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Opinions of Sunday, 11 November 2007

Columnist: Adomako, Appiah Kusi

University Students And Immoralities

The abundance of knowledge does not make people wise, By Soren Kierkegaard

Over the past two years I have come into across with some worrying issues which I believe we must open up for debate. One of these issues is high incidence of immoral behavior and indecency exhibited by some tertiary students in the country.

Sometime last year, I wrote an article in this column captioned: STUDENTS AND IMMORALITIES and then last June, I wrote again on the ?EDUCATED GHANAIAN YOUTH AND ACTS OF IMMORALITY? in which I sought to raise some of these issues. I thought the issues of immorality which have seeped into the very fiber of the tertiary institutions should be laid to rest but what I saw last Saturday when the annual LUV FM OLD SCHOOLS? REUNION was organised has knocked me out of my dogmatic slumber.

What some of the participants from tertiary students exhibited in public was so ethically disoriented that I cannot even write about some of them. Some of these students marched to the event grounds in the nude with their private parts in the full glare of onlookers. Some concerned onlookers expressed their disgust at the despicable acts. One market woman said that if this act has been exhibited by truck pushers or kayayo it would not have been a problem. The woman has every right to pass that comment in a sense that these people are the future leaders whom the state has used its limited funds to educate and are supposed to know better.

It has been said over and over again that acts of prostitution, occultism, binge culture, homosexuality and lesbianism and have become ordinary occurrences in some of our tertiary institutions. It has been reported that some students even make love on the pavements and on the lawns on campuses. Alas! Sometime ago an investigation by the Ghanaian Observer newspaper revealed that student involvement in prostitution was rife, with a section of students from the University of Ghana interviewed claiming that about 50% of female students in Ghana?s premier university, Legon, could be involved in what is now known as ?Professional Prostitution. At the time, some stakeholders were quick to dismiss the newspaper allegations as unfounded but this does not take away the fact that there is an unacceptable level of immorality on our university campuses. It must also be noted that this act cascades across all the institutions.

Earlier in the year, it was reported by the Daily Graphic that ?some seventy-one students of the Takoradi Polytechnic had been dismissed for various campus offences ranging from rape and alcoholism to poor academic performance. In the Takoradi Polytechnic case, the students are also alleged to have been engaging in sex orgies during beach parties and in their hostels. It is also said that students, both male and female, go to the hostels of their boyfriends and girlfriends and have sex with them, with no regard for the privacy and their roommates. In the LUV FM example I gave, in the run-up to the event, some of the participants ? mainly from the tertiary institutions broke all the protocols and decorum relating to radio broadcasting as they freely sang profane songs on radio. One wonders why the management of the station did not set out code of conduct as the students? association came to represent their schools on air. And I had been hoping that the radio station or the organizers of the event would have apologized on their own behalf and on behalf of their wayward guest, but no. Is it that that the radio presenters did not hear or they assumed that their long suffering listeners did not hear too or they think the people of Kumasi do not deserve to be treated with respect? If they are not minded to do what is honourable, I guess their bosses in Accra could do that on their behalf and apologise for the free use of expletives on their network.

My dear reader, there is a great rot in our tertiary institutions. Sometimes when I hear of some of these cases, I am nearly reduced to tears. As a concerned Ghanaian, I have every right to be concerned about future outlook of the country. Abraham Lincoln eloquently puts it this way ?that the philosophy of one school in one generation would be the philosophy of the next government?. A generation born through violent struggles or civil wars invariably grows up showing traces of such violence. For example, there are those who believe that the violence of the apartheid days could be partly responsible for its high murder rate.

Back in our schools, nothing is now held to be sacred, and in a bizarre twist of Warner Heisenberg?s Uncertainty Principles in Quantum Mechanics, people seem to now believe that it is impossible to be a tertiary student and be morally upright.

However, I do not lose sight of the fact there countless number of students who remain blameless in the midst of all these.

Sometimes needs to be done. Martin Luther King Jr once said that ?morality cannot be legislated but behaviour can be regulated.? What the law can do is to control the external effects of bad internal attitudes. For instance, since indecent exposure is against the law, shouldn?t the Police have arrested those who danced naked on the streets of Kumasi during the past weekend?

Every freedom has its limitation and the exercise of one?s freedom should not offend another. We need to be guided by the principles of ethics and morality. This is why I call on the Vice Chancellors of Ghana(VCG?s), Student?s Representative Councils (SRCs), National Union of Ghana Students? (NUGS), the Christian Council of Ghana, National House of Chiefs, Parliament, Islamic Council and all professional bodies to join the crusade to rid our educated Ghanaian youth from the depths of depravity. For today?s youth are tomorrow?s leaders. Feature page

Appiah Kusi Adomako is an international freelance and speech writer and the president of the Ghana Chapter of Leaders of Tomorrow Foundation. He can be contacted through: Leaders of Tomorrow Foundation, P.O. BOX. KS 13640. Kumasi. Tel: 024-212-5355 Tel E-mail:

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