Regional News Tue, 24 Feb 2004

SRC called upon to help stop drug abuse in secondary schools

Koforidua, Feb. 24, GNA - A patron of the Eastern Regional Student's Representative Council (SRC) has called on SRCs and other student leaders to help eradicate the frightening drug abuse menace in many secondary schools in the country.

Mr. Emmanuel Avetu, Senior House Master of Koforidua Technical Institute and Patron of SRC made the call at the formal opening of the First Annual Student's Week celebration of the Eastern Regional SRC at Koforidua on Monday under the theme: "Indiscipline in Schools, a Challenge to the SRC."

He said recent study has revealed some misinformation, which is fast gaining grounds at many secondary schools that, for one to be a brilliant student, that student had to smoke marijuana or take in some herbal preparations, which had similar influence like the marijuana on the students.

Mr. Avetu noted that most violent disturbances in secondary schools in the country could be traced to abuse of drugs by students. He warned that if serious efforts is not taken to stop the practice, many students who should have grown up to become useful citizens to their parents, society and the country, would end up as mental patients.

Mr. Avetu said school authorities and the society including parents could only help the students to overcome the looming danger if members of the SRC, as student's leaders, would volunteer information to the authorities concerned to enable them offer the needed counselling and support to the students concerned.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo-Mensah advised the students to be time conscious, adding that the way they manage their time now would determine their future. He urged them to eschew all forms of violence, which can land them in trouble and urged them to discharge their civil responsibilities religiously without expecting any reward.

The Deputy Eastern Regional Director of Education, Mr. Nii Teiko Quaye observed that, sometimes, indiscipline in schools were natured by the absence and lack of teachers in the classroom to engage "the curious and yet innocent minds" of students busy with normal classroom work, as well as extra curriculum activities.

He therefore, called on all stakeholders to get involved in the sponsoring of the training of teachers at the teacher training colleges. Mr. Quaye advocated for the establishment of Teacher Training Fund, for which banks, industries and development partners of the country could contribute for the training of more teachers. He urged communities and religious organizations to establish funds to train teachers so that on completion, such teachers could teach in those communities or the educational units of the religious organizations.

Mr. Quaye explained that, with such facilities, the country could produce many teachers to fill all the classrooms and help reduce the level of indiscipline in schools.

He called on parents to avoid buying examination question papers for their wards and rather encourage them to study hard to achieve academic excellence.

In a welcoming speech, the President of the Eastern Regional SRC, Master Henry Tetteh Engman said, since it's inauguration in February 2002, the SRC

has been able to resolve long standing disputes between some schools, notably Koforidua Secondary Technical and Normal Technical Training Centre.

He said the SRC has also organized a leadership seminar for student leaders in the region and also a seminar for the West African Examination Council to caution students on the need to desist from examination malpractices.

Source: GNA