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06.03.2006 General News

Independence Celebrations -From The Regions

By GNA

Koforidua Ninety-seven casualties were treated at the Red Cross Centre at the Koforidua Jackson's Park during the parade to mark the celebration of the 49th Independent Anniversary of the country in the Eastern Region on Monday.

Some of the casualties were among the 1800 school children, members of the security service, voluntary organizations and identifiable groups, who took part in a parade.

Major John Ndewuni Awuni of the First Infantry Brigade commanded the parade.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah, who read President John Agyekum Kufour' speech and the Eastern Regional Director of Education Mrs Ewurabena Ahwoi, the Regional Police Commander, ACP Raynolds Kwakye and the Commanding Officer of the First Infantry Battalion, Major B. B. Owusu earlier inspected the parade. After the parade, Riss Presbyterian Primary School children treated the Regional Minister, Heads of Department and the large crowd to a gymnastic display.

Teenage Bible Club was awarded a prize for being the best voluntary organization during the parade, Presbyterian Boys and Girls Brigade won the second position and Red Cross Society won the third place. At the Basic Schools level, Prince of Peace International School won the first position, SDA Schools won the second position and Good News International School won the third position.

Koforidua Secondary School won the first place for the senior secondary school level, Pope John Secondary School and Junior Seminary won the second position and Ghana Secondary School was third. Commenting on the parade, Mr Owusu Berfi, Assemblyman for Social Welfare Electoral Area said this year's parade was an improvement on those organized in previous years.

He however, regretted at the delay in arrival of some of the officials for the function, which delayed the commencement of the parade and called on Ghanaians to change their altitude to government business and time if the dreams of the forefathers of the country were to be realized.

Ms Victoria Obeng, a teacher, said the number of voluntary organisations that took part in this year's parade were limited as compared to previous years but saw much improvement in the organization of the parade.

Mr Obiri Larbi of the New Juaben Municipal Office of the Ghana Education Service observed that, the use of different school uniforms by various educational units added some colour to the parade, which had been absent in previous years, when all the basic school wore the same school uniform.

The Regional Minister, Mr Boniface Gambila, delivered President J.A. Kufuor's independence anniversary message at a parade to mark the independence of Ghana in Bolgatanga todya.

Highlights of the message included the history and purpose of Ghana's independence, the essence of forgiveness and national reconciliation, and Ghana's educational reforms viewed in the context of globalisation, Other salient points were the country's return to democratic governance and rule of law, Ghana's Golden Jubilee Independence celebration next year, the inculcation of the ideals of Freedom and Justice in Ghanaians, and Ghana's pioneering role in Continental unity and NEPAD.

Hundreds of children from selected schools in the Bolgatanga Municipality staged a march-pass at the ceremony, with the Regional Minister and the Regional Director of Education taking the salute. Also at the parade were contingents from the Customs Excise and Preventive Service, the Police, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services, and the Boy Scouts Association.

A six-man delegation from neighbouring Burkina Faso, led by Mr Jacob Ouedraogo, Governor of the Central East Province, attended this year's anniversary celebration held under the theme, "Developing and Retaining High Quality Human Resource Base: Key for Accelerated National Development."

Mr Ken Dabuo, Regional Director of Education, said the capitation grant had come to remove the financial barriers that hitherto deterred poor parents from sending their children to school.

"Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are expected to pass bye-laws to abolish all forms of levies in public schools, following the introduction of the grant," he said, adding that, parents were still expected as a matter of course to provide their wards with school uniform, writing material and other relevant items. The Regional Director indicated, however that, the percentage increase in enrolment, 6.1 for boys and 5.3 for girls, had brought in its wake a number of challenges including the urgent need for more teachers, school infrastructure, teaching and learning material as well as enhanced supervision.

He expressed concern about the rampant encroachment on school lands in the region, and appealed to district assemblies to act promptly to arrest the situation before it got out of control.

Seven contingents of the security services and 33 primary, junior and senior secondary schools in the Ho Municipality took part in the 49th Independence Day parade in Ho.

The contingents were from the Military, Police, Prisons, Fire and Immigration and the Customs Excise and Preventive services. Also on parade, under the command of Captain S. K. Amengor of the 66 Artillery Regiment were Mawuli School Army Cadet Corp and OLA Girls Naval Cadet Corp.

Among voluntary organizations were the physically challenged, who marched under the banner of the Volta Disabled Network. Other groups included the Chastity Club, made up mainly of students of junior secondary schools and the Boys and Girls Brigade of the First Ho Company.

Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister, who was the reviewing officer read the President's nationwide address to the large crowd, which flocked the Ho Sports Stadium.

