Professor George Gyan-Baffour, the Minister of Planning, said for education to be meaningful, it must go beyond academic instruction and examination to the provision of skills to help graduates participate effectively in the global economy.
Education, he said, must provide students with multi-disciplinary understanding, skills, competencies and moral discipline that would help them compete effectively in the global knowledge economy.
At the 67th Speech and Prize-giving Day of the Opoku Ware School in Kumasi, Prof. Gyan-Baffour said education should be able to expose students to the global complexities and emerging issues, especially in the 21st century.
That, he said, was the reason the Government had fully committed itself to developing and improving education as a vital springboard for national development.
The ceremony was on the theme: “Inculcating Environmental Awareness in Young Minds: The Role of Innovative School Leadership”.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour said the Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy was meant to remove financial barriers in education and improve access and gave the assurance that government would continue to pursue educational reforms and make the necessary investments to develop and harness the potential of the youth for national development.
He advised school authorities to inculcate in the next generation of leaders the ability to build their capacities and prepare themselves adequately to face the realities of the future.
In Ghana, he said, issues like deforestation, coastal and marine resource degradation, destruction of biodiversity, climate variability, pollution, sanitation and illegal mining continued to engage the attention of the people.
It was, therefore, important for teachers to expose the students to such issues at a very young age and build upon it in their adult lives to help create a society of people aware of their environment.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour encouraged students to appreciate the importance and judicious use of water resources and also take interest in creating and sustaining green spaces on campus.
Students should have regular excursions to sites where illegal mining had wreaked havoc to appreciate the practical horrors and consequences of environmental degradation.
Dr Alexis Nimo Frimpong, the Headmaster of the Opoku Ware School, said though the Government was doing its best to support the School, there was the need to expedite action to cater for the School’s increasing population.
Currently, the School has a population of more than 4,000 students.