THIRTY young porters (kayayei) from the northern part of the country who have the interest in becoming lawyers, joined 89 students from 10 selected senior high schools to attend this Year’s Lady Chief Justice’s Mentoring Programme in Accra, last Thursday.
The programme, the eighth in the series, was on the theme, “Raising the Next Generation of Selfless Leaders in Justice Delivery”.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under one of its programme to harness the potential of out-of-school (school drop-out) children, has been organising tuition for kayayei selected from the various market centres in the Accra metropolis.
These Kayayei, most of whom had completed junior and senior high schools, told The Ghanaian Times in an interview that, they had migrated to the nation’s capital, Accra, to work and garner resources to further their education since they came from poor homes, and were glad to come into contact with high profile personalities like Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, Chief Justice; Dr. Joyce Aryee, former Chief Executive of Ghana Chamber of Mines and currently the Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministries and other judges.
According to 10 of the kayayei, the closest they got to the Supreme Court, otherwise referred to as the Chief Justice’s Court, was during the 2012 presidential election petition when it was telecast live on Ghana Television (GTV), and were happy to sit face to face with the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court room where the programme took place.
The mentoring programme, which was introduced in 2007 by Mrs. Georgina Wood, is to bring together the students of second cycle institutions across the country to stimulate their interest in the country’s judicial system and to inculcate the spirit of selflessness and patriotism in them to lead Ghana, as leaders of tomorrow, to its desired destination.
The selected schools, which participated in the programme were, the Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern Region, Tema Senior High in the Greater Accra Region, Nkonya Senior High, Bueman Senior High, Kpando Senior High, Tapaman Senior High Schools in the Volta Region, Ejisu Juabeng Senior High, Anglican Senior High, St. Louis Senior High and Prempeh College, in the Ashanti Region.
In her brief remarks, Mrs. Georgina Wood told the students not to use unorthodox or crude ways to achieve their aim, stressing that those who cheated in examinations had lived to regret their misdeeds and had become social misfits.
“God has designed things in such a way that people who rely on Him for support and guidance are able to achieve their vision notwithstanding the hurdles on their paths.
“I, therefore, urge you to be obedient to your parents and teachers and also make good use of your time so that you do not regret in future,” she admonished.
During a panel discussion, Dr. Joyce Aryee said that justice delivery in Ghana would be jeopardised if judges and lawyers did not conduct themselves truthfully and transparently in the dispensation of justice.
“One of the greatest pillars in society is justice delivery and justice cannot be dispensed if truth is relegated to the background,” she said, and advised the students to be content with what they had rather than cut corners to live expensive lives, noting that people who used negative values to get to the top or amassed wealth never ended well.
A High Court Judge, Mr. Justice Kyei Baffour and Madam Patricia Quansah, a Circuit Court judge, who recounted their past when they were students and the challenges they faced, appealed to the students to concentrate on their studies now and enjoy in future rather than fighting for today’s enjoyment and suffer tomorrow.
They said that hard work was the surest way to success and exhorted the participants not to let the challenges of today bog them down but to spur them on to study hard and become useful citizens in future.
By Castro Zangina-Tong