The National Director of Evangelism of the Evangelical Presbyterian (EP) Church, Ghana, Rev. Emmanuel Antwi-Tumfuor, has bemoaned, what he described as the “misuse of information and communications technology (ICT) by a section of the youth in the country.”
“We are in a period where ICT offers the youth a lot of opportunities, particularly through the Internet. Unfortunately, however, the opportunities are being abused with no sense of shame.
”Instead of tapping into the rich benefits of the Internet and its associated social media platforms to help them in their studies, some students are rather using it for fraud and occultic activities,” he said.
Rev. Antwi-Tumfuor made the assertion at the maiden meeting of the Conference of Heads and Chaplains of Senior High Schools (SHSs) and tertiary institutions of the EP Church in Ho in the Volta Region.
The meeting was on the theme: “Breaking new grounds revisited. Now is our turn: The role of the headmaster and chaplain.”
Rev. Antwi-Tumfuor, who is also the Pastor of Elorm Parish of the church at Ho-Bankoe, wondered if it was school authorities who had failed to help students explore the positive use of ICT or it was the students themselves who were not prepared to take instructions from their teachers.
He warned that the wrong use of ICT and the Internet, particularly, spelt disaster of catastrophic proportions as it could lower morality in the country.
He said before students were admitted to school, they already knew a lot about the Internet and so “we have the formidable task of guiding them to use the ICT resource responsibly. We must let them know and appreciate that through the Internet and other applications and also through hard work, people have become successful entrepreneurs.”
Rev. Antwi-Tumfuor said the responsible use of ICT had turned some people into billionaires because they were helping to solve major societal problems and issues.
“Let us break new grounds by getting our students to be passionate about ICT and encourage them to use it in exploring entrepreneurial opportunities that will help them create jobs. Let us assist our students break new grounds by understanding that their behaviour today will to a large extent define their future.”
He urged the heads of schools to have dedicated and committed counsellors who are passionate about their guidance and counselling units to support the school chaplains to instil the virtues of hard work, discipline, honesty, respect for authority and patriotism in the students. That, according to him, will help get the students ready to use their knowledge to improve on the socio-economic wellbeing of the people.
Rev. Antwi-Tumfuor said guidance and counselling officers must encourage students to stay away from negative peer pressure and other bad influences.
“We need to ensure that our students see us as parents who are prepared to help them so they do not damage their future,” he said, adding that “let us build their confidence and self-esteem so that they can confide in us and feel free to alert us when there are any attempts to lure them into anything that will undermine their studies.”