that, the time has come for stakeholders to find innovative ways to support the educational system in addition to the efforts of government, instead of castigating it and "throwing our hands in despair".

Rev Odonkor said in a statement read on his behalf by Pastor Nobel Quadjie, HCI Administrator at the handing over of library furniture to the Nungua Community Library, as the church's contribution towards the improvement of education in deprived communities throughout the country. The Community Library, built by the Kathy Osu Children's Foundation, a Canadian NGO, headed by Madam Kathy Knowles. The HCI head Pastor said the key issues of equitable access to education, the quality of education, and sustainable financing of education at all levels should be the central pivot of educational stakeholders.

"We must endeavour to look beyond our individual or sectional concerns to find balanced solutions to the key issues, which would lead to a healthy and fruitful contribution that would assist in formulating realistic and sustainable strategies to make significant improvements in the country's educational system.

"What is needed is an educational system, which is capable of aiding, guiding, systematising and speeding up the process of life-long education in order to improve its efficiency, as well as to the extent of providing it with goals and purposes and making it more capable of meeting the needs of the individual."

Rev. Odonkor noted with regret, the state of libraries in the country and called on industries, religious bodies and other organisations to help equip them with computers.

He also called on parents to recognise that, they have vital roles to play in shaping the behaviour and performance of their children, "the irresponsibility of some parents have adversely affected their children and are increasingly being exposed to the "intensive and penetrating influence of westernisation."

He said most of the moral problems facing the youth today could be attributed to the undesirable exposure to crimes and immorality by the television and magazines and urged parents to offer guidance to their wards.

He advised teachers not to overlook the issue of moral education and training, adding, " you should not only impart knowledge and skills but to assist students to acquire the attributes of moral uprightness". Mrs Abigail Elisha, Head Librarian of the Nungua Community Library commended Harvest Chapel for the contribution.

The library serving the deprived community of Nungua and its environs attracts over 400 pupils, students and researchers daily and ha a spectacular attendance rule of people removing their footwear before entering, irrespective of the type footwear or personality. According to Mrs Elisha, the strict code of entering was for hygiene and to maintain serene atmosphere within, "we want to avoid situations, where people soil the floor or disturbed with their footwear." She appealed to parents, schools and other educational stakeholders within the catchments area to support the library.