Accra, Two years after launching an academic excellence awards in the South Tongu District, Mr Kobla Mensah Woyome, the MP for the area is rallying stakeholders for support in raising the standards of education.
I believe that, if all stakeholders play their role in our educational system, we will go a long way in improving our system in order to produce the required manpower that Ghana needs to accelerate its economic development, Mr Woyome said, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra.
Mr Woyome invited chiefs and elders, educationists, philanthropists, members of the religious community to join hands in raising standards in the schools.
Mr Woyome made the call at the Second South Tongu Academic Excellence Award ceremony, held at Sogakope, the district capital in the Volta Region.
Concerned about the abysmal performance of school children in the area, the MP, together with the education authorities instituted the awards to halt the decline in academic work and to motivate the children to study hard.
This year’s ceremony was held on the theme: Quality Learner Achievement, a Shared Stakeholder Responsibility.
Mr Woyome recalled a statement by former and late South Africa President Nelson Mandela that Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.
He explained that education was one of the most effective mechanisms unearthing the potentials of the individual, building peace and promoting the development of every society.
Mr Woyome said a good system of education was fundamental to building any nation in the world, for it was the means by which young people were prepared to accept responsibility in the future.
Education has become a priority in every society because it is the means by which young people acquire necessary skills that will make them better citizens of a country. Nations that lack a good educational system will inevitably suffer as their citizens become unskilled and a burden to society.
When our children are well educated, it has a very positive effect on themselves, their families, their community and the nation at large. Learning promotes progress and trains young people to pursue responsible careers that will have a genuine impact on their lives and on the country ultimately.
Mr Woyome compared statistics of performance of a number of schools in the district, and noted that there was an improved performance among a number of schools at both the basic and secondary levels.
He called on stakeholders in the area to nurture talents and come to the aid of brilliant but needy students and pupils, explaining that a developing nation like Ghana requires people serving in various public and private capacities for the smooth running of the country.
Sustainable development is guaranteed with a corresponding substantial investment in human capital. Education makes this possible.
Mr Woyome stressed on the importance of education as a means of attaining sustainable development.
In the year 2000, there was a global effort targeted to ensure that all children were in school by the year 2015.
According to Mr Woyome, Parliament and various governments have shown the commitment in achieving this target knowing that quality education was the best tool for national accelerated development.
Among the measures put in place are the increment of capitation grant, expansion of school feeding programme, free school uniform and exercise books and other facilities to enhance effective teaching and learning.
All these efforts by various governments which have been supported by Parliament form part of the global commitment in ensuring quality education for all in Ghana.
However, Ghana still faces many challenges, including lack of textbooks, shortage teachers, poor and inadequate infrastructure and logistics, poverty of the masses in the country which makes it difficult for parents to supplement the efforts of government in resourcing of schools.
It is against that backdrop that the office of the Member of Parliament has intervened in a number of situations including support for both institutions and individuals.
He called on Directors of Education, Heads and teachers, to ensure that appropriate measures were put in place for effective teaching and learning to enable children imbue high standard of learning and discipline.
Mr Woyome also appealed to members of the business community to assist in providing resources and internship opportunities and asked chiefs and elders of the communities to provide land for schools’ development.
He advised parents and guardians to get involved in Parent Teacher Association (P.T.A.) activities and contribute to major decision making of their wards, school and its development.
Ms Angelica Attakey, former Municipal Director of Education for South Tongu, in a telephone interview said the awards had engendered competition among the schools in the area, and had helped to bring out the best in pupils, students and teachers.
Some the schools that received awards of excellence are; Sogakope Senior High School, the EP Basic School; and Agbadzakope Junior High School.
Among the prizes were trophies, certificates and cash.
Source: Ghana News Agency