The Pro- Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Professor George Oduro has indicated the need for young people to be taught to identify and embrace the positive aspect of social media over the negative instead of totally condemning it.
He said stakeholders in education have a mission to nurture the younger generation and bring out the best in them and should, therefore, equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable them meet the demands of a fast changing world and become lifelong learners.
“We need to promote media discipline that will work for our society. Let us not make social media a scape goat. Social media will exist whether we like it or not, but let us train our youth to take the good it has to offer while avoiding the ugly,” he said.
Prof. Oduro was speaking on the theme, “The emergence of Social Media and its implication for discipline,” at the 16th Speech and Prize-giving and launch of the 30th anniversary of the University Junior High School in Cape Coast at the weekend.
Touching on the positives, he said social media, could among others promote creativity and interaction among the young people, provide resources for them to learn and do assignments and help them develop awareness of the world.
For the negative, he said young people could develop poor social skills, influence the vulnerable to become antisocial and aggressive, citing the London riots some years ago which was planned on social media.
Others Prof. Oduro listed as use of abbreviations which could appear in their essays, cheating in examination, low performance due to time waste on social media, spread of false life threatening information, vulnerability to crime and lack of privacy and risky sexual behaviour.
Additionally, he said social media could harm employment prospect as job recruiters, check prospective employees’ social media accounts and “things like profanity, poor spelling or grammar, reference to alcohol or drugs and sexual content can all work against you”.
On implication for discipline, he opined that in this era of social media, there was the need to change disciplinary methods and move away from the traditional methods which involved the physical punishment and move to dialogue.
Prof. Oduro underscored the need for parents, teachers and other educators to encourage the youth to express their views on the use of social media by engaging them in one and one talk and must be prepared to listen, correct and offer suggestions in affable manner.
He said it was also important for stakeholders to upgrade their knowledge on social media applications and sites and the use of internet in order to help the children make the right choices as well as be role models for them.
The headmistress, Mrs. Kate Frimpong, in her report, said out of the four categories of classes presented as schools for the 2015 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), school “A” maintained its first position on the central region league table.
School “B,” she announced, placed second, while school “C’ and School “D” placed sixth and 34th respectively out of 94 school and expressed optimism that candidates presented for this year’s BECE raise the bar higher.
She reported that for the 13th time, a candidate from the school, Kofi Kwakye Oduro, now a student of the Presbyterian Secondary School, Osu- Accra received a Presidential Award after emerging the best male BECE candidate in the region.
On challenges, she said the school with current enrollment of 761 pupils slightly fell short of teachers coupled with over-crowding in classrooms and appealed to stakeholders to support the school build an ultra-modern classroom block to ease congestion and admit more prospective students
Deserving students and staff were awarded while some old student groups donated various items to the school and also joined other dignitaries to raise funds in aid of the ultra-modern classroom block projects.
From Jonathan Donkor, Cape Coast