In the competitive category of the march-pass, Mawuko Girls was first in the SSS category followed by Mawuli School with OLA Girls coming third.

Kabore JSS and Barrack JSS both Seven Garrison schools came first and second in the JSS category, while Fiave SDA was third. As in the JSS division, Seven Garrison Primary and Kabore Primary won the first and second places, while Heve EP Primary came third. Each of the winning schools had a certificate of merit.

At Hohoe, Mr John Peter Amewu, Hohoe District Chief Executive (DCE) took the salute at the march-pass of 64 schools including the School for the Deaf.

The parade at Denu in the Ketu District involved 20 contingents from first and second cycle schools and the security agencies and was reviewed by Mr Justice Cudjoe the District Chief Executive (DCE). Sunyani Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister took the salute at an anniversary parade mounted by the security services, voluntary organisations and school children at the Kwame Nkrumah Park in Sunyani. He also read the President's anniversary speech. The Regional Minister presented prizes to deserving schools in the primary, junior secondary and senior secondary schools, which did well in the parade.

Police Academy took away 500,000 cedis, a football, a wall clock, a certificate and an Independence shield, for being the best in the primary division.

In the JSS division, St Mary's JSS received a football, a wall clock and a certificate, for placing first, while Sunyani Secondary School were the proud recipients of a football, a certificate an Independence shield as the best in the SSS division. Mrs. Sarah Adams Kyeremanteng, who was adjudged the nest national mental health worker in 2004, was presented with her prize of five million cedis at the ceremony.

Present included Nana Asor Nkrawiri, Omanhene of Sunyani Traditional Council, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Deputy Regional Minister and Mr Kwame Twumasi Awuah, Municipal Chief Executive. Techiman Contingents of voluntary organizations and school children drawn from 35 first and second cycle schools took part in the independence anniversary parade held at the Methodist School Park in Techiman. In a welcome address, Oseadeeyo Akumfi Ameyaw 1V, Omanhene of Techiman Traditional Area asked Ghanaians to realize that the country's independence had given them unfettered opportunities to lead meaningful lives.

He advised the youth to emulate the selflessness and patriotism that the past leaders exhibited in the fight to gain "what we are celebrating today" for the country and urged them to eschew practices that would jeopardize their future careers.

The Omanhene particularly cautioned them against indulging in examination practices and magical means to pass examinations but rather to learn hard to achieve academic laurels.

Oseadeeyo Akumfi emphasized that the capitation grant introduced by the government was aimed at assisting parents to provide the basic necessities to enable their children pursue higher education. A total of 2,065 school children drawn from 31 schools and contingents of voluntary organizations formed the anniversary parade at the Presbyterian Park at Dormaa Ahenkro.

The highlight of the anniversary of a seven-child panel in Dormaa District, tasked to deal with all issues concerning children, including the rights and freedoms of children as enshrined in the Children's Act. The panel has Mr Robert Gyamfi, an Assembly Member as Chairman and Ms Annie Kpedekpo of the Department of Social Welfare as Secretary. The District Assembly presented 29-inch colour television sets to 20 junior secondary schools in the district to enable them to access the President's Special Initiative on Distance Learning. Presenting the items, the DCE, Squadron Leader Benjamin Anane Asamoah (rtd) called on parents to take advantage of the government's policies on education and enrol all children of school going age in schools.

The DCE, who read the President's anniversary speech, appealed to the people to complement the development efforts of government by ensuring that there was peace and harmony in their communities. Tamale A parade of school children, security agencies and voluntary organisations was on Monday held at the Tamale Police Park to mark the 49th anniversary of the country's Independence.

The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, who reviewed the well attended parade read President John Agyekum Kufuor speech, which urged Ghanaians to inculcate the Code of Arms "Freedom and Justice" in the citizenry.

The President called on Ghanaians to avoid negative use of ethnicity and exhibit religious tolerance, and appealed to traditional and religious authorities to be tactful in dealing with ethnicity and religion.

President Kufuor noted that for more than two decades, Ghana had experienced insecurity in its democratic process; thereby disrupting efforts at providing basic social needs of the people. He however, expressed his gratitude that for the past 14 years, the country had experienced uninterrupted democracy and appealed to Ghanaians to continue to nurture the democratic values to achieve the country's aspirations.

Alhaji Boniface bemoaned the recent spate of accidents in the region and appealed to drivers and other stakeholders in the transport sector to work hard to reduce road accidents, which he said, was claiming more lives and causing social disorder in the region. He said, " passengers must be bold to tell drivers that they are over-speeding while drivers should be able to tell their passengers that they are tired and need a rest".

Pedestrians must be careful in the use of the road to reduce accidents, he added.

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