President John Dramani Mahama has appealed to all stakeholders in Cape Coast to take a keen interest in the education of children and reclaim the metropolis’ glory as the citadel of learning in the country.
Addressing a grand durbar of the chiefs and people of the Oguaa Traditional area to climax this year’s Fetu Afahye on Saturday, he expressed worry that the nationwide average performance of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates was rising but that of the metropolis was dropping.
The festival was held under the theme: “The falling Standards of Education in the Cape Coast Metropolis; the Stakeholders’ Responsibilities”.
The colorful ceremony was attended by government officials, political, traditional and religious leaders and thousands of revelers.
The metropolis has some of the best senior highest schools in the country such as Mfantsipim School, Wesley Girls’ High School, St. Augustine’s College, Adisadel College, Holy Child College but the inability of local pupils to qualify for admission into such institutions had been a great source of concern.
President Mahama said whereas the percentage of candidates nationwide increased by 5.46 per cent for the 2014/2015 academic year, the percentage of qualified candidates in Cape Coast, dropped from 31.3 per cent in 2013/2014 to 29.92 percent in 2014/2015.
He said averagely for 2014/2015, there was an increase in the number of qualified candidates by 5.46 percent nationwide but in Cape Coast there was a decrease of 4.45, meaning while the nationwide average was rising, that of Cape Coast had dropped marginally.
“While this may appear to be temporary slip, we should not take it for granted and must do everything possible and in our power to arrest this negative trend”, he said charging all stakeholders in the area to collaborate to help improve the situation.
He said the education of children was not the sole duty of teachers but parents have a greater stake and urged them to encourage their children to study hard, do their homework, use internet wisely and also regulate their television viewing.
President Mahama said Government would continue to play its role by increasing and improving social interventions such as provision of free meals, school uniforms, footwear, books and other as well as the progressively free education.
On development of the region, he said his Government has invested heavily in the region and listing projects undertaken to include the Cape Coast Stadium, Kotokuraba Market and Komenda sugar Factory, adding that the region would see more developments during his second term.
With less than 100 days to the forth coming elections, President Mahama urged all political stakeholders to commit to peace for the nation to continue its development process.
Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Oguaamanhen, expressed unhappiness with the falling standards of education in the area and stressed the need for all stakeholders including pupils and parents to play their roles effectively to change the status quo.
He expressed gratitude to Government for the infrastructural development in the metropolis and while calling for peace in the upcoming elections, he urged electorates not to allow politicians to deceive them and buy their votes.