The Ghana Education Service (GES) has been urged to ensure that teachers desist from using agriculture and its related activities as punishment to recalcitrant students.
According to the Deputy Eastern Regional Manager for the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) under Cocoboard, Mr Isaac Adu, the practice was deterring many of the youth from engaging in agriculture which was the backbone of the country’s development.
“When a student misbehaves in school, he or she is asked to weed or work on the school farm as punishment and this makes them rather see agricultural activities as punishment than a business venture which they can engage in to generate income for themselves,” he added.
Mr Adu made the call on Wednesday when his outfit met some cocoa farmers in the Eastern Region to sensitise them on best practices in cocoa farming.
The programme, on the theme, ‘Making farming lucrative and attractive to the youth through modernised agriculture, a way to curb unemployment’ was meant to encourage more youth into farming.
He claimed that because of such punishments, agriculture had become unattractive to a lot of the students and a lot of the youth who stakeholders were trying to attract over the years to engage in agriculture to develop the sector.
Mr Adu stated that the country was in dire need of this youth as farming in the country had been left to a few old folks who were ageing, adding, “We need the youth to be attracted to serve as a continuous workforce to drive the agricultural sector and hence it would be better for the teachers to desist from using agriculture as punishment” adding, “they should find alternative ways to punish recalcitrant students”.
Mr Adu also advised farmers to desist from taking the children to the farm during school hours to enable them have time to study in school.
The Regional Manager for CHED, Mr Ebenezer Owusu Gyekye, said there was the need to educate more youth on farming to change their perception and attract them to engage into the venture.
“Government has introduced a lot of initiatives such as the Planting for food and Jobs, and subsidised inputs, among others and I will urge the youth to take advantage of it and especially go into cocoa farming so that they can get some income as well as help develop the sector to enable the country to economically benefit,” Mr Gyekye said.
The Municipal Chief Executive of New Juaben North municipality,
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, SUHYEN