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27.11.2005 General News

Lawless students should be dismissed outright - Minister

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Anfoega (V/R), Nov. 27, GNA - The Ministry of Education Youth and Sports has empowered heads of second cycle schools to sack students whose conduct is proven to be reprehensible and a threat to order. Mr Kwame Amporfo Twumasi, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports said this at a grand durbar to climax the 40th anniversary celebration of the Anfoega Secondary School at Anfoega on Saturday "We cannot and will not countenance student indiscipline in our schools, if a student or group of students decide to foment trouble, don't wait a second, show him the exit," he stated Mr Twumasi said reports of anti social practices such as "vandalism, drug abuse, alcoholism and immoral behaviours" needed serious attention and condemnation.

"If we are to create healthy environments in our schools in which sound education and training thrive, then such social vices as I mentioned should be clamped down with all seriousness," the Minister said On the computerized selection of candidates into Senior Secondary Schools, Mr Twumasi said selections were based on choice of schools, districts and regions made by the candidates.

He observed that a student only got the preferred school if he or she was within the cut-off point of that particular school. Mr Twumasi conceded that the system, as a new one, had its teething problems and suggestions were needed to improve it, stressing that it had come to stay.

The Minister said it was unfortunate that some opinion leaders had expressed some misgivings about the exercise. Anfoega Secondary School (Anfoesec) started as a Teacher Training College (Anfoeco) in 1965 with Professor Noah Dzobo, an Education Policy Analyst and former Moderator of the Evangelical Presbyterian (EP) Church, Ghana, as its first Principal.

The school was, however, turned into a secondary school in 1972. Mr Twumasi observed that education was a pivot around which communities developed and that any community that wanted rapid development needed to put a lot of resources into its schools. He said the standard of an educational institution was not determined on the basis of the students' academic performance alone but by other factors such as high standard of discipline. Mr Twumasi commended the school for producing the first woman lawyer from the traditional area and such achievers as the late Alfred Kofi Appiah, a child rights activist and member of the President's Educational Review Commission and Ms Patience Peace Abiti the 2005 Second Best Teacher award winner.

He commended the school for taking extra-curricula activities seriously, which had won it national champions in the Schools and colleges Cultural Festivals and a ticket to represent Ghana in the West African Schools and Colleges Festival in Lagos, Nigeria in the past. The school is also the current district and regional champions in the Second Cycle Civic Education Competition. The Minister promised that government would facilitate the fruition of the building of a girl's dormitory block, which is the anniversary project.

Ms Margaret Krampa, Headmistress, said the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) results had progressively improved from, 79.4 per cent in 2001 to 93.26 percent in 2004. She said the school throughout its 40 years had recorded no major student unrests.

Ms Krampa said running the school from two compounds- administration block and classrooms- two kilometres apart was putting a lot of strain on staff and students. She appealed to government to construct a concrete drain access road to the school, replace its 23 year-old truck, which often broke down and build at least four staff bungalows for the school to make student supervision less difficult.

Mr Peter Hayibor, Board Chairman said the impact of the school on the community had been tremendous and commended the zeal of the chiefs and community leaders in sustaining the dream of the founders. Mr Silas Yiuah, President of Anfoesec Old Students' Association appealed to the "large army of old students" to give back a little of what the school provided in their personal development. Miss Akua Sena Dansua, Member of Parliament for North-Dayi announced that she had brokered a partnership deal for Anfoesec with a school in Sweden.

Mr Pious Adanuti, Kpando District Chief Executive (DCE) in a message said education must make one ready to face the challenges of life and equipped to help improve the circumstances of one's community and not for personal fulfilment alone.

The durbar, which was attended by chiefs of the area, staff of other educational institutions and old students, was preceded by a parade of a 48-member military cadet corps of the school.