Winneba (C/R), Nov. 27, GNA - Speakers at the 56th anniversary of Winneba Secondary School (WINNESEC), on Saturday expressed utter dismay at the mounting indiscipline among students in second cycle institutions in the country.
They have therefore, strongly reminded parents of their responsibility to inculcate high sense of discipline in their wards and stop relinquishing this key responsibility to school authorities.
The speakers were Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports and Member of Parliament for Oda, Mrs. Gifty Affenyi-Dadzie, Member of Council of State and former President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), and Mr. Herbert Morrison, Managing Partner, Morrison and Associates Tax Consultants.
They maintained that for the nation to achieve better and appreciable socio-economic and spiritual status, the youth needs to be properly and effectively trained to equip them, not only with higher academic qualifications but more importantly, with excellent moral qualities.
Mr. Osafo-Maafo expressed concern that it is now becoming a growing phenomenon that most parents and guardians seemed to have lost complete control over their children in terms of home training and monitoring of their day-to-day movements.
He said that, more often than not, such parents and guardians if requested at certain point in time to tell you where their children had gone, cannot offer you any concrete answer, thus exhibiting their total ignorance about the movements of their own children. This attitude, Mr Osafo-Maafo added, would not help us build a formidable team to run the affairs of the nation in future. "It is about time parents and guardians boldly take up the mantle as key stakeholders in the training of children to give government and authorities of various educational institutions the expected backing in their quest to offer the youth the needed formal training", he added. Mr Osafo-Maafo cautioned students who allow themselves to be wrongfully used by their peers to undermine school authorities, stressing that his ministry had now decided to link examination with discipline to ensure a high standard of comportment and discipline at all examination centres during and after examinations until the last minute of students stay at school campuses. This, the sector Minister further stated, implies that until they left school campuses for their respective homes, any student who misconduct him or herself during and after examination will be made to face the full rigours of the law.
On the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) issue, Mr Osafo-Maafo reiterated Government's determination to maintain the system and improve upon it in the coming years. He said some of the problems the new system encountered had after the introduction had been solved and efforts were being made to resolve those, which will surface later. Mr Osafo-Maafo appealed to all stakeholders in the education sector to intensify their sensitisation activities on the new system to ensure that the people assimilate the importance of the change-over and contribute to its success.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said that the new computerised placement system has chalked up some level of improvement in the candidate placement procedure compared to the manual one.
He said, for instance, in 2004, the number of candidates placed by the manual system was 130,000 students out of 167,000 entrants, while this year, out of the 177,070 entrants, the computerised system was able to enter 154,000 together with some 4,000 students from last year's, making total entrants for this year 158,000.
Mr Osafo-Maafo commended authorities of Winneba Secondary School for converting the bungalow of the Assistant Headmaster of the School into a temporary girls dormitory to enable the institution to cope with the high enrolment of girls brought about by the computerisation system, notwithstanding the acute accommodation problem facing the school. In their annual reports, Mrs Cecilia Kwakye Coffie, Headmistress and Mr Nadiel A. Acheampong, the Senior Prefect of the School enumerated a number of academic and sporting achievements the school recorded during the past year, and promised to worker harder to maintain the standards and improve upon them in the years ahead.
Mrs Coffie, on behalf of the Board of Governors under the chairmanship of Professor Kwesi Yankah of the University of Ghana, Legon, expressed appreciation to all those who have contributed in diverse ways to help in the running of the school for their excellent gesture and called for more of such support. Earlier, the children of the late Alfred Jonas Dowuona-Hammond, Founder of the Winneba Secondary School, on behalf of their 80 year-old mother Mrs Bertha Dowuona-Hammond unveiled a monument they have erected at the front view of the administrative block, with the assistance of the Board Chairman Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Mrs Gifty Affenyi-Dadzie, an old student of the school and a number dignitaries who attended the function.
In addition, Mrs Dowuona-Hammond and her children established a foundation in memory of her late husband towards the promotion of education at WINNESEC with 10 million cedis as seed money. Prizes were distributed to deserving students, staff and workers of the school.
Among those present were the Deputy Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Effutu, Mr Samuel Owusu-Agyei, Mr Solomon Kwashie Abbam-Quaye, District Chief Executive for Awutu-Effutu-Senya, and the Presiding Member of Awutu-Effutu-Senya District Assembly, Mr Kwesi Esseku.