Cape Coast, March 11, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor, has advised schoolgirls to aim high and set for themselves visions that go beyond preparation for marriage and motherhood.
"Elsewhere, women have already arrived at the Presidency. They are Prime Ministers and Heads of Government", he said, at the 60th Anniversary of the Holy Child School/College in Cape Coast on Saturday. The theme for the celebration was, "60 years of Quality Catholic Education: Promoting Gender Equity."
President Kufuor said they should show greater self-discipline, comportment, self-belief and hard work to have a fair chance of the good life in the emerging global village.
They should ensure that friendships they formed in their schools endured to provide mutual support in keeping faith with those virtues. He said what was expected of them was the display of exemplary life that would keep such dangers as teenage pregnancy, which was an unwarranted intrusion into the healthy development of the girl-child and the HIV/AIDS disease at bay.
President Kufuor observed that the partnership between the government and other stakeholders of education was beginning to yield positive results in gender representation, saying, "At the tertiary level, girls have more than caught up with boys in numbers. "Academically too, they are holding their own. Indeed in medicine and law, they are more often the prize winners at graduations." Another significant development was their taking to the study of mathematics, engineering and other abstruse areas lately at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). President Kufuor announced that the Government, through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) was constructing a 5.2 billion cedi three-storey and well-equipped Science Laboratory complex for the Holy Child School. It had already completed a classroom block with the capacity for accommodating 480 students and facilities for six offices and an examination centre as well as a dormitory block for the school at a total cost of six billion cedis.
Its sister institution, Holy Child Training College in Tarkoradi is also to receive new computers and a modern library complex, President Kufuor added.
Dr Sam Jonah, Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital Limited, South Africa, asked parents to protect their wards from modern influences and diversions through effective supervision.
They must not be allowed to stray off course, he said, adding that in the eagerness to be modern, it was important for parents to avoid the temptation to over-pamper their children.
He also had some words of advice to the girls, telling them not to regard each other as threat to their own success. They should rather recognise that they needed the support and encouragement of one another to succeed.
Dr Jonah also spoke of negative peer pressure and said this could be devastating and therefore asked the students to resist that. They should instead motivate each other to work hard.
"You should reflect on where you come from, where you want to go, what your family and the society expect of you. This will act as spark to ignite all the positive values in you", he added. He told them not to either accept mediocrity or the status quo. 11 March 06