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Regional News of Monday, 24 July 2017

Source: asempanews.com

Social media is a double edged sword for school children - Kabral cautions parents

Mr. Kabral Blay Amihere, former Chairman of the National Media Commission has said the only way school children can derive optimum benefits from social media without falling prey to their hidden dangers, is for parents and teachers to collaborate in the monitoring of internet usage by children.

Ambassador Amihere was unhappy that social media should so suddenly become a consuming passion for school children to an extent of undermine their academic performance and expose them to the myriad of character-damaging pitfalls of the information highway. 
    
He was addressing parents and school children at the seventh graduation, speech and prize-giving day of Delsi Montessori School, held over the weekend under the theme ‘Advancing quality education through teacher-parent involvement’. Delsi Montessori School, located at New-Achimota in Accra, is one of the capital’s most accomplished Montessori institutions.  

Speaking on ‘the benefits and dangers of social media to school children’, Mr. Amihere warned that uncontrolled use of social media among children affects their personality and character formation, weakens the bonds of inter-personal relations within the family and worst of all, exposes children to countless destructive vices.

“But it will be pointless to attempt to prevent or ban our children from accessing and using social media because it is such a valuable source of knowledge and information and can be used to support academic studies at school and at home,” Mr. Amihere explained.

“Since the use of phones at school is prohibited, our parents must start showing an interest in what their wards do on social media back at home and must make it a point to constantly monitor and control when and what their children access on social media.”

Delivering the keynote address earlier, Mrs. Ellen Sam, a renowned pharmacist and pastor, stressed that in the grooming of children, a clear distinction needed to be drawn between ‘education’ and ‘quality education’.

“Yes. There is a marked difference between education and quality education. People can finish school and still not have the requisite skills to show for it,” she contended, adding that quality education serves to expand the child’s knowledge base and provides children with capabilities required to make them ‘economically productive, develop sustainable livelihoods, contribute to peaceful and democratic societies and enhance individual wellbeing’.

Mrs. Sam said the responsibility of imparting quality education to children rests equally with parents and school teachers.

‘Quality education is so complex and exacting that it cannot be given by schools alone. Parents are stakeholders and must get involved. So, as parents or guardians, let us collaborate in every way possible with the schools to provide quality education for our children,’ she said.  

Twenty-nine pupils graduated from kindergarten to primary - a number described by the proprietress, Rev. Mrs. Lawrencia Dafeamekpor, as the highest since the school was founded in 2004.

‘Delsi Montessori School begun 12 years ago with just six toddlers. Today, we have reason to rejoice because the school has literally graduated through the years to the Junior High School level and here we are, about to induct 29 wonderful pupils from Kindergarten to primary school,’ Rev. Mrs. Dafeamekpor said.

The graduation ceremony took place at the Auditorium of the Grace Chapel International and was characterized by colourful theatrical performances and cultural displays by school children and the award of prizes to deserving pupils and members of the teaching staff.