Stop Playing Politics With Education— Nunoo-Mensah

nunoo_mensah1Brigadier-general Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, former National Security Adviser, has advised politicians to stop playing politics with education at the secondary level.

He accused them of always seeking to gain the upper hand, especially when elections are drawing near, instead of seeking concrete solutions to the mounting problems of second-ary education.

“If we do not pay sufficient attention to the development of our youth and create real jobs for them, we will pay a heavy price for that neglect in the very near future,” he cautioned, when he handed over a newly constructed boys’ dormitory block to the Winneba Senior High School on Wednesday.

The 160-capacity dormitory was put up with a $235,000 Japanese grant secured by Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah to address the plight of the beneficiary students who hitherto, were occupying a classroom block as a temporary dormitory.

Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah, who now heads the human security department of the National Security, noted that the rate of investment in the provision of educational infrastructure had not kept pace with the growth in the student population, resulting in a shortfall.

Noting that attempts were being made by the government to correct the huge imbalance, he said the government could not do it alone because its resources were over-stretched.

He therefore, stressed the need for individuals with the means, and corporate institutions, to support the efforts of the government in tackling the problem.

“The life out there is rough and turbulent and it is getting rougher, unless we prepare our children sufficiently, they will not be able to cope when they grow up and take our place,” said the former head of the Ghana Armed Forces.

He took a swipe at the lackadaisical attitude of some teachers in the schools, for the lack of commitment among them to help students in their quest for knowledge, stressing that “For most of the time, students are left on their own to struggle and look for answers to problems they are confronted with at school.”

At a time the cedi was fast depreciating against major international currencies, he suggested that schools cultivate simple crops like fruits, vegetables, and do fish farming to supplement their diet, and join efforts being made to reduce dependence on imported foodstuffs.

“Indeed, it should be our educational policy that second cycle schools and even tertiary institutions should engage in some form of agricultural activity be it poultry, vegetable cultivation or fish farming.

This can also serve as a vehicle for training those studying agriculture and the others to be able to manage their lives when they grow up, at a time white collar jobs are becoming scarce,” General Nunoo-Mensah said.

He called for the promotion of the culture of tree planting in schools, to provide shade and congenial environment for teaching and learning.

He underscored the need for school authorities and parents to rekindle the habit of reading among students, to address the falling standard of the English language.

The Headmistress of the school, Mrs. Cecilia Kwakye-Cofie, expressed appreciation for the support, and appealed for more assistance to enable the school to build a more spacious assembly hall, a vehicle for utility purposes, and solar panels to provide electricity.

She called for exchange programmes among staff and students of the school and their Japanese and French counterparts.

In his remark, Mr. Naoto Nikai, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana said the support was to emphasise the cordial ties between Ghana and Japan, especially, in improving access to quality education.

He said the Embassy commenced its educational exchange programmes with Ghana last year, pledging that it would be sustained to further boost ties between the two countries.

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