THE VICE President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has said that Ghana's desire of becoming a modernised middle income society, with a per capita income of at least, $1,000, by the year 2015 and rising thereafter depends on the knowledge foundation the education system can provide.
He said the government believed accelerated growth for development hinged on the nation's human capital, which according to him, had prompted it to consistently increase the budgetary allocation to the education sector, to motivate the education system for the country to reach a higher level.
He mentioned that the new education system reforms embarked upon by the government, were meant to produce well-rounded students capable of innovation, and equipped with the skills needed to participate in the modern knowledge economy, at a personal, national and international level.
Speaking under the theme: “The new educational reform: its implications and challenges for the girl child” at the 11th Speech and Prize Giving Day of the Yaa Asantewaa Girls Senior High School (YAGSHS) in Kumasi over the weekend, the Vice President stated that girls appeared to face greater challenges in pursuit of their goals, by virtue of the extra dimension of predetermined social expectations, which with a clear understanding of modern social trends, a girl child maturing into a woman ought to be able to make better informed choices toward self actualisation.
Alhaji Aliu also said the government's approach of mainstreaming gender issues into national development strategies, puts the educated woman right at the centre of opportunities for self advancement.
“The institutional framework for the advancement of gender issues is firmly anchored on the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, while the policy outlook is focused on affirmative empowerment,” he stressed.
The Vice President also challenged the leadership of schools, to enhance the training of their girl students, by sensitising them with a positive mindset about the larger dimensions of social relations in the fast moving global social economy.
According to him, no Ghanaian girl child should be dragged down, or her ambition limited by outmoded cultural practices and traditional beliefs, but thought that attitudinal change demanded consensus and sustained advocacy.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who also commissioned a Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) project in the school, urged institutions who were beneficiaries of the GETFund, as well as projects funded from other sources, to proactively invest in adequate maintenance.
He said if that was done, future funds could be invested in the provision of additional infrastructure for expansion, rather than the rehabilitation of the same stock of facilities.
“My concern is about maintenance and careful use, in order to enable others coming after you also to benefit from the facilities,” he stressed.
He further advised the students to refrain from anti-social attitudes that undermined academic work, and also avoid damaging school facilities, but rather channel their youthful exuberance into productive academic work.
He again advised the youth not to allow themselves to be used as instruments of violence and disruption, in the run up to the elections.
According to him, the youth had a moral obligation to preserve their future, by advising their less-privileged friends and relatives to appreciate the best choices, since their votes will help determine whether this country continued to generate the opportunities that would enable them realise their dreams.
Nana Adu Gyamfi, the Adontenhene who represented His Royal Highness Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, said the everlasting debt of gratitude owed by the Ashanti kingdom to Nana Yaa Asantewaa was carved in history, and her abiding spirit, which continually inspires the school, would always guarantee His Majesty's vigilance and attention to promote, support, and protect the school's interest.
He also advised the students to refrain from unscrupulous social vices, and encouraged them to take their lessons seriously, in order to overcome all the gender battles of ignorance, and denigration of the girl-child students and women.
According to him, the survival and success of the school was marked by the thousands of educated and well formed women, who were in responsible positions in government, administration and business circles.