Nsawam, Oct. 20, GNA - Mr Yaw Barimah, Eastern Regional minister has pledged Government's commitment to provide infrastructural services to support all levels of the educational system.
To this end, he urged parents, community members, churches, non-governmental organisations and other private institutions, to support the national educational drive.
Mr Barimah made the pledge in a speech read on his behalf at the 120th anniversary celebration of the Nsawam Presbyterian Basic Schools at Nsawam.
The theme for the occasion was: "Effective Basic Education - The Bedrock for National Development."
The Regional Minister used the occasion to commend teachers, the schools' Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and management committee for their devotion to duty, zeal and hard work. Mr Barimah reiterated the call on parents to invest in the education of their children, since that would prepare them to meet future challenges with confidence.
The Regional Minister charged parents and guardians to make maximum use of the Government's Fee Free Basic Education Policy, and ensure that no child of school-going age was left behind.
Mr Barimah also urged school authorities to ensure that due diligence was given to the guidelines governing the utilisation of the capitation grant.
He advised students and pupils to respect and obey school rules, avoid the use of hard drugs and alcohol, since in his view, the use of these substances to a large extent, could have serious negative effects on their mental and physical development.
Reverend Dr Charles Gyang Duah, Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presby Church appealed to Government to implement the curricular principles recommended by the Report of the Presidential Committee on Review of Educational Reforms in Ghana.
Dr Duah noted that effective basic education in the country was the collective responsibility, collaboration and co-ordination of efforts from all and sundry.
Mr Magnus Opare Asamoah, Deputy Minister of Road and Transport and Member of Parliament for Akuapem South, stated that one factor militating against the Free Compulsory Basic Education (FCUBE) policy was the institution of levies by the various assemblies, as a way of generating revenue for the development of schools and organising cultural and sporting activities.
This, Mr Asamoah said, had the effect of deterring many families, especially the poor, from sending their children to school.
He said the Government was committed to the effective implementation of the FCUBE programme, adding that it was for this reason why it has instituted the capitation grant with effect from the 2005-2006 academic year, in all the 138 districts.
The utilisation of the capitation grant, he explained, had been designed to empower schools to effectively use financial resources to plan and carry out school quality improvement activities.
Mrs Ewura Ama Ahwoi, Regional Director of Education, stated that the Ghana Education Service was striving hard to have a level playing field for teachers to work.
She, therefore, urged teachers to be more professional in the discharge of their duties, adding, "As teachers, you must not put your integrity on the line."
Mr Nyarko Adu, Akuapem South District Chief Executive paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the schools for their vision and foresight.
Mr Adu pledged the District Assembly's preparedness to assist schools within the district with the provision of the needed logistics to ensure effective teaching and learning. In his report, Mr E.N. Ayeh, Headmaster of the Junior Secondary School, said the schools have a student population of 801 with 34 teachers.
Mr Ayeh enumerated the schools' problems to include the absence of a library, and the poor state of infrastructural development. He therefore called for the immediate re-roofing of the leaking buildings.
Book prizes were distributed to deserving pupils.