General News of Sunday, 29 October 2006
Accra, Oct. 29, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Saturday announced that Government would soon implement an Education Strategy Plan focused on technical and vocational training for the youth between 15-18 years.
He said the plan would include a structural system of apprenticeship for the youth who were unable to continue formal training, to ensure that the nation's workforce became more amenable to modern high productivity and technology.
The Vice President made the announcement in a speech read on his behalf by Ms Gloria Akuffo, Minister for Aviation, at the Speech and Prize Giving Day, to climax the Golden Jubilee celebration of Presbyterian Secondary School (PRESEC) Osu in Accra. The celebration under the theme "Quality Education, Maturing into the Golden Age of Progress", attracted past and present students, the clergy, politicians, parents and well-wishers.
Vice President Mahama said there was the need to identify labour market requirements and linked them with course contents to make educational training programmes relevant to both the needs of the country and the world market.
He said discipline was a core component to make education reforms and human resource training schemes work, and called on the private sector, parents, guardians, teachers and students to complement the efforts of Government.
Vice President Mahama condemned the growing canker of drug abuse and said discipline must be made a joint responsibility to nip little negative habits in the bud before they escalated into big ones. He called on parents to begin discussions on sex with their children early, adding "We must begin to break the myth surrounding discussing sex and sexuality with our children."
"They would be better placed to understand the serious implications if they hear them from more exposed, knowledgeable and mature adults because the stark truth is that they would willy-nilly get to know and perhaps through irretrievably horrible mistakes that might leave life-long indelible marks.
"... It cannot be vulgar language if we engage our children in such discussions and neither can we continue to live with flawed perception that it would breed promiscuity."
Vice President Mahama urged the students to concentrate on their studies and not abuse the great opportunities that had been offered to them.
Ms Denise Oye Welbeck, Headmistress of the school, said PRESEC-Osu, which started with few students and seven teachers now had over 1,000 students and about 75 teaching and non-teaching staff. She said it was rather unfortunate that at the moment when the school was poised to move to great heights, teachers were on strike. Ms Welbeck said the school authorities would endeavour to maintain Presbyterian discipline on campus and in addition to teachers and students who signed undertakings to abide by school rules and regulations, members of staff would serve probation.
Master Justice Moore, School Prefect, appealed to members of National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) currently on strike and Government, to find an amicable solution to their impasse for the teachers to return to the classroom.
He called for support to provide the school with a well-equipped science laboratory, a reliable bus and an assembly hall. Prizes were distributed to deserving teachers, students and well-wishers of the School with Master Bright Amoabeng, receiving most of the prizes. 29 Oct. 06