GES neglects Jirapa student unions

Wed, 25 Nov 2015 Source: Pius Doozie

The Jirapa district is one of the largest district in the Upper West region of Ghana, in fact, it is located in the central part of the region. It covers a total land area of 1,667.6 sq. km.

The district was created from the former Jirapa-Lambussie district in the Upper West Region of Ghana by L. I. 1902 of 2007 as part of Ghana’s decentralization programme.

It is bordered to the South by the Nadowli District, to the North by the Lambussie-Karni district, to the West by Lawra District, and to the East by Sissala West District.

According to the 2010 population and housing census, the Jirapa district has a population of 88,402 with 41,502 been males and the remaining 46,810 been females (GSS 2010). It has 183 communities dotted in the entire area.

The Jirapa district used to be a role model for other district when it comes to the contribution of student unions that is the National Jirapa Area Students Union and the sub unions from the various campuses of tertiary institutions in Ghana towards mentoring of primary, Junior High Schools and Senior High School students.

The JASU national for example used to organize vibrant educational programs which included health talks, quizzes, guidance on the selection of programs and courses of study and debates for students within the district.

These activities used to bring students from all tertiary and second cycle institutions together to deliberate on pertinent issues that were geared towards the improvement of educational standards in the district.

It also created a platform for deliberation on other developmental issues within the district. During my days at the Senior High School, I personally benefited from such programs and I can confidently say am able to get to where I am today because of the guidance, counselling and motivation someone gave me.

Same cannot be said today, things have really fallen apart and the JASU national cannot even stand on its toes to talk less of organizing such programs again.

Attempts at reviving these annual activities are crippled by the lack of support from stakeholders in the district. The stakeholders made up of the District Assembly, the Ghana Education Service, the Member of parliament and other distinguish individuals have failed to leave up to expectation.

They contribute virtually nothing towards these activities these days be it finances, logistics or even the moral support and backing. This lukewarm attitudes from these stakeholder have impacted negatively on the activities of the union.

The least talk about Non-governmental organizations, banks and other institutions found within the district the better.

These institutions have always reneged and continue to renege on their corporate social responsibilities. Anytime they are contacted for sponsorship, the reply they give is that “we have not made provisions for such activities in our budget”.

This same response is given every year. One is therefore tempted to ask what the contribution of these institutions towards the development of the district is if they cannot support such useful ventures. Or their aim is just to make profit?

Aside the JASU national, the sub-unions from the various tertiary institutions also have their fair share of the lack of support.

Personally, I was disappointed as the president of JASU-UCC when we tried to organize science and mathematics quizzes for all JHS within the district as part of the activities for our long vacation (June-July, 2015).

GES told us point blank they cannot support our activities financially. Same reply was gotten when we contacted the district assembly. We ignored them and went ahead to organize the program using our own money.

We did so not for any personal gains but because of the zeal we had in supporting our younger brothers and sisters.

But this attitude of our stakeholders must not continue. Something needs to be done to revive student activities within the district. No wonder these days’ pupils perform abysmally in the BECE. JASU must be given the needed motivation and support to enable them impact their knowledge and expertise towards the development of the educational sector in the district.

Someone need to convey this message to the district assembly, that JASU is disappointed in it, to GES, they should wake up from their slumber and to all other stakeholders, NGO’s and banks they should remember they own the district a lot in terms of corporate social responsibility.

Pius Doozie



Columnist: Pius Doozie