Kamil Sanah, GNA
Accra, July. 2, GNA - Ghana's waste problem needs a holistic approach, with the youth being tasked with the responsibility to devise sustainable means in helping to reduce or eradicate filth for a healthy environment.
To achieve this goal, a youth oriented organisation, Foundation for Generational Thinkers (FOGET) organised a contest for Junior High School (JHS) students to produce sustainable solutions that will address poor sanitation conditions in their localities.
The contest dubbed: "FOGET-GNAPS Quiz and Challenge Competition 2018" was aimed at pushing students to address the question regarding proper waste management to ensure clean environment.
It was organised with the collaboration of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), Greater Accra Zone '5', with support of other organisations like; Ghana Ohuade Company Limited, Robertkusco Enterprise, AKAKUBI Enterprise and Bluecrest University College
S. Sowah Boye Memorial School which stood in contest with New Generation Preparatory School at the final was adjudged winner of the competition, for coming out with some practicable solutions that could help address poor sanitation conditions especially in Chorkor and its enclave.
The second runner-up was Joehans Academy, whilst the fourth position was St. Charles Preparatory School,
The four schools entered into the 'Challenge Competition' after winning over 36 schools, all drawn from GNAPS Greater Accra Zone '5'.
The winner school took a cash prize, desktop computer, books and certificate whilst the second school received cash, printer, stationery and a certificate and the third and fourth schools also received cash, printers, books and certificates.
The panel of Judges were; Mr Emmanuel Addai, Communication Specialist, who was the chair of the panel, Ama Ofori Antwi, Executive Secretary to the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) and ING. Joy Hesse Ankomah of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The schools were judged according to the solutions they had provided after three weeks of research by the schools conducted in some communities, alongside touring of some waste management companies' sites in Accra.
According to the Judges, most of the schools generalised their findings and solutions, hence failed to tackle the questions properly for the research outcomes to specific communities.
Nevertheless, they congratulated the students for putting themselves up to be tested, in order to contribute their quota to national development even young as they were.
They lauded FOGET and GNAPS for the initiative to raise and ignite the spirit of patriotism in the youth, so as, to make them responsible to their environment.
Mr Eugene Yeboah, the outgoing Metropolitan Education Director of Accra, charged teachers to live up to their mandate, adding that, the Judges raised concerns of teachers not properly supporting and guiding their students.
He said it was mandatory for teachers to follow strict instructions to guide and instruct their students in achieving the goals and purpose of a given task.
Mr Yeboah encouraged them to look for help if the need be to effectively teach a subject or direct students and congratulated the students for putting out their best in an attempt to provide solutions to the poor waste management that had become the priority of every government in the country.
He said the contest has helped the students to work and learn together as team and has compelled them to read from many sources while conducting their research, adding, “A reader today is a leader tomorrow, don't stop, continue to read more."
He promised to champion the programme in the Denkyera East District of the Central Region, where he has been appointed as the new Municipal Director of Education.
Mr Prosper Dan Afetsi, President and Founder of FOGET said the aim of the 'Challenge' was to help students apply the knowledge they acquired in the classroom to solve real-life problems facing their respective communities.
He was convinced that major development problems facing the country were as a result of student’s inability to connect academic studies to real-time challenges.
Mr Afetsi said Ghana has always fall on foreign expertise to solve problems that can easily be taken care of by Ghanaians.
He said since civil society organizations have roles to play in development, he strongly believed that nurturing 'the can do spirit into the Ghanaian children,' by providing them opportunities and responsibilities could help solve some of our future problems.
“The FOGET-GNAPS Quiz and Challenge Competition is one of such programme tailored towards putting the youth to the task and the clubs that are still running in the various schools".