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26.02.2006 General News

Students not exempted from penal laws


Koforidua, Feb 26, GNA - A Deputy Minister has reminded students that they were not exempted from the penal laws of the country and would therefore face the appropriate sanctions if they indulged in acts of indiscipline that would lead to destruction of public and personal properties.

The sanctions range from minimal fatigue through suspension, dismissal or jail sentences.

Mr Kwame Ampofo Twumasi, the Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, said this when addressing the 48th Speech and Prize-Giving Day of the Pope John Secondary School and Minor Seminary, Efiduase-Koforidua on Saturday.

Theme of the celebration was: "Maintaining school discipline in the complex world of Information Technology". Mr Ampofo Twumasi deplored the phenomenon of students riots during which the limited school facilities were destroyed with impunity by irate students and warned that such indiscipline would no more be tolerated.

He said the price of indiscipline in educational institutions were too enormous to be ignored in the light of the sacrifices the government and parents had to make out of scarce resources to prepare students for future leadership positions. He said the government, as the major investor in education, would ensure that its colossal investment in education was not brought to waste through mismanagement by administrators or indiscipline by students.

Mr Ampofo Twumasi said if students were fully made aware of the cost of the acts of indiscipline in monetary and psychological terms, "they would think twice before they act." He, however, assured that the Ministry of Education and Sports would continue to create and facilitate enabling environment for serious academic work in educational institutions and assured the school that efforts would be made to address the numerous problems facing it.

The Headmaster of the school, Mr Paul Ofori-Atta, said the school's performance in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations had been improving over the years with many of the students qualifying for the university.

The passing rate increased from 88.6 per cent in 2003/2004 to 92.8 in the 2004/5 academic years.

On the three-year SSS programme, he noted that since the task of providing sound academic and moral education was becoming more challenging to school authorities, he supported the view that the proposed four-year Senior High School programme would be more beneficial in preparing the students adequately and holistically to meet the challenges of the modern world of information technology. Mr Ofori-Atta enumerated several problems facing the school including lack of enough staff bungalows for which only 14 out of 70 teaching staff live on the compound, inadequate dormitories, means of transport, library space and science classroom.

He appealed for the completion of the school assembly/dinning hall complex abandoned since 1976.

The Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Mr Daniel Dugan, who chaired the ceremony, urged educational institutions to go into aquaculture in order to benefit from technical assistance from his Ministry to improve their feeding system. 26 Feb 06