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11.09.2005 General News

Concern at ethnic twist on govt actions


Tamale, Sept. 11, GNA - Principals of the 38 public Teacher Training Colleges in the country have observed with disappointment the attempts being made by some people to give ethnic twist to some government actions or perceived inactions in recent times.

"We wish to caution that this attempt to interpret government actions in terms of ethnicity is a potent recipe for the disaster of national disunity and disintegration," they stated.

The Principals made the observation in a statement during the closing of 47th Annual Conference and Workshop of Conference of Principals of Teacher Training Colleges in Tamale on Saturday.

The Principals appealed to Ghanaians to see themselves first as Ghanaians and not on ethnicity basis.

"The beauty of Africa, and indeed of Ghana, is the diversity in languages and cultural practices that are inseparable intertwined to make us a nation of one people with a common destiny," the Principals contended.

"Let us not do anything that will threaten the unity of our beloved country. Some people will refuse to accept the fact that ethnocentricity is on the increase in Ghana but the fact is that the subject is real and we need to discuss and find solution to it," The Principals added. The week-long conference offered the Principals the opportunity to discuss matters of crucial importance to the development and progress of teacher education.

The forum also enabled the participants to formulate new strategies, as well as review existing plans and update their approach to teacher education to meet the peculiar needs of the country. The Principals expressed their concern about the widespread misuse and abuse of freedom of speech on the airwaves, especially during radio talk shows and phone-in programmes.

The open use of insults and insulting language on the airwaves was sending wrong signals to the young and old alike and this situation was intolerable.

The Principals said they appreciated the freedom of individuals to express their feelings on issues of personal and national concerns but lamented the appalling language some people use to express their views and concerns on the airwaves, especially when they raise issues concerning political figures and chief executives.

They appealed to Ghanaians to exercise restraint when they talk on the air and put their cases across in language that was devoid of insults and vulgar expressions.

The Principals called on the National Media Commission to institute a programme to educate the public on how to conduct radio talk shows and phone-ins in civilised language. They also appealed to the leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to spearhead the education campaign on the use of decent language on the airwaves. The participants reminded Ghanaians of the need to guard the peace that the country was enjoying and appealed to the media to be circumspect in writing provocation banner headlines for news items on the security of the nation and inter-community peace.

The Principals lamented the spate of road accidents and the attendance high fatal casualty rates and expressed the heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of all those who lost their lives through accidents, especially the three medical practitioners. The participants called on the National Road Safety Committee to step up its educational campaigns all year round and not limit its activities to Christmas and Easter as seemed to be the case.

They appealed to the Police to ensure that those who violate speed limit regulations and other road traffic laws were prosecuted and punished accordingly, to deter others.

The Principals also appealed to Vehicle and License Department (VELD) to put in place in-service training programme to educate drivers on how to stop the unnecessary deaths through road accidents. The GPRTU and other Transport Association should also join the crusade against preventable man-made accidents.

On environmental pollution, the Principals called on Ghanaians to declare action on environmental pollution and degradation and take steps to ensure a safe environment for future generations. School authorities should also ensure a safe environment in their schools and encourage tree planting.