The Queen Mothers Association in the Upper West Region has called on the Regional Minister, the Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs), traditional rulers and other stakeholders to prevent organizers of “Pens Down” from going ahead to host the event this year.
The President of the association, Fatima Gberekubo Mahama, in a press statement dated August 7, 2023, noted that, it is about time children in the region are stopped from patronizing “Pens Down” as it is a source of “moral decadence eating deep into the [social] fabric” of regional and national development.
“Pens Down” is an annual socialization event organized as a sendoff party for students who complete their Junior High School and Senior High School education. The program is usually held a day after the final paper of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) or the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). This year’s event for the current BECE candidates in the Wa Municipality is scheduled for Saturday, 12th August, 2023, at “The Shield” located in Wa.
However, according to the Queen Mothers in the region, such programs are inimical to the growth and development as well as the educational progress of young children. They contend that, “Pens Down” and the like pose various dangers including “violent fights, defilement, rape, teenage pregnancy, and sexual transmitted infections, and mostly leading to school dropouts”.
The Association urged organizers of the event and similar ones to rather “organize educational and career development-oriented programs for these graduates to help them go higher in academia”.
In a related development, the Queen Mothers Association decried the spate of indiscipline in schools, particularly in the Upper West Region. Condemning the recent attack on a teacher by students of the Wa Technical Institute, the Queen Mothers bemoaned the “many regrettable incidences of disregard [for] school authority, law and order, and destruction of school property”.
The Association believes “the current disciplinary regime is causing more harm than good” for education in the country, and therefore called for a review of the disciplinary code and punishment in schools.
To this end, they want the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, traditional authorities, parents and teachers, to as a matter of urgency “hold a consultative dialogue” on the issue of discipline in Ghanaian schools, and devise proactive measures to curb the declining moral values, disrespect for authority, and destruction of property in schools.
The Queen Mothers also want NGOs, CSOs and the media to play active role in mentoring and modelling children, whom they described as “innocent and vulnerable” to become responsible citizens in the future.
Source: Radio Mak