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27.02.2006 General News

Fight ahead greater than independence struggle


Saltpond, Feb. 27, GNA - The fight ahead of the nation is greater than the struggle for political independence, Professor Kwabena Frempong Boateng, Chief Executive of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, has stated. Addressing the 43rd Speech and Prize-Giving Day of the Mfantsiman Girls Secondary School at Saltpond at the weekend, he pointed out that it was the responsibility of all Ghanaians to help in finding a solution to the economic, social, cultural and technological problems confronting the nation.

Prof Boateng noted that the society was confronted with diseases of all descriptions and virulence while the country did not have the technology to provide basic needs such as water supply, food, good health and education.

"Our world is essentially driven by technology, he said, adding that "energy, agriculture, medicine and health, clean and water, transportation, sanitation management and conservation of natural resources all are based ultimately in science and technology," the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Chief Executive said.

To be part of that world science and technology should be serious components of the country's development process, he said. Prof Boateng stated that a country's development depended on the ability of its citizens to understand, interpret, select adapt, use, transmit, diffuse produce and commercial scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to the nation's culture, aspiration and level of advancement.

He described the "poverty gap" in Africa as a "technological gap" and said the categorisation of nations into advanced and developing was based on their scientific advancement, adding that income levels match with the level of scientific and technological advancement.

"It will take a lot of determination on the part of leaders to change the fortunes of the nation," Pro Boateng said and stressed that "We need to tackle our developmental affairs with an uncompromising determination to succeed".

He called for a change of attitude on the part of the people especially the leaders to propel the country from "Third World squalor to a First World of affluence".

The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Chief Executive urged students to be thankful for the many things they take for granted and said there were many people of their age in this country not fortunate as they were out of school, who go to bed hungry and were forced to work to supplement the income of their families while others had been sold into servitude and prostitution.

He stressed the important role of the school in the development of the potentials of children and said "not everything that is tagged a school qualifies to be one'.

In many places in this country a block containing classrooms is labelled as a school but the time has come for us to define the components of a school, he said.

Prof Boateng said this should be done if children should be spared years in school, which would end up as a waste of their time and talents as well as the resources of their parents and society.

He said a school should at least have classrooms, offices for teachers, library, facilities for indoor and out-door games, workshops, adequate sanitary facilities including bathrooms, canteen facilities, teachers, adequate accommodation for the staff and students, adequate means of transport and facilities for extra curricula activities.

Prof Boateng said teachers should also be well paid and motivated because without them school activities would not succeed. He called for a curriculum that encouraged creativity in students and said the practice of "chew, pour, pass and forget" had not done students and the country any good.

Students should be encouraged to spend time on useful hobbies such as music, reading and learning other things apart from what was stipulated in the curricula such as astronomy, law, health issues and politics to enrich their lives.

Learning should be fun especially in the formative, he stated and said it was not a good idea to interview little children before admitting them into Kindergarten.

He charged students to acquire knowledge and skills that would benefit them, their families and society and said nothing should distract them from this goal.

"Learn to distinguish between good and evil and endeavour to do the good that you know.

"Cultivate self discipline and choose to do the right thing especially when no one is watching you," Prof Boateng added. Mrs Sarah Wilson, Headmistress, said had a population of 1,746 with a staff of 99 and commended the teachers for their dedication. She encouraged them to continue with their zeal since, "the future of these young ones, our future leaders, to a great extent lie in our hands . Our commissions or omissions can contribute to make or mar their lives".

She said discipline in the school had improved and commended the students for their high sense of decency, tolerance, love and respect for their fellow students and the staff.

Mrs Wislon expressed gratitude to the Mfantseman District Assembly, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and past students for supporting the school. She appealed for assistance to complete the Assembly Hall started by the PTA about five years ago, the provision of a spacious Dining Hall, a library, staff bungalows, classrooms and to improve water supply to the school.